ST. LOUIS – A south St. Louis home built in the late 1700s and complete with a cave goes on the market later this month.
The property has been used as a family home, a cigar factory, an open market, a bed and breakfast, and an art commune over the years. Literature from when it was the Geandaugh House said the “Prairie House” portion of the building was built in 1790 and then the federal-style addition was built in the early 1800s.
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The current owner, Matt Garvey, bought the property in 2017 after it had sat unused for a time once the Geandaugh House was no longer in operation. Gea and Wayne Popp ran the bed and breakfast and their children sold it to Garvey. He and his brother Tim also own the Pretzel Boy’s.
Zillow says the home was built in 1884, but Garvey said that year doesn’t match up with his research.
“I’m not sure where that number came from, but by all accounts, from what I can tell that’s just incorrect,” Garvey said.
The home is located at 3835 South Broadway, and it is listed at $399,000. It has five bedrooms, three bathrooms, and is 4,400 square feet. The listing also described a small cave on the same level as the finished basement. Garvey said it’s man-made and he believes it is some sort of cistern, an area that can be used as an underground reservoir for rainwater.
“You can go inside of it, but there’s not a whole lot to be explored in there,” he said.
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When Garvey took ownership, the Popps left the property filled with antiques. He said there were a lot of old books and furniture. Some of the books were from the 1700s and written in German.
“All these just absurdly old books that you’re afraid to touch,” Garvey said.
He has used some of the pieces he was left to decorate the space, but others are his own. He said the grand piano and the pool table are definitely staying with the space, but the rest of the furniture is negotiable.
Garvey said when he took ownership, he gave the original structure a facelift. Some of what he did included plasterwork, drywall work, and refinishing the original floors.
He studied art in college and became interested in doing more projects with carpentry and building. Prior to buying 3835 South Broadway, he renovated a duplex off of Cherokee Street.
“When I came across this place it was just unlike anything I had ever seen before and it needed a lot of work. Honestly, in retrospect, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.”
He spent the first 2.5 years working non-stop on it. At that point, Garvey said it was about 80 percent livable, and he decided to take a break from it. About 1.5 years later, he came back to it with “some fresh energy.”
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When he took ownership, there were two addresses on it, but it is a single unit. Although, Garvey believes it could be parcelled out differently.
“I’m most curious to see who buys it next,” Garvey said.
Showings start on Thursday, March 17, and the open house is on Sunday, March 20 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.