Brick abides! In fact, archaeological records trace fired or “baked” bricks of clay back to at least 2,600 BCE. Fired brick use continues to thrive today, of course, as it remains one of the most sustainable, fire- and insect-resistant, and strongest building materials available. Plus, as a homeowner or homeowner-to-be of a historic brick home in St. Louis, you already know that brick racks up the energy savings thanks to its inherent thermal properties; abounds in aesthetic and curb appeal; and serves as an anchor of historic preservation in countless neighborhoods across the Lou. In short, bricks still “click” with homebuyers, investors, and the environmental-minded in 2022!

But before we go forward with your reason for visiting REspace today, let’s whirl through a brief tour of brick that reaches into St. Louis history.

A Little Bit of St. Louis—and Brick-Making—History

The first brickyard opened in the “village” of St. Louis in 1813. Owing to both brick’s fire- and moisture-resistant properties and Missouri’s rich clay deposits, brick flourished throughout St. Louis as the town expanded (and contracted) over the decades. More than 100 brick factories existed at the height of brick’s popularity.

When the steamer White Cloud caught fire in 1849, leaping from the wharf and to the wooden residences south of Walnut, fire and building codes were changed to require “fewer flammable roofs and cornices.”

As architectural and construction practices have been refined over the decades, so, too, have engineering and materials science processes. Clay brickmaking today carries a very small environmental footprint. And materials such as hempcrete have been touted as carbon-negative. In some estimations, traditional brick kilns have improved to use approximately 70% less energy to create a brick compared with even those of just 50 years ago.

So, whether you plan to only restore or restore and update an older brick home so it continues to advance the historic character of a St. Louis neighborhood, the benefits of brick are too numerous to cover in this short informative post.

What we would like to offer, however, is a “solid” plan for moving forward that can transform your historic residence, both inside and out, to fit your modern lifestyle.

Let us show you how bricks still click, contributing a historic patina to neighborhoods across South St. Louis, via our South City residential home plan.

Now Introducing the South City

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

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

This set of renderings represents the initial and the final product—the before and after—of a historic brick home’s renovation that REspace managed.

As epic remodels go, transforming a century-old home into a modern oasis with an upgraded kitchen, upgraded deck, or entertaining area ranks high on the list. You don’t want to run afoul of building codes or historic requirements.

That’s where REspace’s South City plan—and our expertise—come into the picture. The concepts provided can be a starting point for our design conversation or the missing idea that gets your project to the finish line.

Many of the design options shown can be applied to differing home configurations. We work with our clients to incorporate these, as well as project-specific design options, to make the project uniquely yours. Not only has our firm completed St. Louis projects such as this Tower Grove South multi-family home rehab as a virtual firm, but we can meet you whenever and wherever best meets your schedule. Inside Missouri and Illinois or elsewhere.

Upgrades Galore? No Problem!

Renovations of historic homes don’t faze us. From deck upgrades to kitchen modernization to new owner suites, additional bathrooms and formerly blocked third-story views, we can make your metropolitan home an incredible urban paradise.

A currently ailing building need not be another boring brick in the wall of a historic South City neighborhood such as Dutchtown, Carondelet, the Hill, or Soulard. We hate to see historic gems falling into disrepair and would enjoy the opportunity to work with you to create your fully realized personal oasis amid the steady, wonderfully thriving drumbeat of the city. It’s a process we’ve gone through with other homeowners, both virtually and in person. Like you, they’ve known that bricks survive and thrive, offering outstanding sustainability and curb appeal that “clicks” with so many people.

So, if bricks still click for you, too, we’d like to make the first step into your new or upgraded brick home easy: Contact us here, using our residential intake form, and we’ll get started on a fruitful collaboration that creates a urban paradise in brick that weathers time’s many tests!