Monday, June 21, 2010

St. Louis Architecture - Meet Me in St. Louis

If you’ve never been to St. Louis, let me tell you – St. Louis has some of the most amazing architecture of any U.S. city. The homes are no exception – many of the homes are solid stone and brick, and there are hundreds for sale in the city of St. Louis alone.

Luckily, many of them are still standing, though they could use anything from mild to total rehabs.

Yeah, you can buy a 5,000 square foot house in Chesterfield, complete with three sides of siding (blech!), a two-story foyer, and columns out front. The McMansion. Reminds me of the front view of Ricky Bobby’s house in Talledega Nights. Circle drive, Hummer out front…you get it.

Sally Benson, the author of "Meet Me in St. Louis," based the story on her family and their 11-room home at 5135 Kensington Ave. The house fell into disrepair in the 1950s on, and in 1994, it was torn down completely. It's a vacant lot now; there are many boarded-up houses nearby. Just a tragedy, really. Someone (actually, many people) had the opportunity to buy THE house that inspired the great book and musical, and…no takers? Nobody?

Here is the MGM backlot setup of 5135 Kensington. Unfortuantely the movie wasn't shot on location in St. Louis!



Now, unfortunately, here is what a house on Kensington looks like:



Sold for $24,000 in 2009, too.

The big problem in the city of St. Louis is urban sprawl. People find living in the city unappealing for many reasons I won’t get into here (yes, some of them involve crime, less than desirable schools, and wanting to surround themselves with people JUST LIKE THEM!). Okay I’ve said my piece on that…

125 years ago, St. Louis was the third largest city in the country. The neighborhoods of the Central West End, Lafayette Square, Compton Heights and so forth were desirable. But then, white flight took over. Fifty years ago, St. Louis proper (I mean the city) had 850,000 residents. Now, about 300,000.

In full disclaimer we recently moved from the city to a nearby area just outside city limits but one day, we just might move back.

What does that open up? Hundreds of beautiful homes, ready for the taking. Let's take a look at some of the houses available right now in the 63104 and 63108 zip codes...





1 comment:

  1. Honestly St. Louis is a gem. It still is despite the destruction of the river front historic district. The arch, yes a real icon, but in my opinion an eye sore. I think if they kept the buildings there they would've had so much business from everywhere else who wanted a taste of history.

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