Lionberger house

The Glessners Visit St. Louis - April 1888

On Tuesday April 24, 1888, the Glessners left Chicago for a short trip to St. Louis, returning Friday morning.  We herewith present Frances Glessner’s accounting of the trip from her journal:

“Wednesday morning at 7:35 we reached St. Louis – we went to the Southern Hotel.  After breakfast (a poor one) we took a Victoria and went to call on Mr. Cameron whom we met on the street. 

"Then we drove over the principal streets, saw Mr. Lionberger’s house, built by Richardson, went to Shaw’s garden, a most interesting and wonderful place, then we lunched at a house out of town in a grove called “Delmonico Grove Restaurant.”  We had broiled chicken and canned asparagus.

“We went back then to the hotel, took another carriage and went to the Museum of Fine Arts to call upon Prof. Halsey Ives to whom we had a letter from Mr. Hutchinson.  We didn’t find Prof. Ives – but we went over the Museum.  We took Mr. Cameron to Torry Faust’s where we had some Pompano, Lobster and spring chickens – each drank two glasses of delicious beer.

“Thursday morning we took a carriage, drove to Tower Grove Park, by Lafayette Park through a part of Forest Park. 

"We drove all through Forest Park the day before – the Park is like a bit of woods with here a slope blue with violets and everywhere patches of spring beauties. 

"We lunched with Mr. Cameron at the Mercantile Club – and there we looked in at two pawn shops but failed to find anything to buy.  We drove where we had a good view of the bridge too.  We dined at the hotel and left for home at 7:55.”

NOTES

There were actually two Lionberger houses in St. Louis, both of which were designed by Richardson. 

The J. R. Lionberger house, built for a founder and long time president of the Third National Bank of St. Louis, stood on Vandeventer Avenue and was demolished in 1951.  It was designed in 1885, with construction occurring in 1886 and 1887, the exact dates of design and construction for the Glessner house, and it shared a number of similarities in design. 

The I. H. Lionberger house was built for J.R.’s son, a leading St. Louis attorney and husband of Louise Shepley, whose brother George was Richardson’s assistant and one of the partners in the successor firm of Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge.  The son’s house was designed and built at the same time as the father's, and although it remains standing today, it has been significantly enlarged and altered. 

Shaw’s Garden was founded in 1859 by Henry Shaw, a botanist and philanthropist.  It is known today as the Missouri Botanical Garden and is a National Historic Landmark.