Magnolia Avenue, From Tower Grove East into Fox Park

It’s one of the laziest statements to make, but Magnolia Avenue traveling eastbound from Tower Grove East into Fox Park really is a study in contrasts. Take the Italianate rowhouses above: they are old; probably dating to the 1870s, and suffering from a terrible muddling. They could be brought back to life by restoring their fenestration and planting beautiful gardens in the front yard, which is what the deep setback had originally intended.

But then, mixed in with the Italianate houses, are a fascinating mix of Teutonic-inspired houses, showing distant influence of burghers’ houses in Hanseatic cities, such as the one above in the middle.

This theme continues after this two story Italianate stunner above at the northwest corner of Magnolia and Nebraska, on the eastern border of Tower Grove East, with these stunning houses, which I could imagine once were the homes of brewers.

East of Nebraska, into Fox Park, there has been massive redevelopment in recent years, and this interesting apartment building was rehabbed, and at the request of neighbors, the distinctive blue paint scheme was retained.

Original residents remain, as well as some abandoned houses.

And as I always remark, there are the St. Louis specialty of two-family flats disguised as a single family house, such as this nice one below.

Finally, this amazing building, which a longtime resident of the area told me was abandoned for forty years, has been brought back to life. Due to its quality of construction over one hundred years ago, it was ready for a rebirth when the time came. I frequently use this building as an example of the importance of preserving abandoned buildings in neighborhoods where the potential for rehabilitation is feasible and in the near future. I am sure plenty of people were convinced it “could never be saved” and had demanded its destruction numerous times over the last forty years. They were wrong and it is back on the tax rolls, generating income for the City of St. Louis while serving as a community center for the neighborhood.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Cantpassthebar says:

    “Original residents remain”…. Is there a cemetery in the neighborhood or have these people found the fountain of youth?

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Sorry, I should have been more specific; I meant the residents who were living on the block before the rehabbing began.

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