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E. M. West House and Grounds
627 St. Louis St.



This Italianate house, located 30 miles northeast of St. Louis, was constructed in 1858 for E.M. West, a delegate to the 1848 Illinois Constitutional Convention who was instrumental in securing Edwardsville as the county seat. In 1940, the lot was re-zoned for business use. The house was expanded with a large one-story rear addition and converted into a funeral home. Much of the original grounds were paved over for parking and accessibility ramps were attached to the original front porch. After the property was vacated in 2004, the owners of a neighboring Walter Burley Griffin-designed residence purchased the house to ensure it would not be demolished for commercial development. Over the next 2-1/2 years, the new owners returned the structure to its 1860s appearance by rebuilding and recasting ornamental elements on both the interior and exterior.

Alterations from the first floor’s use as a funeral parlor were reversed, a hidden fireplace was unveiled behind 1950s cabinets, and paint analysis helped recreate period finishes. To complete the deconversion back to a single family house, the asphalt parking lot was torn out and the grounds fully restored. It is now once again a jewel of the city’s local landmark district.


Photos: Rich Berry








Landmarks Illinois
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Chicago, IL 60604 
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fax 312-922-8112



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