I’m interrupting my tour of Kansas City architecture because I was so excited to see the recent developments in McRee Town, which for a long was one of the most troubled neighborhoodsin the city.
Combining sensitive in-fill with the conversion of four-family flats into two houses and the renovation of other notable single family houses, the Botanical Groveredevelopment is doing everything right that has so often been done wrong in St. Louis.
For starters, pre-existing homeowners were not run out of their homes with eminent domain arranged with corrupt officials in smoky backrooms.
Secondly, the remaining housing stock was renovated into viable real estate, and priced at market rates.
Finally, the in-fill housing is very cool; it doesn’t try to pretend it was built in the Nineteenth century, is unashamedly modern, but the massing and materials match the neighborhood and city.
If the first phase on McRee Avenue is successful, it will spread to other streets, and hopefully the rest of the city.