St. Louis is growing in housing redevelopment. This redevelopment fever has, and so far, still seems to be growing in small pockets. The Hill and Tower Grove areas seem to be the fire starters for this “fever”. And who can forget that hidden little secret, The Fox Park area. The reason most of these areas are experiencing growth and residential stabilization is that St. Louis is going through another suburban expansion/renewal. This is similar to what was experienced in the mid-1950s.

Busiest St. Louis Neighborhoods – Rehab and Development

The Hill: Located on the highest point in St. Louis, “The Hill” has been a bustling neighborhood since the late 1860s when the local church parish served many of the Italian-American immigrants who settled there. Many of the homes in this neighborhood maintain the original floor plan. These were simple layouts where you walk from room to room in a straight line. A good number of the homes have been rehabbed to a modern, open style floor plan, but some still have the original layout. The difficulty of The Hill is that homes rarely go on the open market as most are handed down in families from generation to generation. New generations of homeowners, some entrepreneurs, are renovating properties throughout the area, redesigning them to fit their modern lifestyles. The home below is an example of a typical bungalow renovation candidate.

REspace puts a small spin on the typical Hill home. We have a design that brings out the original craftsman feel while integrating a more modern, open floor plan.

Residential Plan Books, exterior perspective of Bungalow Residence, urban infill, The Hill St. Louis, MO

Rendering by REspace – The Hill Housing Plan

Tower Grove: This area is located south of the Missouri Botanical Gardens and adjacent to Tower Grove Park. Tower Grove had a head start on most areas within St. Louis, as the urban renewal here started in the 1990’s and really took off around 2000. Many homes in the area are in an historic preservation zone and when renovated have preserved their overall original character. Additionally, while many homes and businesses here have been renovated, there are still some opportunities to be found.  Many developers and architects are renovating or designing homes that maintain the fabric of the tower grove neighborhood flare on the outside but provide big “wow” factor on the inside. You can see examples of these homes in the Tower Grove area as well as Fox Park and South City.

Residential Plan Books, rear exterior of St. Louis south city residence.

Rendering by REspace – The South City Residential Plan

REspace has extensive knowledge of these old homes and we love to dig in and determine tasteful solutions that make the best utilization of the space available. We like to specify high quality components and finishes that are durable yet appropriate for your investment. On the example above we took a look at a scenario we often see where the rear patio space is typically under utilized. We added a pergola shade structure and an outdoor kitchen with brick pizza oven at the first floor level. We redesign the patio roof to function as a roof deck with access from the second floor as well as a first floor exterior spiral stair.  These are just a few examples of what we can do to update these wonderful old homes.

Things to look for and popular architecture trends

  • Exterior historical style and neighborhood character is being preserved.
  • Interiors have been redesigned with open floor plans to accommodate modern lifestyles.
  • While exteriors are key in preserving the historical character, pay careful attention and look for tasteful additions/modifications that enhance patios, porches or outdoor spaces.
  • Prior renovations, these old homes have gone through long live and have often been updated numerous times over the years.

While these are some trends that we see currently the city is always changing. We like to help St. Louis grow while also maintaining it’s unique charm and character. There are so many great architectural style examples from the Federalist and Greek Revival to the Colonial and Victorian that we don’t want to lose.