Old Town Florissant Walking Tour

WalkingTourMap

Please print out this page and take with you on your tour.

1. begin our tour at Tower Court Park at Florissant Road and St. Catherine-Washington where you will see a small log cabin which will remind you of how the early settlers cleared the land and built their homes of logs. For a hundred years or more they depended on their canoes, horses and their feet for transportation.

2. In 1878, the West End Narrow Gauge Railroad reached Florissant and its depot stands today (currently de.lish Cheesecake Bakery & Cafe).

3. Walking north on Brown Street and turning left on rue Saint Francois we pass the Government Center, City Hall and the Victorian Peters House circa 1912 across the street.

On the right we pass the Douglas House, circa 1878. It has a Mansard roof of Second Empire style but its arched windows and sidelighted front entrance and denticulated cornice lend a Missouri German feeling too.

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Log Cabin at Tower Court Park

4. On the right in the next block is the Castello House circa 1820. The frame addition was made in 1909. The land was bought (the price included 100 shaved deer skins) from Antoine Riviere who drove Madame Chouteau’s ox cart when she came to St. Louis to join Laclede.

5. On the right at the intersection of rue St. Francois and Lafayette is the Citizens Bank Building, 1905 and next to it is a 1907 commercial building.

Across the street on the corner is the Wiethaupt store, circa 1880. It is Missouri German style. The second story was added a few years later.

6. On the same side of the street is the Union Church (now the Old Town Florissant Wedding Chapel), the first Protestand church in Florissant, circ 1895. Next to is it a 1905 early commercial vernacular building.

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Victorian Peters House

7. At the intersection of rue St. Francois and Jefferson is the second city hall building which was constructed in 1955. Behind it is the first city hall which was built in 1870. It has Romanesque Revival features, round arched windows and denticulated cornice. An addition for the fire department was made in 1919 with later addition to the rear.

Across the street on Jefferson is a 1904 Missouri German brick structure.

8. Continuing down St. Francois, we pass a 1950 strip shopping center under whose parking lot a spring that provided water for early settlers still flows.

9. On the northeast corner of St. Francois and rue St. Pierre is an 1885 building which was a combination store and living quarters  (now Stems Florist).

10. Across St. Pierre on the same side of the street is the old Weidinger’s Saloon (now Bunker’s), 1900, with adjoining residence. Across the street is the DeLisle Building, 1880, originally a saloon to serve passengers traveling on the Narrow Gauge Railroad.

At 115 rue St. Francois is probably the oldest commercial building still standing, circa 1867.

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St. Ferdinand Shrine

11. Continuing down the street we come to the Old St. Ferdinand’s Shrine. The convent wing on the right was built in 1819 and is an excellent example of the Federal style of architecture. The church was built in 1820-21. The rectory on the left was added to the church in 1840 and the separate school dates back to 1888. It was the home of Saint Philippine Rose Duchesne and is the oldes Catholic church building between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River. To the right of the church is the Coldwater Commons. Coldwater Creek is in back of the church and it was on this stream that the original settlement was made.

12. Retracting our steps to rue Saint Charles we pass the Girardier House circa 1870. While several additions have been made, the front portion of the house is a typical version of the early Missouri French houses in Florissant.

13. Continuing down St. Charles we come to the Spanish Land Grant Park. This was the site of the first log church which burned in 1836. The Spanish Government made a grant to the villages of the square block for a church, burial and parade ground. Some of Florissants pioneers lie buried here in unmarked graves.

Our tour ends here but there are many historic buildings that could not be included. There are 124 buildings listed on the National Register nomination which covers 156 blocks.