This building was constructed in 1874 for St. Joseph’s first newspaper, The St. Joseph Gazette. The city editor for the Gazette at that time was a famous Missourian, Eugene Field, who went on to become known for his prolific works as “the children’s poet.” Over the years it was used for the sale of agricultural implements, carriages, saddles, tents and awnings, and for a time was used for light manufacturing. The building is a good example of the type of commercial building that made St. Joseph the wholesale mercantile center of the United States during the latter half of the 19th century. During the period of urban renewal in the 1970s, A Victorian commercial building exhibiting Italianate and Romanesque details A city of over 102,000 in 1900, St. Joseph lost about a quarter of its population by the period of urban renewal in the 1970s. During this time it is estimated that the downtown lost over 200 commercial buildings. The building at 222 South 4th Street is a sole survivor on the west side of the block. The current owner of this structure is ready to retire and was offered his asking price by a neighboring businessman if he is permitted to demolish the building. The Historic St. Joseph Foundation has publicly opposed the building’s demolition, and by listing on the Places in Peril, the Foundation hopes to find a preservation-friendly purchaser by the end of 2016. PURCHASED AND IN THE PROCESS OF BEING RESTORED.
Update: This building has been purchased.