653 ST. JOHN STREET
In 1927, the Andresen Brothers bought lot 1 and a six foot wide strip of lot 2 in the third block of what is called Barry’s subdivision. The lots were separated so that 659 and 653 St. John Street could be built.
By the 1929-30 City Directory, Paul Kraft is listed as the occupant of 653. Kraft was a sheet metal worker who ran his own business on Brook Street, and stayed in the home for a number of years even as it changed hands in ownership.
In 1939, the mortgage was foreclosed and the house’s ownership went back to Home Owner’s Loan Company. In 1940, Gerald Biggers occupied the home. He was a salesman for Brotzman and Melms car dealership. Biggers advanced to sales manager in 1943, and again was promoted only a few years later to partner in the dealership in 1946 at which time he sold 653 St. John Street. After 1946, the house has seen a number of owners and renters come through its doors, being purchased and renovated in the early 2000s.
653 St. John Street is an excellent example of the Spanish Revival style. Per the Historic Resources in the Northeast Neighborhood: A Summary and Inventory, this home is considering a contributing structure to the historic importance of the neighborhood. Common characteristics of the Spanish Revival style seen in this home include the low-pitched cross-gabled roof, asymmetrical façade, a wall surface that extends into the gable without a break, a stucco exterior wall surface, arched doorway and little to no eave overhang. Additionally, while most Spanish Revivals exhibit Spanish or mission tiled roof patterns, 653 showcases red composite shingles as a nod to the traditional historic style.
Sources: 2004 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud