South of the main commercial district in St. Louis, a number of residential neighborhoods were developed along the Mississippi River during the second half of the nineteenth century. During the mid-twentieth century, several of these districts were labeled as slums by city officials. The neighborhoods were "redlined", making it nearly impossible for residents and business owners to insure their properties and causing the value of the buildings to plummet. Some of the residential districts were soon replaced by warehouses and light industry.
In most cases, the old buildings were demolished, but in this case, two circa 1875 rooming houses or multi-family dwellings were adapted to an unknown commercial use. The result was the Frankenstein monster that still stands today.