Hoffman Brothers Produce Bldg. - 1880
700 N 2nd Street
Ernst G Hofmann and Frederick William Hofmann, were brothers born in Germany. They came to America as children and were educated in public and private schools while living in NY. Their early careers were started working as clerks in grocery stores. The family later moved to Missouri where both brothers served in the Missouri Militia during the Civil War. They started their grocery business in 1880 as Hofmann Bros. Produce Company at 700-702 N 2nd.
This building is a five-story, brick factory/warehouse displaying a cast iron commercial front on the first floor. The relatively modest brick cornice suggest the Federal style, but the round-arched windows and richly ornamented cast iron front are Victorian, making this building a transition between the earlier and later structures in Laclede's Landing.
Actress Betty Grable, the #1 pin-up girl of the 1940's and Hugh Hefner's inspiration for Playboy magazine, developed her "million dollar legs" working summers here at her grandparents' produce market. Until the mid-1930's it was the headquarter for produce distribution throughout the burgeoning St. Louis community. The building features one of the most elaborate brick facades in St. Louis.