Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Forty Thieves Houses - Richmond Heights MO

I happened upon this historical bit of interest because of the news story pasted below. There are a set of houses in Richmond Heights Missouri that are called "The Forty Thieves Houses" because they were originally built out of stolen/borrowed building supplies from the nearby Lousiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis in 1904.

Not sure if the Exposition had much to do with the Nights but it would be interesting to research. Many of these expositions had Nights-esque Orientalisms which developed things like "belly-dancing" and many of the US's notions of the East because the kitschy entertainments were linked with historical information presented as truths.

More information about the expo:

Related gov't documents mentioning the housing and its history:

from these gov't documents this source will likely provide more info:
Pat Kent and Betsy Feldman, "Forty Thieves,"
Down Memory Lane, comp. Historical Sunday and Tour of the City (St. Louis: The Print House, May 15, 1988) 2.

Book selection about Richmond Heights which mentions the houses:

Recently posted article about one of the houses being sold:

Librarian buys Forty Thieves house in Richmond Heights
by Fred Larsen, published Mar 09, 2009

Marysue J. Schaffer bought a three-bedroom, one-bath home at 7210 Dale Ave. in Richmond Heights from Jennifer S. Lloyd for $265,000 on Feb. 24.

Jennifer and Michael Lloyd bought the property for $235,000 in Feb. 2005. The 1,976-square-foot house, one of the remaining 38 Forty Thieves houses, was built in 1905 from materials of the 1904 World's Fair.

Ms. Schaffer is the associate director for collection management at the Bernard Becker Medical Library at Washington University in St. Louis. She's worked at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

There were 148 home sales in Richmond Heights in 2008, with median sales price of $175,000.

and some views from Zillow:,-mo_rb/

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