We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Unbelievable historic homes!”

Hall Street Historic District
Ranked #12 of 44 things to do in Saint Joseph
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Hall Street, placed on the National Historic Register in 1979, is home to an incomparable inventory of magnificent mansions. Known locally as "mansion row" or "millionaire's row," Hall Street housed some of the wealthiest residents of Old Saint Jo, a town that boasted the highest per-capita income in the United States during the Victorian gilded age. It's not hard to imagine the horse-drawn carriages and splendid social events that graced this street in its heyday.Today, Hall Street is enjoying an amazing renaissance, as the ravages of time are reversed by a few enterprising owners. Take, for example, the stately Richardson Romanesque designed by architect Harvey Ellis at 802 Hall Street, built in 1890 for the influential Tootle family. A storybook castle, indeed, complete with turrets and towers, wrought-iron balconies, and gracious landscaped grounds. Recently under extensive renovation by a private owner, this jewel is being polished to shine again.Across the street is the chateauesque beauty known as the Shakespeare Chateau, recently re-opened as a Bed-and-Breakfast, tour home, and event venue. This amazing home, built in 1885 and designed by architects Eckel and Mann, contains the most lavish and elegant interior - all original - you're likely to behold. It includes more than 45 artisan-crafted stained-glass windows, each one original to the building and each one a phenomenon of brilliance and design. This home is open for tours by appointment, and is well worth a visit. See pictures and more information at the Shakespeare Chateau website.And then there’s the Schuster Mansion at 702 Hall Street, built in 1879, and presently in private ownership. It’s the largest of the grand mansions in the Hall Street District at over 12,000 square feet sitting on a generous 2.5 acres of land. The imposing Italianate façade is complemented by extensive ironwork roof ornamentation, and within the 3-1/2 storey mansion you’ll find frescoed plaster ceilings, expansive mosaic tile and parquet floors, a griffon-adorned mantelpiece, and original woodwork and lighting throughout. Mr. Schuster was hardly finished building his impressive home when, a few years later, his daughter was betrothed. He set about building a second home next door, now known as the “Schuster Daughter” mansion at 631 Hall Street, finished in 1889. This exceptional building has ornate roof ornamentation and a complexly detailed exterior. The (mostly) original interior is quite fabulous, featuring an encaustic tile mosaic floor in the foyer, beautiful woodwork and floors, and a fine collection of remarkable stained glass. This magnificent home is presently available on the real-estate market, awaiting a new owner.The Hosea House at 801 Hall Street is reputed to be the oldest house on Hall Street. Much of its original character was lost to a 1990s renovation, but this wonderful single-family home now contains all of the modern amenities and is set on a spacious well-kept lot that includes garage/workshop space at the back.The gracious C.D. Smith house at 718 N. 7th on the corner of 7th Street and Hall is an Italianate mansion set on beautifully landscaped grounds. A private home for more than 15 years, it has been extensively renovated inside to accommodate all the modern amenities. A lovely wrap-around porch invites summertime outdoor living and is the perfect backdrop for holiday decorating.These notes are limited to the mansions along Hall Street itself, but the Hall Street Historic District includes a number of other homes along 7th and 8th Streets. For information on other homes in the District, and for more historical detail and notes see the LivingPlaces website and look under Buchanan County Missouri, Saint Joseph City.The descriptions on this website include the following note related to the significance of Hall Street:”The Hall Street Historic District is significant for its concentration of imposing residential buildings which are excellent examples of Post Civil War 19th century and early 20th century architectural styles including Italianate, Second Empire, Chateauesque, Romanesque, Revival, Queen Anne, Neo-classical Revival and eclectic. These homes have additional significance as the residences of the "Merchant Princes" of St. Joseph's Golden Age. Located just to the south and east of the Hall Street Historic District stood the Market Square Historic District, its commercial counterpart. New prosperity flourished in the 1870's, 1880's and the 1890's; the great wholesale houses and associated banks supported the families that built and/or lived in the fine homes of Hall Street Historic District. With much of the Market Square area destroyed by Urban Renewal projects, the significance of this area increases as it serves as a reminder of the late 19th century wealth and culture of the city. During the first quarter of the 20th century, large homes continued to be built which created a greater density and cohesive quality to the neighborhood. Recognizing the significance of an area which reflects both commercial and cultural wealth, the structures of this prestigious area are now afforded protection under a city ordinance designating it as the St. Joseph Historic District Number One.”
Kansas City, Missouri
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Unbelievable historic homes!”
Reviewed 18 November 2013

If you love history, architecture or just like seeing very cool old historic mansions, take a trip down Hall Street in St. Joseph! Each mansion is different and unique... and each boasts a different style and architecture. If you ever visit St. Joseph, don't forget to take the time to just drive down the street and look at these homes. We stayed at the gorgeous Shakespeare Chateau Inn (one of the mansions on Hall Street)... it was FABULOUS! Worth the trip to St. Joseph... definitely!!!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank dsandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isobel M, Public Relations Manager at Hall Street Historic District, responded to this review, 19 November 2013
Thank you for visiting Hall Street! This area, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a treasure trove for architecture, history, and photography buffs. Some of the finest examples of luxury homes built for the "Merchant Princes" of the gilded age are located on Hall Street.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

23 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    15
    3
    3
    1
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Wichita, Kansas
Level 6 Contributor
381 reviews
187 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
“Gives an insight into the way things were and the way things are now.”
Reviewed 29 September 2013

You have to use your imagination to see how grand these mansions might have been because now they are pale reflections of what they were. Except for one house, they are not in good condition. The city or the district needs to put up some plaques or signage so you know what you are seeing, they need to make parking available and some funding must be found to stop the real evident decay of these grand old houses. Otherwise, it would be best to tear them down. Except for the review by Derrill L. below we would have no idea what we were looking at. If you would only have a low wattage radio frequency like they do for the "Talking Houses" that some realtors use, it would enhance the experience. Otherwise take a pass on this.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Leon67203
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isobel M, Public Relations Manager at Hall Street Historic District, responded to this review, 19 November 2013
Thank you for visiting the Hall Street Historic District. Your suggestions are good, indeed. We are currently working on better interpretive information about the grand mansions on Hall Street (see the description recently added to this TripAdvisor page) and signage. The City of Saint Joseph offers several grant and tax abatement programs for historic restoration/preservation work. Visit the Saint Joseph city website for more information about historic preservation in Saint Joseph.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Way over rated”
Reviewed 5 September 2013 via mobile

The historical society & home owners are the only people who really care about this area & are trying to raise their property value so they can afford their mortgages & upkeep. It's a trashy neighborhood & right by the jail. Back in its day, these homes were beautiful. Now they are money pits.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank TaushaTaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isobel M, Public Relations Manager at Hall Street Historic District, responded to this review, 18 November 2013
”The Hall Street Historic District is significant for its concentration of imposing residential buildings which are excellent examples of Post Civil War 19th century and early 20th century architectural styles including Italianate, Second Empire, Chateauesque, Romanesque, Revival, Queen Anne, Neo-classical Revival and eclectic. These homes have additional significance as the residences of the "Merchant Princes" of St. Joseph's Golden Age. Located just to the south and east of the Hall Street Historic District stood the Market Square Historic District, its commercial counterpart. New prosperity flourished in the 1870's, 1880's and the 1890's; the great wholesale houses and associated banks supported the families that built and/or lived in the fine homes of Hall Street Historic District. With much of the Market Square area destroyed by Urban Renewal projects, the significance of this area increases as it serves as a reminder of the late 19th century wealth and culture of the city. During the first quarter of the 20th century, large homes continued to be built which created a greater density and cohesive quality to the neighborhood. Recognizing the significance of an area which reflects both commercial and cultural wealth, the structures of this prestigious area are now afforded protection under a city ordinance designating it as the St. Joseph Historic District Number One.” Excerpted from http://www.livingplaces.com/MO/Buchanan_County/St_Joseph_City/Hall_Street_Historic_District.html
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Odessa, MO
Level 6 Contributor
82 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Millionaire's Row”
Reviewed 30 June 2013

There are 6 impressive mansions on Hall Street, plus several "smaller" homes on Hall and 7th and 8th Streets.
• 631 Hall St–James Robinson-William Wheeler Mansion, built 1883
• 703 Hall St–Farber-Schuster-Farrish Mansion, built 1878-1881. This mansion was designed by L. S. Stigers, designer of the Patee House.)
• 801 Hall St–Wesley Cummings Mansion, built 1898.
• 802 Hall St–Bill Osgood Mansion, built 1890.
• 809 Hall St–Cummings-Ogden Mansion, built 1885. (Now the Shakespeare Chateau B&B.)
• 819 Hall St–Colbert House, not exactly a mansion, but an impressive house built prior to the Civil War.
• 718 N 7th St (corner of Hall & 7th)–C. D. Smith Mansion/Catholic Chancery/Wright Nursing Home, built prior to 1888.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
9 Thank Derrill L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isobel M, Public Relations Manager at Hall Street Historic District, responded to this review, 18 November 2013
Thanks for posting this mini-guide to the mansions on Hall Street, Derrill. The wealth of the "Merchant Princes" who once lived on Hall Street is legendary, and the architecture of their homes is without a doubt some of the finest in the MidWest, if not in America. These homes are still flush with beautiful carved and panelled interiors of cherry, oak, walnut, and mahogany; with incomparable museum-quality stained glass; and with ornate detailing of every imaginable type. Hall Street is a mecca for architectural historians and for photographers.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Hall Street Historic District also viewed

 

Been to Hall Street Historic District? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing