National Park Service Beauvais-Amoureux Historic Structure Report
The Jean-Baptiste Amoureux House (now known as the Beauvais-Amoureux House) is the main attraction in the newly created Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. The house was originally built in 1792 and is one of only three known surviving poteaux-en-terre style houses in Ste. Genevieve which is the first permanent European settlement in Missouri. There are only five such houses in the country. Poteaux-en-terre means “post in earth” and refers to the vertical style of log construction where the posts are set directly into the ground.
Named after Jean Baptiste St. Gemme de Beauvais Jr., an early resident of Ste. Genevieve, and later sold to Benjamin C. Amoureux in 1852. His wife Pelagie was born in 1802 as a slave, and possibly a daughter, of the builder’s brother. She was freed in 1832. Therefore, the house also represents a long history of early African American ownership. Successive generations of Amoureux lived in the house until it was transferred to various non-profit organizations and finally to the National Park Service.
Currently unoccupied, the building was recently purchased by the National Park Service and BVH’s team was chosen to evaluate the condition of the structure and evaluate several potential future reuse opportunities. In conjunction with BVH’s assessment work, structural, landscape, and historical research were all undertaken to contribute to the Historic Structure Report.
Recommendations for preserving both the architectural and historic integrity of Beauvais-Amoureux site will be submitted along with recommended measures for repairing the existing buildings according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards. The preservation team will also develop a series of design solutions which would allow the new park grounds to grow and adapt with future use while still retaining the architectural integrity relating to this significant period in history.