Webster Groves is a charming community steeped in tradition, history and art. On occasion, Lockwood and Mason has the privilege of helping clients buy or sell a home that has carved out its place in Webster history, whether through time or story. This lovely federal-style home situated at 465 Foote combines not only a rich history but also beauty in its gardens, inspiration in the sunlit art studio, and architectural details that was home for over 20 years to nationally renowned artist Arthur Osver and his wife Ernestine Betsberg.
Some recordings indicate that 465 Foote was built in as early as 1851, which would make it the oldest home still in existence in Webster Groves. While there is some disagreement as to the actual date of construction, there is no question that it was completely built and occupied by 1862. In the 1930’s, World War I veteran Colonel Francis Rickley purchased the residence and added a ground level garage and second floor art studio for his wife, Jessie Beard Rickley. It was Jessie’s art studio, along with the beautiful gardens that attracted Arthur Osver and Ernestine Betsberg to 465 Foote. During his career, Arthur Osver painted contemporary works of art that now hang in the world’s top museums, including the Smithsonian; both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York City; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Chicago Art Institute, and the St. Louis Art Museum.
The opportunity to preserve the history and architectural details of the home drew the former owners when it was being sold out of the Osver/Betsberg estate. In the renovation they kept many of the original features: the sculptural walnut banistered staircase, wide-plank floors, Dutch doors and brick fireplace. Determined to uphold the home’s historic integrity they used marble subway tile, maple cabinetry with a vintage look, soapstone countertops and walnut, end grain, butchered block topped center island to blend seamlessly with the new, stainless-steel appliances in the kitchen. In addition to the lovely wide-plank floors, they chose to retain the historic porcelain sink with its double drain boards, which is larger than most sinks today. Other major renovations include totally remodeling both bathrooms and creating a space for the washer and dryer on the second floor.
When Osver and his wife were not painting, they both found joy in tending to the home’s gardens. The former owners uncovered the paths and gardens that had been neglected and brought them back to life. The backyard gardens have played host to many a soiree, both in Osver’s time and the former residents over the years. The old stone pathway once leading to the front entry was repurposed as an outcropping for the stunning Japanese Maple, which is admired by the neighborhood throughout the seasons.
465 Foote is located walking distance to downtown Old Webster, Larson Park, festivals and more. We invite you to come walk through one of Webster’s oldest and most charming homes! It will inspire you and perhaps you will be the one to carry on the long rich history this charming home embodies! For more information on this listing, click here.