Maplewood History: Interesting and Historic Greenwood Subdivision

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Greenwood Auction 1901
Greenwood Auction 1901

Many residents of Greenwood will tell you it is something special.  With the rest of Maplewood, it shares a superb and convenient location to attractions in the St. Louis area. It has diverse and interesting architecture.  It is landlocked so to speak, bordered by the railroads and Deer Creek and hence unlikely to feel the pressure of redevelopment.

Named after himself by Moses Greenwood, a real estate developer, around 1891, the subdivision was not an overnight success.  An ad recently discovered in the Republic newspaper archives by Luke Havel indicates that the land was little developed with the lots being mostly unsold 10 years later.  The ad announces an auction where all the remaining lots will be sold without reserve to the highest bidder.  A 1953 article in the County Observer describes how the streets were named.

Another interesting account concerning the origin exists in the 1904 Suburban Journal, a copy of which was given to me by my good friend Joellen McDonald, the historian of Richmond Heights and can now be found in our collection at the Maplewood Public Library.

According to the Journal, the Greenwood Sub’d was administered by a Mr. Syrett working for the Mercantile Trust Company.  Mr. Syrett, born in London, lived on the street, Cambridge in Greenwood.

The Greenwood Historic District consists of nine historic commercial buildings at the intersection of Greenwood and Sutton.  Space doesn’t allow comment on all nine but one is especially deserving of attention.  That is the recently restored Milligan’s Million Article Hardware building from 1905.  The ghost HARDWARE sign can still be seen on its side.

Technically in the City of St. Louis but historically part of the Greenwood subdivision, The Piccadilly at Manhattan offers fine food and the ambience of a family owned and operated restaurant.

Maplewood’s Greenwood Subdivision is a great place to live or just to visit.

Early history of Greenwood from the 1953 County Observer
Early history of Greenwood from the 1953 County Observer
Greenwood postcard from about 1910
Greenwood postcard from about 1910

Syrett residence from 1904 Suburban Journal

 

Milligan's Million Article Hardware Store photo bombed by none other than the Maplewood Spectre.
Milligan's Million Article Hardware Store photo bombed by none other than the Maplewood Spectre.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Very interesting read. Several of the images in the article won’t load, though. I would like to be able to see the information about the auction at the top and the 1953 Observer story. Thanks!

  2. Doug, great read as always. There also appears to have been a scandal involving A.W. Syrett and the sale of Greenwood lots after the Mercantile Trust Co. sold off lots to various development companies. I will see if I can find the articles again and send them your way.

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