Mudd's Grove is a stately red brick antebellum home in
Kirkwood, MO and is among the largest houses built in the Greek Revival
style in St. Louis County. The original home was a three-story brick house
with a two-story wood portico that was built in 1859 by developer John
Hoffman just a few years after the town’s founding. The home takes its name
from Henry T. Mudd, who purchased the house and 100acres in 1866. Mudd was a
county auditor and a member of the town board of Kirkwood and was
instrumental in the separation of the City of St. Louis from the county.
While serving in the Missouri state legislator he served on the committee
that drafted the Missouri Constitution in 1875. Mudd was also a curator of
the University of Missouri and president of the state horticultural society.
Mudd lived in the home with his wife and seven children until 1882.
In 1889 George Dana, founder and president of the Charter
Oak Stove Company, and his wife Virginia purchased the home. The Danas lived
in the house until 1921 and during their tenancy the hearth room, which had
been a free standing building, and the upstairs porch were enclosed. Dana,
reportedly the first man in Kirkwood to own an automobile, also added the
gate lodge, a three car garage, and the front wrap-around porch. Other
changes were made by subsequent owners including converting it to a
two-family dwelling and back. In 1955 Mudd’s Grove was purchased by William
Bodley Lane, an architect specializing in historic preservation who has
contributed to such notable restorations in St. Louis County as the
Payne-Gentry House, the Thomas Sappington House, and Oakland.
In spite of these alterations, Mudd's Grove retains its
outstanding decorative features. The five-bay symmetrical front faces north
from its site at the southwest corner of Argonne and Harrison in Kirkwood,
Missouri. The front of the house was symmetrically planned,
two-and-a-half-stories, with central corridors and four rooms on both full
floors. The salmon brick has been painted red with white trim and dark green
louvered shutters. Double chimneys in the parapeted gable collect eight
fireplace flues with the ninth chimney on the west side of the wing. All
nine of the Greek Revival mantels are in place. White column-like porch
posts support a two-story Greek Revival portico at the main entrance. The
design of the original portico is very close to that of the Christopher
Hawkin House in Webster Groves.
Behind the house are two outbuildings built in the first
years of this century. At the entrance to the driveway on Harrison is the
gate lodge, built about 1902, a structure originally used as a retreat for
younger members of the Dana family and currently as an office. The
outbuildings and verandah are significant examples of designs of Ernest
Klipstein, a notable St. Louis architect. Mudd's Grove has been recognized
for its architectural and historical significance by the Historic American
Buildings Survey and the St. Louis County Historic Buildings Commission. It
has been designated a landmark by the City of Kirkwood and was placed on the
National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
In 1992, Mudd’s Grove became the museum home of the Kirkwood Historical
Despite the many changes since the home was
built, the Historical Society has tried to restore it to its original
appearance and has furnished the home with 19th and early 20th
century pieces. The East Bedroom is considered the children's room of
the house and has antique toys, books, and other items of interest to
children on display. The West Bedroom displays period clothing.
Gatehouse Gifts, the gift shop for Mudd's Grove has books on local
history, cookbooks by local organizations, post cards, and other items
for sale. The first floor of Mudd's Grove is handicapped accessible.
Thursday & Sunday:
1 pm to 4 pm
Admission to Mudd's Grove is $2 for adults.
From downtown, take I-44 West to the US
61/Lindbergh/US 67-50 Exit (Exit 277B) and turn right. Lindbergh becomes
Kirkwood Road. Take Kirkwood Road north about a mile to Argonne just past
Kirkwood's historic train station. Because you cannot make a left turn onto
Argonne, turn right on Argonne. Follow the street a short distance to the
next block where you can make a left around the dividing island in the
street and continue to Mudd's Grove at 302 W. Argonne. The home will be on
the left. .
Learn more about the
St. Louis area.
Kirkwood Historical Society
- The official site of the Kirkwood Historical Society which operates Mudd's