For Sale $99,000 - Residential
Besides the tremendous preserved history of this building (see below), this building has SO MANY OPTIONS! With minor rehab, young millennials would love to call this home; convert back to multi-family use; or turn it into the coolest AirBnB in St. Louis!
This project needs a new kitchen, updates to bathrooms and some minor repairs. All systems are newer, roof is from 2015, laundry is on second-floor with 4 bedrooms, plus there are all new windows in the last two years. PLEASE NOTE: one side of the house currently does not have forced air.
Originally a quadruple lot, 122-128 Koeln was home to a brewery and saloon from 1851-1869 and a soda bottling plant from 1869-1910. After 1910, it became a boarding house and eventually multi-family housing before being converted to a single family residence in 2000. The current building at 126-128 Koeln retains numerous features that date back to its former commercial and industrial uses, including an indoor cistern and an underground limestone beer cellar.
The southeastern corner (currently the kitchen) of the existing building was constructed in 1851 by German immigrant and brewer Rudolph Brusselbach. Brusselbach, an avid Unionist during the Civil War, was an early leader of the Saint Louis area Republican Party and the anti-slavery movement. In 1868, local newspapers covered a political rally at the saloon in support of future President and former Carondelet resident Ulysses Grant. There are numerous local legends about Brusselbach’s brewery also serving as a stop on the Underground Railroad. This original building was constructed of locally quarried white limestone, which is characteristic of pre-Civil War buildings in the former city of Carondelet. Several exterior walls of Brusselbach’s original saloon and brewery remain visible in the building today, as well as the original door and window openings. Both the cistern and the beer cellar also date back to Brusselbach’s era. The cistern has been sealed off and no longer collects rainwater. It sits underneath a trapdoor in what is now the living room floor. The beer cellar is located beneath the basement.
The larger brick building was constructed around the earlier limestone structure in several stages during the 1870s by German-speaking Swiss immigrant Herman Wetter. Wetter had served as a bugler in an Illinois Union regiment during the Civil War and purchased the property from Brusselbach in 1869. Wetter and his successors operated a soda bottling plant on the property under several different company names until 1910. During this period, the northeastern corner of the existing building served as a retail storefront for the soda bottling companies, while the western half contained offices and the upper floors served as the Wetter family’s residence. In the 1880s, national trade journals reported that Wetter’s automatic bottling machinery was the most elaborate west of the Mississippi. Wetter’s operation also included an additional frame building and a carriage house at 122-124 Koeln, which were eventually razed in the 1950s. These two lots are currently a large, fenced side yard. The current building’s hardwood floor in the living room and millwork throughout date to Wetter’s era.
The property’s second life began in 2000, when a developer purchased the vacant building and lot from the City and converted it to a home for his own family. This developer performed a gut rehab of the property between 2000 and 2013. The current owners purchased the property in 2014 and made numerous additional improvements, including finishing two new bedrooms on the second floor, installing all new appliances, replacing all the windows in the home, and installing a new roof in 2015. The building currently includes two full bathrooms and five bedrooms on the upper two floors, including a large master suite on the second floor. The first floor includes the living room and kitchen, as well as three large offices/family rooms.
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