Dr. Sam Bassett Office & Home
1200 S. Big Bend - Clayton
Architect: Edouard Mutrux, 1938
The Dr. Samuel A. Bassett Office and Residence is one of St. Louis's finest Modernist buildings and a comparatively rare example of the movement from before World War II. It stands along a fragmented section of Big Bend Boulevard, where gas stations and parking lots are more common than fine architecture.
The Bassett building was designed by Wash U-trained architect Edouard Mutrux. It combines the curving forms, glass block, and horizontal emphasis of the Streamline style with the expansive, corner-wrapping windows and interplay of forms common to the International style.
The building combined a residential portion in the back with the doctor's offices in the front and lower level. The residential section is a split-level plan, with the bedrooms propped up high on the second story at the very back of the house. The living rooms are a half-level lower, and entry and play level another half-level down.
The building has been occupied by law firms for several decades; Garnholz & Ricci is the current tenant, preceded by Mertz, Stern, Frapolli and Steiger.
The building remains in excellent condition. The white paint, though seemingly a natural fit, is not original; nor are the blue-green window bars (a 1950s addition to allow window shades.)
National Register of Historic Places form