Maplewood History: The First City Hall and Fire Department, The Dr. Cape Buildings and the Maplewood Loop – A Walking Tour – Part Two

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Hi Folks,

This is Part Two of a walking tour that I was asked to lead by the Ten Toes Walking Group from Citizens For Modern Transit.  If you missed the first part, here is the link.

Maplewood History: From Bartold’s Grove to the Maplewood Mill – Part One

For the second part of this tour, the walker/reader should be standing in front of 2737 Sutton Ave.

Maplewood History: Cape, Koester and Our First City Hall

Dr. Cape built the first City Hall and the next five connected buildings to the south ending at 7401 Hazel on the corner.  There is a very good nomination of these buildings to the National Register of Historic Places done by Matt Bivens.  It can be found on The State Historic Preservation Office web site.  (SHPO)

for a little extra reading, the following link contains information about all of the city hall buildings we ever had and even includes one we never had!

Maplewood History: 4 Buildings, 3 City Halls and 1 Case of Mistaken Identity

Before we get two far away from the first city hall at 2737 Sutton, the walker/reader may be interested to know that it was recently rediscovered that the famous regional artist, James Baare Turnbull, once had his studio upstairs at 2737A Sutton.  This has only been lightly researched at present (May 1, 2024) but I (the author) expect there will be much more to add to our knowledge of artist Turnbull’s and his wife’s (Peter Keep, the sculptor) years and work in Maplewood.

Maplewood History: James Baare Turnbull – Internationally Known Artist Extraordinaire!!! – Part Three

The building on the corner at 7401 Hazel has been the subject of at least two of our best known area painters.  Maplewood’s own Stan Masters and Bob Thomas who does not live in Maplewood but has made at least a couple of outstanding paintings of some of our buildings.

Maplewood History: 7401 Hazel – The Building with a Turret…Painted – Part Three

Speaking of Stan Masters when you become familiar with his paintings it is impossible to understand why he was not widely appreciated during his lifetime.  Here are some links to Stan’s story and work.

Stan Masters: A World Class Watercolorist…from Maplewood

Stan Masters: A World Class Watercolorist..from Maplewood-continued

Stan Masters: While We’re on the Subject…

Maplewood History: Now You Can Own A Reproduction Of A Stan Masters Watercolor!

Should you decide to purchase one of the many lovely reproductions of Stan’s paintings, that will be between, you, Carlene (Stan’s widow) and Robert Morrisey.  I will receive none of the proceeds.

The next feature on the tour is our circus maximus…the original Maplewood Loop.  Built as a turnaround for the streetcars, it served as such until the end of that era, about 1949, I think.  From then until, I don’t know, 15 or 20 years ago?  I’ve lost count.  It was the turnaround for the Bi-State buses.

This very early image shows the Maplewood Loop (now Sutton Loop Park) before the streets were paved.  7401 Hazel is visible in the center left.  The building with the gable end on the left has been demolished.  The church on the center right still survives minus the steeple.  Directly in front of the church is the streetcar depot.  Dr. Cape’s big house on the right is gone. That is now the parking lot for the Living Room Restaurant which you should try.

The following links contain many photographs of the streetcars.  Some were taken at this loop.

Maplewood History: Photos of the Streetcars That Once Traveled Those Tracks at Big Bend and Flora

Maplewood History: Dinky Streetcar by Billy Jones, Followed by a Veritable Cornucopia of Maplewood Streetcar Photos

Maplewood history: Save the historic Sutton Loop Streetcar Pavilion!

The former Harper’s Pharmacy was in the Cape/Harper building on the corner of Sutton and Maple.  At the end of the following links are more links of the fantastic original interior that we lost.

Maplewood History: A WWII Harper’s Pharmacy Recollection by Mr. Bill Jones

I never realized just how densely packed our community history is until I assembled this walking tour.  This inspires me to do one for our library’s walking tour which is just a few days away.

I hope you enjoyed the tour.

Doug Houser   May 2, 2024.

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