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CWEA’s House Tour & Garden Tour on Fullerton’s Westminster Place: a little history

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink  Wildflower Restaurant West End Word Royal Vagabonds Foundation Fullerton's Westminster Place Central West End Association

Following a year’s hiatus, the Central West End Association has announced that the 46th Annual House and Garden Tour will run Friday through Sunday, June 9 through 11, featuring the mansions of Fullerton’s Westminster Place. This year’s tour coincides with the 125th anniversary of the charming two-block enclave, one of the most beautiful and gracious residential places in the City of St. Louis.

Starting in the 1950s, Westminster Place, like many of the streets in the Central West End, experienced several decades of decline. In the late 60s, several of the houses on the street became “communes” occupied by young creative types who rented bedrooms and shared kitchen facilities.  During that era Westminster Place was also home to several notable personalities associated with Gaslight Square, including members of the Mutrux clan who owned the renowned Three Fountains restaurant and an antiques shop located on the Square, and also operated a swim club on Westminster, and antiques dealer Richard Hirschfeld, who operated his business in several locations around the CWE.

Today, the rooming houses are history and Westminster Place is home to a proud group of couples, empty nesters, and young families who have restored the mansions to their original grandeur, including some who moved to St. Louis from either coast and can’t believe their good fortune to find grand houses such as these. From June 9 through the 11 you’ll have a chance to get inside ten of these beautiful houses and see why Fullerton’s Westminster Place is so special.

The preview party, catered by neighborhood favorite Wildflower, will take place at the Royal Vagabounds Foundation, 4315 Westminster Place, shown above. The Royal Vagabonds, Inc. is a Gentleman’s Club composed primarily of successful professional Black men who have banded together to leverage their philanthropic activities in the community and to share social activities that are of mutual interest. The membership has generously donated the use of the building to the CWEA  for the preview party.

During the course of the preview party attendees will have access to all 10 homes on the tour, plus an additional home that will be open that evening only.  There will be live music, great food provided by neighborhood favorite Wildflower, and a swag bag too. Suggested attire: “cocktails in the garden.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink  Wildflower Restaurant West End Word Royal Vagabonds Foundation Fullerton's Westminster Place Central West End Association   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink  Wildflower Restaurant West End Word Royal Vagabonds Foundation Fullerton's Westminster Place Central West End Association

Information about 4484 Westminster Place (above), which is on the tour, can be found in a recent article in the West End Word: “Built in 1909 by architect George Hellmuth, this modern California-style Spanish Colonial home was constructed for Paul Bakewell Jr., who married Mary Fullerton in 1908. Mary was the daughter of Gen. J.S. Fullerton, the Civil War general who built Westminster Place.”

As noted in Charles C. Savage’s Architecture of the Private Streets of St. Louis (available through Left Bank Books),the 4300 and 4400 blocks of Westminster contain more residences of architectural interest than any other comparable blocks in the city. Nearly every important architect working at the turn of the century is represented here.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink  Wildflower Restaurant West End Word Royal Vagabonds Foundation Fullerton's Westminster Place Central West End Association   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink  Wildflower Restaurant West End Word Royal Vagabonds Foundation Fullerton's Westminster Place Central West End Association   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink  Wildflower Restaurant West End Word Royal Vagabonds Foundation Fullerton's Westminster Place Central West End Association

4470 Westminster Place (above) is also on the tour. Click here for Fran Mannino’s feature in the West End Word about another of the tour houses, 4376 Westminster Place.

The CWEA House Tour is a massive undertaking and could not be accomplished without the generosity of the residents of Fullerton’s Westminster Place, and the dedicated leadership of Kelly Waters, president of the Association, and Jess Batchelor, Executive Director, as well as many members of the board of directors who are working countless hours to make this happen. Hundreds of volunteers are serving as hosts and hostesses in the houses.

The Preview Party is Friday, June 9, from 6 to 10 p.m., tickets $100/each. The CWEA House Tour continues Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and 11, from 10 to 4 each day. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 0n-site. Visit the CWEA website to purchase tickets and get more information on parking, etc. In addition, all Straub’s locations are selling tickets to Saturday and Sunday’s tour.

Jam-packed weekend in June: CWEA House Tour, CWE Family Night at Circus Flora, CWE Cocktail Party

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink For Children  CWEScene CWE Cocktail Party Circus Flora Central West End Families & Friends Central West End Association

Don’t plan on heading out-of-town the weekend of June 9 through 11. Some of the best the CWE has to offer is taking place that weekend. You won’t want to miss the CWEA House Tour, the CWE Cocktail Party, and a family event at Circus Flora.

The Central West End Association and CWE Families & Friends have partnered with Circus Flora in Grand Center for a family night on Sunday, June 11.  Tickets, which are discounted 20%, include a special backstage event featuring complimentary refreshments in the Hospitality Tent and a chance to mingle with Time Flies‘ performers an hour before the performance, which starts at 5:30 p.m.

Purchase tickets at metrotix.com or by calling 314-534-1111 and using code “CWE.” This link automatically fills in the discount code. The event is sponsored by the CWEA Events Committee working with  CWE Families & Friends on this and the yearly Easter Egg Hunt in Kennedy Park.

After a year’s hiatus, the CWEA House Tour returns from June 9 through 11 featuring the mansions of Fullerton’s Westminster Place. Details on the stellar Preview Party, Friday, June 9, and ticket information for Saturday and Sunday’s tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to follow. In the meantime visit the website for more info and to purchase tickets.

And on Saturday night, June 10, CWEScene is hosting the 2nd Annual CWE Cocktail Party from 7 to 10 p.m. on Euclid Avenue stretching from Maryland to McPherson.  There will be entertainment, dancing in the street, and signature cocktails from neighborhood restaurants. People are still smiling at the mention of last year’s party, it was so much fun for all ages. The event is free and open to the public.

Lunchtime at Vicia in Cortex Innovation District

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

After more than a year’s guesswork by local foodies about where restaurateurs Tara and Michael Gallina, formerly of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, would finally settle following a series of pop-up dinners all over town, Vicia, the couple’s new restaurant celebrating “vegetable-forward cuisine” opened in the Cortex Innovation District at the end of March. The restaurant’s address is 4260 Forest Park Blvd., though it’s situated at the south end of the building, near the corner of Boyle and Duncan Avenues, adjacent to the Tech Shop.

As frequently happens when restaurants are new and as buzz-worthy as this one (Eater tagged it one of the most anticipated restaurants in the country), dinner reservations on weekends are hard to come by – they’re currently booked 3 weeks out. It’s much easier to get into Vicia at lunchtime, when reservations are not required and service is “counter-style” (explanation follows), or for a weekday dinner (this week’s menu here).Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

The menu, shown left, changes frequently depending on what’s in season. Choices can be ordered singly, $7 to $12, in which case they will be larger portions, or in combinations of two or three items, $11 to $14. Patrons place their order at the bar, above right, pay for it at the same time, and then receive a text message when the lunch is ready for pick up in the kitchen, below right.

The first time I was there I instinctively put my phone away and started visiting with friends, so didn’t hear the text. The waitstaff brought our lunches to us, and now I’ll remember why they ask for your phone number.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

Patrons pick drink orders up at the bar too, above left. Right & below, a view into the open kitchen showing lunch trays waiting for pick-up.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

On a recent Tuesday the selections included grilled ham, prosciutto, rhubarb mustard, cheddar, and spicy greens on focaccia, and a grain bowl of wheat berries, oyster mushrooms, asparagus, ramps and goat cheese.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

If you chose 3 items that day they might have included a chilled spring onion soup with charred vegetable mole, a tartine featuring turnip top marmalade, whipped ricotta, marinated radishes, on porridge bread, and shiitake mushroom, spinach & scallion quiche. $14, (quiche served à la carte comes with mixed green salad).

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

The pastry case held an Apple Butter Turnover, $4, Hazelnut and Aronia Berry Crumb Cake, $3.50, Ginger Molasses Cookie, $3, and Double Chocolate Chip and Sea Salt Cookie, $3.50.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

There are two dining areas. The main dining area (not shown) seats 54, and the outside space, a small portion of which is shown above and in the opening photo, seats 34 and has a long communal table in front of the wood-fired grill.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

Flower arrangements at Vicia are created by Rebecca Bodicky, proprietor of Alice Blue Collective, 3700 S. Jefferson.
Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are two seating areas in the handsome bar, above. If you’re lucky enough to find a seat at the bar, you could order dinner there too.

Vicia, 4260 Forest Park Ave. (corner of Duncan & Boyle). Lunch is served Mon. thru Fri., 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dinner, Tues. thru Thurs., 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 5:30 to 10 p.m. Walk-in dinner seating more available on weeknights. Reservations online, or (314) 553-9239, info@viciarestaurant.com.