The Preservation Board agenda for their September 27th meeting has several developments for consideration. There’s an expansion of the Rung Foundation in Fox Park, a new funeral home on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in The Ville, and a few infill projects. Infill is a boost to the solvency of a city because the land is rendered more productive while no new public infrastructure, like streets, lights, pipes, etc, have to be built to serve it. Let’s have a look.
First is an expansion of the Rung for Woman in the Fox Park neighborhood. The two-story brick building at 2717 Sidney St meets the sidewalk adding to the street wall on Sidney with surface parking behind and a curb cut to the west of the building. The garden(?) to the north along Victor St compliments Fox Park across the street, though building a street wall there too at some point might be a good thing. The architect is Christner Partnership/Stacey Wehe.
That the Preservation Board grant preliminary approval with the stipulation that the size of the 2-story window on the front facade be reduced; and with the condition that final plans and exterior materials are reviewed and approved by the Cultural Resources Office.
More on Rung from StlToday – New nonprofit opens campus in St. Louis to lift women into the middle class
Next a new funeral home by Foster Funeral Home on a vacant LRA-owned lot at 4100 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, 4125, and 4125R N Sarah St totaling about an acre in The Ville neighborhood. There would be a curb cut on Sarah, none on MLK. The architect is Killeen Studio Architects.
The proposal has some poor auto-oriented features. The set back from MLK is large encouraging dangerous driving on MLK due to a lack of friction that a proper street wall provides. The land productivity proposed is concerning too. Even if the market doesn’t value the land highly, the community should because no matter the land productivity it has promised to provide infrastructure to it. If the land productivity doesn’t cover the cost of infrastructure and services, it has to be made up elsewhere, the gap plugged temporarily by debt, or we accept a lower level of infrastructure and services than we’d like to have. The auto-oriented strip mall to the west looks nice, but again the set back and land productivity are detrimental to building a safe and solvent city. Resisting the straodification of city streets should be a priority. “Anything is better than nothing” is a recipe for folly.
That the Preservation Board grant preliminary approval to the new building with the condition that the N. Sarah elevation be of the same “Spec-Brik” product as the front; the concrete block section of the west elevation be screened with landscaping; and with the stipulation that final plans and materials are reviewed and approved by the Cultural Resources Office.
The Green House Venture plans one at 3966 DeTonty St at Lawrence St in the Shaw neighborhood. “The new building will project a considerable distance beyond the established building line of the block. In response to CRO comments, the architect has withdrawn the roof garden of the original submission, to lower the perceived scale of the part of the building encroaching on the building line.” The rooftop garden might have been a nice place-making feature. The architect is UIC.
St Louis City Talk – Update on the Green House Venture
That the Preservation Board withhold Preliminary Approval for the proposed new construction as the proposed design does not comply with the Shaw Neighborhood Historic District Standards.
A new home is proposed at 1205 Dolman St in the Lafayette Square neighborhood. This block has seen a lot of new construction. Check it out on Google Streetview if you can’t in person. The Truman Parkway traffic sewer to the east is a regrettable example of a 20th century approach to sort and separate built this century. Let’s hope it gets a human-scaled overhaul that promotes connection in the future.
That the Preservation Board grant preliminary approval to the proposed new construction with the condition that the exterior wall treatment will replicate scored stucco; and that final plans, details and exterior materials be reviewed and approved by the Cultural Resources Office
Last is a set of four townhomes by HEH Investments at 1917 Pestalozzi St and Sidney St in the Benton Park neighborhood. They don’t have garages. A single parking stall for each behind is accessed from the alley. This is a land productivity win for sure! The architect is AD: Arch.
That the Preservation Board grant Preliminary approval to the project with the conditions that the Cultural Resources Office review and approve final design details and exterior materials and colors and that concerns regarding Baltimore chimneys are addressed.