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New Members Gather at the Magic Chef Mansion

Wednesday, November 6, 2019  
Posted by: Lisa Richter
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We welcomed—with drinks and an elegant array of hors d’oeuvres—our 2019 class of new Forum members Oct. 16 at the Magic Chef Mansion in the Compton Heights neighborhood in South St. Louis City. Mansion owner and resident Shelley Donaho shared the history of this 1908 National Historic Register property including how her family purchased and restored it beginning in 1990. Now both a private residence and rental event venue, the French Renaissance Revival mansion features 30-plus rooms.

After Forum leader welcomes, we explored the hallways, library, dining and breakfast rooms, butler’s pantry, kitchen with 1930’s appliances, main parlor, music and receiving rooms on the first floor and toured the ground floor rooms: a recreated Prohibition Era saloon, 70-foot maple lane bowling alley, wine cellar, game room and “antique” machine shop room.

Charles Stockstrom, who hired architect Ernst C. Janssen to design and build the mansion, co-owned the Quick Meal Stove Company, later re-named Magic Chef, the largest stove maker in the world at one time. Architect Janssen was responsible for many commercial and residential buildings across Missouri. Nationwide, brewery architecture was a mainstay of his practice. Some refer to his signature style as “Brewer’s Baronial.” The Magic Chef Mansion is an iconic reminder of St. Louis’ not so distant past. Do our craft brewery owners live in such elegance today?

Visit to learn more about booking private group tours and event space rental or call Shelley Donaho at 314-664-3400.

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