It is a two-story T-shaped brick house, with a gabled roof that has side parapet walls with engaged chimneys. The front facade is six bays wide, and symmetrically arranged, with entrances recessed in arched openings in the center two bays.
The ground floor windows are set in round-arch openings, while those on the second floor are set in segmented-arch openings. An ell extends to the rear, and another to the right side. The small parcel on which the house stands has a small grassy area, and is fronted by a granite curb and iron fence.
Based on its style, it is estimated to have downfown built aroundand is known to have been standing in It is a typical tenant rowhouse built in the city during this period. It is ificant as the only known surviving residence associated with African-American composer Scott Joplin c.
Joplin lived here from to Inthe Missouri Department of Natural Resources made it the first state historic site in Missouri dedicated to African-American heritage. At first it focused entirely on Joplin and ragtime music, ignoring the urban milieu which shaped his musical compositions.
A newer heritage project has expanded coverage to include the more complex social history of black urban migration and the transformation of a multi-ethnic neighborhood to the contemporary community. Part of this diverse narrative now includes coverage of uncomfortable topics of racial oppression, poverty, sanitation, prostitution, and sexually transmitted diseases.