Above is how the house looks today, August 21st, 2015. The owner is carefully restoring the front facade to look as it did when built. The second floor porch was an add-on and is now removed.
Heim Brewing began in East St. Louis in the mid-1800s.... Uncle, Father and two sons moved to Kansas City in the late 1800s and set up a brewery in the east bottoms. They then set about constructing their mansions on the bluffs above along Benton Boulevard. Above and below is our feature home for this post... the house of Michael Heim
This home, reportedly built in 1893, has had several changes over the years... the front porch was enclosed on the left in the picture and the enclosed glass area above the porch is not original.
Above, the home looking south, below looking southeast. The section on the back with all the windows is not original either but it will stay. Note the pergola bottom right in the back yard... we will touch on that in just a few pictures.
In 1932 the Heims gave the home to the Diocese for a nunnery.... the house sits right across the street from St. Anthony's which, at the time of the donation, was Assumption.
The two Heim brothers, Michael and Ferd Jr. built almost identical homes across from each other with the garage above shared between them. Below, the builder of our house Michael Heim.
Above, three Heims in a row.... Michael on the left, Ferd Jr. in the center and the father, Ferd on the right. Ferd's house was donated to the Diocese to be used as a rectory by Ferd, Jr. And it remains in that use today.
Above, shortly after construction.... Michael on the left, Ferd Jr. on the right. And Ferd Jr... below with his wife.
Above, the rectory. And, below, two doors away, the Uncle's house right next to the Concourse.
The home is remarkably intact with most of the original architectural features still in place.
The pergola in back was built by the nuns who used wood from the old St. Joseph's Hospital that used to be at Seventh and Penn. The nuns also used material from the swimming pool in back of the home to build a grotto. You can see the wood in the picture above and where the grotto was located next to the garage. Below the plaque that is still in place explaining the re-use of the materials.
Above, original brass plate that announced who was NOT welcome in the home. Below the entryway looking west.... living room on the left, dining room on the right.
Closer view of the staircase and the small bathroom at the end of the hall.
Below, looking east back down the hallway toward the front door.
Part of the living room.... fireplace on the left was installed as gas.... original heating was by radiators which have been removed. It's now forced air with two zones.
Above looking into the second part of the living room with a fireplace that is probably wood burning. All of the walnut woodwork is original as are the oak floors.
Below, the enclosed portion of the front porch which was added along with the porch above sometime prior to 1940.
Looking northeast back through the living area.... all pocket doors are in place... and are HEAVY.
Above, showing the "new" addition with all the windows. Sort of a Spanish or western motif.
Above, looking into the informal dining area and below closeup of same.
Above, newly renovated kitchen and below, newly renovated bathroom. Leslie did much of the work herself.
Below, the formal dining room looking west.
Heading upstairs. What looks like wood on the walls is hand tooled leather which runs all around the entryway and is original.
The landing above and below leading to the second floor.
Upstairs hallway with a 1910 vanity/washstand on the left. The wood in this home is gorgeous.
Above, niece number ones bedroom and, below, number two's... again original doors and hardware throughout.
Below, playroom with a dollhouse that Leslie built on the left.
Office area just off the master bedroom.
Above and below the master bedroom and sitting area. Not a part of the original house but blended in extremely well.
Next, the third floor. Not really enough room for it to have been a ballroom ... as many homes had at the time.... but probably servants quarters and storage. The owners just before Leslie remodeled the room using barn wood to create a rustic look and had built in stereo and theater projection equipment.
Below, Michael and his family could look out their windows and see the home of Ferd, Jr. and his family.
Below, more use of barnwood in this third floor bedroom with windows that look out over Benton Boulevard.
Above, the stairway heading down from the second to the first floor. And, finally, what made it all possible.... Heim Beer. Leslie has two bottles... one from the East St. Louis brewery and one from the Kansas City plant. The Heims also were responsible for the building of Electric Park which was first located next to their plant in the east bottoms and the later out on Paseo Boulevard.
The twin of this house is for sale right now and if I had more than two nickels on me (I don't) I grab it up...... Many thanks to Leslie who graciously allowed me to tour and to photograph her Northeast Mansion.
All shots were taken with the Nikon D3 and 14-24mm lens. Five shots for each image with the base exposure at 1/4 second at F11... ASA200 with a tripod. All available light except the shots of the plaque and the wood on the underside of the pergola.