Mosque, Single-Family Homes Approved in St. Louis City Historic Districts

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St. Louis City is home to an immense treasure trove of historic districts, landmarks, and architecture. There are city landmarks, national register listings, national historic districts, local historic districts, and more. It’s a lot to keep track of (National designations are important primarily because they confer access to tax credits). Local districts are the only ones to confer any real protection against alteration or demolition.

The relevant point here is that if you want to demolish, renovate, or build in a local historic district you’re going to land at the city’s Cultural Resources Office and seek the approval of the appointed Preservation Board. The board has a good track record of protecting the historic integrity of buildings and neighborhoods. In real life, this means the board often reaffirms simple rules, such as, that no, you cannot install a Home Depot door on your 1895 Benton Park home.

And on big decisions (see The People v. SLU regarding the Pevely Dairy complex) politics can sometimes carry the day. Still,  common sense typically rules the outcomes each month. This week, two single-family homes (Lafayette Square and Benton Park historic districts) and a mosque (McKinley Heights historic district) were approved by the board.

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1212 Dolman Street – Lafayette Square Local Historic District

The Proposal:
This single-family house, on the east side of Dolman Street, follows a Historic Model Example as required by the Lafayette Square Standards. However, the design includes a large side porch, based generally upon a similar porch that was approved by the Preservation Board for another new house constructed at 1722 Carroll Street in 2015.

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2843 South 18th Street – Benton Park Local Historic District

The Proposal:
The applicant proposes to construct one single-family residence at 2843 South 18th Street, in the Benton Park Local and National Register District.

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2623 Allen Avenue – McKinley Heights Local Historic District

The Proposal:
This is a preliminary review application to construct a new mosque with parking.

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  • Jeff

    I’m not an Islamic scholar, but don’t Muslims pray facing Mecca? may explain the building’s orientation.

    • Adam

      good point. that may be. the sea of parking still sucks.

  • Nick

    Not sure why everyone seems so put off by the mosque. It’s tucked away behind an existing building such that you almost won’t even see it from Jefferson. And sure it’s not the prettiest design on the block, but elaborate architecture costs money and this is probably what could be afforded.

    • Adam

      Not put off by the mosque or the design of the building, just the fast-food-style site plan. “…almost won’t even see it from Jefferson.” so suburban design is appropriate for anything not visible from a main thoroughfare?

  • tbatts666

    The houses look great. The mosque needs a rework.

  • Adam

    To state the obvious, a new mosque is great but that site plan should not be allowed.

    • RyleyinSTL

      Agreed, site plan is abysmal.

      • John

        Site plan will probably get approved in its awful form, unfortunately.

    • tbatts666

      Because of the total disconnect from the street? It appears to me to look like a skewed building with the entrance facing the parking lot.

      I agree. Should be denied unless it faces the other buildings respectfully.

      • Adam

        disconnect and sea of parking.

      • Nick

        Not an expert in the subject but I’m pretty sure the building is skewed so it faces Mecca