Meridian Street. The name alone has prestige. Say you live or have an office on this street, and you have instant cool and cache. The mention of the name of our city’s east/ west division line surely evokes visions of regal old apartment buildings or the seemingly unending yards fronting stately mansions. Today, of course, those are up towards 38th street and beyond, to Meridian Kessler, but that tradition started much farther south on North Meridian. In the early 1900s there were still a few mansions on Meridian Street in the Mile Square, and certainly beyond that, yet still a decade or two away from establishing most of the homes of what is now the North Meridian Street Historic District.
The above home stood on the 3rd lot north of 24th Street on the west side of Meridian Street. It was built between 1895-1898 by Joseph Tedrowe. The lot size had a frontage of 100 feet and depth of 270 feet. When Fred W. Spacke purchased the home in the spring of 1903, he added to the ample acreage, the two lots south of him, fronting Meridian Street and 24th Street.
Mr. Spacke died in January 1915 and his mother died a few months later. In 1919, the property appears to have become the new home of a “Medicated Live Steam Sanatorium.” By 1926, the property was again vacant, and went unlisted in the city directory for a few years.
Fast forward to 1948, and the regal residential area had clearly given way to large commercial endeavors, additional renumbering of properties within the block and a filling station replaced the south yard of the home.
The property next door to the north housed a restaurant called “The Toddle House” for about 30 years, razed when it was proposed in the fall of 1964, a 9-story hotel (and by some other reports, an 11-story hotel) was proposed for the site, but based on the resources I checked, it doesn’t appear this was ever built. Could this have been an earlier draft of what eventually became the Stouffer’s Hotel site?
Do you have any recollection of this part of Meridian Street? And can you imagine sprawling Victorian homes fronting the blocks south of the Meridian Street bridge? Hard to imagine…