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Lafayette Avenue, Revisited in Between Compton and Jefferson Avenues

I find Lafayette Avenue in between Compton Avenue and Jefferson an interesting stretch of street; it was clearly once a very important stretch of roadway in St. Louis, but now it is quiet and overly wide, its traffic moved over onto parallel I-44. I looked at some of its buildings a while back, and I came back (with the trees still in the way).

Some interesting contemporary Modernist in-fill has been coming into the empty lots. I’m a big fan of most of it, because honestly I’m getting really tired of bad “historicist” housing going in to the city’s local historic districts. I strongly support maintaining strong building standards in renovations and additions, but the craftsmanship to rebuild a Compton Heights or Lafayette Square is gone. The Gate District is so decimated of its original housing stock I say, go for it. The house below is so much better than the bland suburban stuff built in the 1980s that is already starting to fall apart.

And then there is this house-turned-storefront. I got suspicious, and then my hunch was confirmed: this was originally a three story townhouse, probably a Second Empire beauty, that lost its top two floors (you can see its front door, elevated above the street level on the left) at some point, with only the sills of the windows left behind.

And finally, the original workshop of the Cassillys is still standing.

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