1100 Charles Street, St. Joseph, MO 64501 - United States
To get a taste of European architecture, make sure to visit the Wyeth-Tootle Mansion of the St. Joseph Museums, Inc. The Wyeth-Tootle Mansion, 1100 Charles Street, St. Joseph, Missouri, provides an accessible (and unforgettable) experience.
Not only does the Wyeth-Tootle Mansion celebrate Gothic architecture and Victorian-era interior design, it also houses exhibits that explore early local enterprises, natural history, cultural history, and even natural disasters that have shaped the history or the region.
Each of the three floors of the ornate 1879 mansion are dedicated to one or more historical exhibits, the newest of which is titled Confluence: The Great Flood of 1993. This third floor exhibit is a permanent fixture for the museum that addresses the floods physical, economic, and social effects on the surrounding area.
The mansions commanding height, impressive tower, and remarkable view of the Missouri River region and bluffs were inspired by the original owners’ trips to castles along the Rhine River in Germany. William and Eliza Wyeth commissioned architect E.J. Eckel to help them realize their grand vision. In fact, Eckel’s architectural vision and talent left a lasting mark on the St. Joseph community, as his firm designed 75% of St. Joseph’s outstanding historical buildings.
The first and second floors of the Wyeth-Tootle reflect the history of area architecture. The restoration highlights Victorian-era decor and period photographs to give guests an added visual of what it would have been like to visit the home at the turn of the 20th century. Visitors often experience a “wow” moment at the mansion’s incredible woodwork, ornate patterned floors, and hand-painted ceilings which include images of cherubs and heavenly clouds.
In addition to housing historical and cultural exhibits, Wyeth-Tootle Mansion hosts community events throughout the summer and fall, including Mah Jongg parties and Music at the Mansion. The mansion also serves as a wedding, holiday party, and business meeting venue.
Whether you have a passion for history or architecture, or want a better understanding of the development of the area, a trip to St. Joseph is sure to prove both educational and rewarding. To plan your visit to the Wyeth-Tootle Mansion, arrange a rental, or attend an event, find a list of dates and details on the St. Joseph Museums, Inc., website: stjosephmuseum.org.
Three of the mansion’s 43 rooms are devoted to “Intersections: Of Time and Buildings” an exhibit that examines the junctures of history, art, architecture and humanities, along with St. Joseph’s past, present and future. The “Edifice: The Architecture of E.J. Eckel” exhibit at the Wyeth-Tootle commemorates Eckel’s talent and contribution to St. Joseph’s architectural appeal.
The views from the third floor children’s area are some of the most sweeping and expansive in the city.
Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.