Back in May of this year, I checked in on the massive new development transforming the long moribund northwest side of the Lafayette Square neighborhood. I think most people know the story: the wealthy area declined and industry moved in (though that’s not entirely true, as early sources show that dirty industry had always been neighbors of the mansion in Lafayette Square). Nonetheless, the infamous Praxair explosion and fire seems to have ended the neighborhood’s uncomfortable relationship with even light industry, and such a large parcel of land is now being transformed.
I more or less like what I see so far, with logically sized houses facing their historic counterparts across Hickory Street, with the big apartment building facing Chouteau Avenue.
It reminds me of the Star Shoe Factory over on the other side of the neighborhood. It’s good enough for what we can expect in the third decade of the 21st Century.
I’m still waiting for the rebuilding of the historic stone cottage.
Note how its footprint does not align with the street grid, showing how it was constructed before the laying out of the subdivision that it now finds itself in.
There is an interesting row of houses, with an accompanying corner store, heading to the west on Hickory Street.
Not all of Lafayette Square was wealthy, as I remind readers.
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Most Modernists would hate these new townhouses and label them ‘kitsch’, a term they often use for architecture that seeks to emulate older styles. In fact it’s refreshing to see a development that seeks to coordinate with the neighborhood and not stick out like a sore thumb. There are locations where you can experiment with design ‘innovations’ but this is not one of them. I’m sure there are covenants in place to insure any development meets design standards. Thanks for posting an update on this charming community.