Historic Gratiot School Transformation to 22 Apartments Moving Quickly

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The historic Gratiot School at 1615 Hampton Avenue near Manchester Avenue is undergoing a conversion to apartments by Garcia Properties, which purchased the vacant school from the district for a reported $414,700. The building closed in 2013 after having served as home to the St. Louis Public School archives since 1992.

The 27,474 sf school dates from 1882 with additions in 1899 and 1919 and is quite a bit smaller than other former school buildings that have been converted to apartments in recent years. The building will accommodate 22 apartments. Having been used to store archives, the building was in decent condition when sold to Garcia. As of this post, new windows had been installed on the north side of the building (see image below).

Though the school appears rather cohesive architecturally, the center section predates the rest of the structure by several decades. From the National Register of Historic Places:

The east elevation is eleven bays wide, the two-story building has red brick masonry bearing walls laid in common bond resting on a raised, split-faced random ashlar limestone basement. The center section of the building is the original 1882 schoolhouse designed by H. William Kirchner.

The north and south wings of the east elevation are identical in form although they were constructed at two different times. Both wings were probably designed in concept by William B. Ittner c. 1899 although the plans for the southern addition bear Rockwell Milligan’s name. The northern wing was constructed in 1899 under Ittner’s direction. The southern wing was constructed in 1919 under the direction of Ittner’s successor Rockwell Milligan.

[Read Gratiot School National Register of Historic Places nomination]

Gratiot School c. 1882:

Gratiot School and floor plans c. 1935:

Photographs from late 2015 by Andrew Weil for the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form:

Images from Google Streetview and Google Earth:

Images from Paul Sableman via Flickr:

Image by 24th Ward alderman Scott Ogilvie (1/23/2017):

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  • Steve Perks

    I live in Dogtown. I think the renovation looks great so far. For many years, I looked at the building and the developer in me though “hmmm…”. But I’m not a developer and all I could envision was a bunch of really awesome band practice spaces I could rent out to my friends. LOL

    • tony

      Do they still have the super bright LEDs along the roof line? Last time I went by they had those and also some warmer lights lower on the building, was really hoping they’d get rid of the harsh LEDs up top.

  • Michael Palmisano

    What did they do with the archives that were in there specifically the pictures

  • brickhugger

    Agree the location is not esthetically great, but for proximity to transportation, Clayton, Dogtown, WU, and Forest Park, it’s pretty good, and I hated driving by the building and watching it just sit there. Also agree that the soundproofing needs to be handled well.

  • GraciousGuest

    A good way to save historic buildings and to repurpose, preserving the era in which it was built. I hope it is to the future tenants’ liking.

  • Chicagoan

    This building is a great example of historic St. Louis architecture. The arched windows, the high-quality brick masonry, the random-placed limestone basement. Just epic.

  • RyleyinSTL

    Good location in the city but literally on top of traffic from Hampton and Manchester. If they don’t cheap out on the glazing the noise might not be to bad.

    I was really glad to see this was under renovation.

  • John

    Nice! I look forward to seeing the finished rehab project.

  • Christopher Dimza

    A quick bicycle ride to Maplewood or The Grove via Manchester, Forest Park is a stone’s throw away and you’re practically in Dogtown-I think this place would appeal to a lot of people. Not to mention easy access to 44 and 64.

    • johnny1421

      Yea it’s easy access to everything plus close to Forest Park. It’ll do well just as the Highlands do well on Oakland with “nothing else” around

  • Jakeb

    I wish them well. To my mind, this is not a desirable residential location.

    • Riggle

      I couldn’t agree more. But its great for car slaves

      • tony

        On bike:

        5 minutes – Dogtown, Forest Park
        10 minutes – Maplewood, Science Center, The Hill
        15 minutes – Tower Grove Park, History Museum, Central West End

        I would consider that decently connected. Not the most scenic corner, but still close to a lot.

        • Riggle

          Have fun biking on Hampton, RIP tone

          • STLEnginerd

            why would you need too. Tamm takes you to Forest Park, and Sublette gets you to the Hill.

      • Squiggles

        I mean, if getting really drunk at Nick’s Pub is a thing you do regularly, it’s the best place in the city…

        • Joe s

          No better place to get sloppy. I’ve already said too much.

      • Mary Morgan

        Totally agree. Cars have just been broken into week of Jan.23rd. And not a great intersection. Too may accidents at Lloyd.