Built in the early 1870's by wealthy entrepreneur William Skrainka for his beautiful wife, Mary, the mansion was a place of grand parties and famous events. Part of the Creme de la Creme of Jewish Society, the Skrainkas were an important part of St. Louis politics as well as its social scene. William Skrakina's contracting firm was one of the largest contracting firms and quarries west of the Mississippi River and was largely responsible for the wastewater infrastructure under the city of St. Louis and the footing infrastructure of the Eads Bridge reaching from St. Louis to Illinois over the Mississippi River. Ever popular, the Skrainka Mansion was host to constant entertaining. The Mansion had a domestic staff of 9 who resided in the Mansion, and another 4 domestics who arrived daily. Today, the mansion has a domestic staff of 2,.....that would be us!
In 1896, a tremendous tornado tore through Lafayette Square, destroying both Lafayette Park and voluminous amounts of the homes surrounding it. Knowing that the World's Fair was to be to be held in St. Louis in 1904, many of the residents abandoned the demolished Lafayette Square to establish residency in the rural area surrounding Forest Park, which encompassed the World's Fair Grounds. Through it all, Lafayette Square survived.
Historic Lafayette Park, directly across the street from the mansion, is the oldest public park West of the Mississippi River and is host to the first baseball diamond in the state of Missouri in the 1850's. During the summer, our "Perfectos" old time baseball team emulates the original game of baseball with enjoyable competition from other "old time" baseball teams. In good weather, our guests enjoy the beautiful swans in the lake or take a stroll around the perimeter of the park and "walk and gawk" at the wonderful Victorian homes surrounding it.
Never to be boring, the Park Avenue Mansion has served many interesting masters since the tornado. From being one the most popular and elegant mansions, she has since been a birthing hospital, funeral parlor, physician's office & home, boarding house, and now is a spectacular St. Louis Bed and Breakfast Inn where guests can retreat from busy lives and relax.
Uncompromised comfort coupled with legendary hospitality makes for a beyond boutique experience at the Park Avenue Mansion. We think you'll agree that this St. Louis, Missouri Bed and Breakfast sets the standard for hospitality and elegance while graciously sharing the area's rich history.
We would be delighted to share our historic home with you. Come visit us!