If I could accomplish anything, it would be convincing people how beautiful the houses built right after the Civil War were: urban, compact, and useful.
As it is, these wonderful houses will end up as piles of rubble, as part of some new, stupid redevelopment plan that fails before anything gets built.
But the beauty of the Italianate and Second Empire styles, sometimes combined together such as one sees in the examples below, are becoming more and more rare.
Below, a house received a Modernist reskin at some point last century.
And these houses most likely had elaborate Mansard roofs that have been stripped away.
And then there’s the random Art-Deco community center, built when there was still hope for this neighborhood.
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The second, third, and fourth houses are very nice and restorable. The second one especially, as it still has its original windows and wood detailing around them. Which entity is letting these fall into ruin: a slumlord, a property “developer” like McKee, or the LRA (also known as the turning historic buildings into vacant lots authority)? I know that there is not much money floating around for restoring these houses and currently not much market for it either, but the city is not helping matters by creating a place where restoration efforts by private individuals are not supported. There will never be a market for any quality housing in various neighborhoods of St. Louis unless there is some change in the current business as usual in city government.
Exactly. The ignorant, uninformed comments from other readers show their ignorance to how this city runs. No one can actually but any of these houses because they are landbanked by crooks who have bought off city officials.