Lafayette School in Soulard Next for Advantes After Mack Lofts Completion

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Hope Lutheran School -> Mack Lofts - St. Louis, MO

The former Hope Lutheran School located at 5320 Brannon in the Southampton neighborhood seems an unlikely residential conversion. It isn’t a classic century-old historic St. Louis school building, and it’s relatively small. Yet today the 22 units, completed in March, are 90% occupied, and an unremarkable building has been repurposed to provide a rare loft housing option in its part of the city. Now Advantes Development is turning its attention to the former Lafayette School in the heart of Soulard.

Designed by William .B. Ittner and named for general Marie Jean Paul Lafayette, the 62Ksf Lafayette School was completed in 1907 and closed in 2004. The building had been originally listed by the St. Louis Public Schools at $1.24M, and then reduced to $836K. The main entrance fronts Ann Avenue as the property also borders 9th Street to the west and 7th Street to the east.

Hope Lutheran School -> Mack Lofts - St. Louis, MO{Hope Lutheran School before renovation}

Hope Lutheran School -> Mack Lofts - St. Louis, MO{interior of the Mack Lofts}

The development plan calls for converting classrooms into 36 apartments, while transforming the gymnasium into covered parking. Confluence Design Group has designed the residential conversion. The Soulard Restoration Group (SRG) offered its approval for the plans at the April 2014 Board Meeting after working out issues related to where residents would park and how they would access the site, among other concerns.

The city’s public schools currently lists 24 former school for sale on its surplus properties website. Residential conversion has been a popular reuse for former school buildings, especially as their rehabilitation for charter or private school use was long prohibited.

Lafayette School - St. Louis, MO{Lafayette School in Soulard}

Lafayette School - St. Louis, MO{interior of Lafayette School}

Lafayette School residential conversion - St. Louis, MO

Lafayette School residential conversion - St. Louis, MO

Lafayette School - St. Louis, MO

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  • matimal

    Why was their use for non-SLPS schools prohibited? What was the rationale?

    • Alex Ihnen

      SLPS didn’t want competition from charter or private schools.

      • matimal

        We blame the suburban industrial complex for disinvestment in St. Louis, but some of St. Louis’ problems can be solved inside St. Louis itself and require no changes beyond its borders. Competition is exactly what SLPS needs. We in St. Louis can do that without anyone else at all.

  • samizdat

    Unremarkable? Hardly. This is a handsome, mid-century modern structure. Perhaps not of considerable merit, but good design, and appropriate finishing choices for the neighborhood. Most notably the brick, as it reflects the colors often chosen for the ubiquitous four-family flats in the adjacent blocks. Considering the cheap, crappy finishing materials, and the use of wood as the major structural component in many newer apartment buildings, this building is a hands-down winner.

    It’ll be nice to see Lafayette put into service again, too. I wonder if they’ll restore the lion’s head drinking fountain. Love that little guy.