Saturday, December 3, 2016

An Exciting Time To Be A St. Louis Booster

If you follow NextSTL, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the St. Louis Business Journal, there is plenty to be excited about in our fair city.

I've been paying pretty close attention to development plans, rumors and new construction/rehab projects in St. Louis for over ten years. The last few weeks have brought a barrage of proposals....maybe the most active span of announcements and plans in recent memory.

And this has been going on awhile. I'm seeing projects all over town that I remember reading about and thinking "right, I'll believe it when I see it". But when ground is being broken, cranes are going up and momentum is building you can't deny that fact that positive things are happening.

St. Louis seems pretty hot from an investment standpoint.

Here's a brief rundown of the top 20 projects (some planned, some underway) that resonate with me for different reasons. I will do my best to keep politics and economics out of the commentary and write a separate blog on each sharing my thoughts on why I find these interesting. I'll just keep it simple and talk about the positives.

ONE

The Shell filling station on the northwest corner of Delmar and Skinker in the West End Neighborhood has a substantial mixed-use retail and office plan proposal for the site.

TWO

Just east of Delmar and Skinker is a 14-story mixed-use retail and market-rate apartment building that will bring much needed residents and $ to the area. It is called the Everly.

THREE

Forest Park Southeast has three major developments on the horizon, the first just west of the Commerce Bank at Vandeventer and Manchester where a mixed-use building and parking garage are proposed. It's called Chouteau's Grove.

FOUR

A surface parking lot just west of the above project on that wedge property along Manchester has a proposal for a 7-story mod mixed-use apartment/retail/office building in the Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood

FIVE

Further west near Manchester and Newstead is a proposal for a mixed use 5 story building with office/restaurant and 55-unit apartment building in the Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood.

SIX

The cool Laclede Gas Station G building on Chouteau in the Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood is being renovated to house a company moving to St. Louis from the suburbs.

SEVEN

The curvvy building that hugs the train tracks at Tower Grove and Vandeventer in the Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood is one of my favorites in that neighborhood and there is a plan to convert it to loft apartments and retail.

EIGHT

The former YMCA/Pelican building property at South Grand Boulevard and Shenadoah in Compton Heights has a proposal to rehab the Pelican for office/retail and demo the Y for a large apartment building.

NINE

The Jefferson Arms in the Downtown West Neighborhood has a plan for >200 apartments and a Mariott Hotel.

TEN

Chemical Building. This might be my favorite building in the entire city and another plan has been proposed that makes me hopefully for this anchor of downtown.

ELEVEN

The Wabash Great Rivers Greenway extension from Shrewsbury Metrolink station to Slay Park in the Ellendale Neighborhood.

TWELVE

Ballpark Village Phase II Downtown.

THIRTEEN

Brick City, Brew City...beer news just keeps getting bigger and better with Earthbound Brewing renovation in the Gravois Park Neighborhood; Rockwell Brewing coming online in the Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood, Center Ice Brewery coming to Midtown and 2nd Shift Brewing coming to the Hill.

FOURTEEN

Better Family Life started a $20M project that is targeting the renovation of 100 homes on Page Avenue.

FIFTEEN

The Foundry in Midtown has a proposal to bring office, high rise, retail and much more to a former industrial complex near SLU, Cortex and IKEA.

SIXTEEN

The former Praxair site in Lafayette Square has a proposal for 64 townhomes.

SEVENTEEN

A 126-unit mixed use apartment building has been proposed at Gravois and Russell at the entrance to the Soulard Neighborhood.

EIGHTEEN

SLU is building two new dorms on Laclede Avenue in the Midtown Neighborhood.

NINETEEN

SLU medical has a proposal to develop or redevelop ~400 acres in the Tiffany, Botanical Heights and Gate District Neighborhoods. This could be a game changer for this part of town.

TWENTY

MLS expansion team, new 20,000 seat stadium in the Downtown West Neighborhood. This is going to take some time, I have lots of opinions on this one.

Wow.


Also, I didn't mention the equally important rehabbing of homes and new construction of homes on empty lots that will bring in residents, property taxes and added value for neighborhoods. This is taking place all over: Old North St. Louis, the Hill, Fox Park, Tower Grove East, McKinley Heights, Botanical Heights, you name it.

St. Louis appears to be in a boom time. We've had highs and lows before, but there is plenty to be optimistic about these days. Now is the time to consider moving to St. Louis and being part of the excitement. Help us build a tax base that serves everyone, vote for leaders who can modernize government, fight cronyism and nepotism, support city businesses big and small, help elevate the have nots, welcome new people from other parts of the country and immigrants.  More than anything we need citizens to ROOT DOWN in St. Louis.

Reverse the flight of people moving from St. Louis to the suburbs. Let's bring it on back home. Those people with St. Louis roots who left for the suburban dream? It might be time to come back and do some homesteading in the greatest city in the region.

Friday, December 2, 2016

North Entrance To The Arch Grounds Is Open

Everybody and their brother are going to be sharing photos and talking about the ~$380M Arch grounds renovation. The public will gain access to the different sections of the project as it opens in stages.

I finally had a chance to visit the recently opened northern approach that extends from the Eads Bridge and Laclede's Landing.
This has been a long train coming. I remember sitting in the public unveiling of the design competition and dreaming about all the potential designs. I also remember voting for the public tax dollars to go toward the project against my better judgement (Prop P in 2013).

In my mind, the pros were:

  1. it is a cool project and something had to be done once the emerald ash borers kill off all the ash trees on the grounds
  2. it'll bring some jobs and I love employment no matter how temporary
  3. it'll improve the visitor/tourist/suburbanite experience
  4. it might make the Arch grounds become a place where people who live in St. Louis want to be and energize the dead zone that is the riverfront and Laclede's Landing
  5. the suburban cities in the County were pitching in too, so it wasn't just St. Louis on the local hook to fund everything (a la, NFL and MLS stadiums/parking lots)
  6. Great Rivers Greenway is overseeing the $9.4 million in annual funding for improvements, and I trust them...look at the work they've done to date...amazing
  7. the major pro was that there were funds available for the city parks. 
  8. most of the money was coming from private funds:

Project Funding

  1. CityArchRiver is a public-private partnership formed to fund and coordinate the design and construction of a complete renovation of the Gateway Arch grounds and its surroundings.  Private donors funded the entire cost of the international design competition, Framing a Modern Masterpiece: The City + The Arch + The River, and continue to fund design costs for the project.
    Construction of the $380 million project is funded in three ways:
    • $69 million - Public funds from federal, state and local sources such as a USDOT TIGER grant, MoDOT funds, other federal grants and funding from Great Rivers Greenway District
    • $90 million - Proposition P bond proceeds - On April 2, 2013 voters in St. Louis County and St. Louis City approved Proposition P: The Safe and Accessible Arch and Public Parks initiative. Great Rivers Greenway is the steward of the taxpayers’ investment in the project.
    • $221 million -  Private funding from gifts, grants and donations raised by the CityArchRiver Foundation. The Foundation will raise another $29 million to seed an endowment that will help maintain and improve the project area into the future. (source)
And the cons (curmudgeon alert!):
  1. more taxes
  2. using local funds for a Federal monument and grounds
  3. St. Louis has 99 problems and the Arch ain't one of them. We should focus our efforts on things that make people want to live here not just visit here, park and leave
Anyhow, the changes are underway and the results are in plain view of the public. And, so far it looks pretty nice.

I entered the grounds from the north through Laclede's Landing, so I started by taking in the view from the Eads Bridge pedestrian lanes.
Then I walked down to ground level and entered the grounds just south of the Metrolink stop.
The real star of the show is the elevated walking bridge which allows unmatched views of Eads Bridge and takes you to a deck overlooking Lenore K. Sullivan Boulevard at the river's edge.
 Three bridges to the north
Street, bike lanes, riverfront

The following photos from the CityArchRiver website show the before and after versions and how it's supposed to look after completion and plant maturation.
Before: with parking garage that is no more (photo credit CityArchRiver)
After: looking north toward Eads bridge and Laclede's Landing (photo credit CityArchRiver)

Before: with Washington Avenue still available to traffic (photo credit CityArchRiver)


After: looking west sans Washington Avenue (photo credit CityArchRiver)


I'm looking forward to exploring the south grounds, the Interstate highway lid, Kiener Plaza and most of all, the new museum.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

New Homes Under Construction In McKinley Heights

The McKinley Heights neighborhood is ripe for development and rehab. The location is nearly unmatched as you can get anywhere in the city in ~15 minutes.
Aesthetically speaking, McKinley Heights is a real unsung hero. It boasts some of the most varied architectural styles and details of any single neighborhood.

You might not pick up on that for a couple reasons. 

One, most people drive through the neighborhood as opposed to walking or cycling. And to appreciate it, you really have to slow down and train your eyes toward some of the intricate details on many of the homes and businesses on the side streets.

These interesting brick details might have something to do with renown architect William B. Ittner's family owning a brickyard near here in the 1850's in what is now Fox Park. Some of Ittner's earliest works are in this part of town. (source)

Secondly, driving through McKinley Heights usually takes you down Russell Boulevard as there are no other really convenient streets to get east/west and there is only one intra-neighborhood street (Mississippi Avenue) that crosses I-44. 

So it's understandable that Russell would be the average St. Louisan's sole exposure to McKinley Heights.

But, venturing down the side streets show that a lot is going on from a development standpoint; there always appears to be rehabbing going on with at least a couple dumpsters on display indicating substantial rehabs.
2300 block of Ann Avenue
And there's evidence of the much needed investment in maintenance and upkeep of the owner-occupied homes.
2200 block of Jules Avenue

A new construction project recently caught my eye on the 2200 block of Shenandoah near Jules Avenue. Just south of Shenandoah, there are several concrete foundations recently poured on what appeared to be an empty lot.

A sign on the construction site indicates it is called "Charless Village". Where'd that name come from? I'll explain in a minute.
A view of the property along Shenandoah indicates it was once a larger, single property as evidenced by the small stone wall that lines the property and a stairway allowing access from the street:


I was immediately thinking a school or other large building must have been there at one point. A quick look at the alley-side of the property showed another clue: remnants of the familiar iron fencing indicative of our historic public schools.
Turns out, this is the site of the once beautiful Charless School. Per the St. Louis City website:
The earliest public school built in the area was the Charless School which was erected in 1895 at 2226 Shenandoah Avenue after the design by A. H. Kirchner. (source)
sans bell/clock tower and dormer windows

The school was in use through the 1970's and maybe later. I'm trying to find out if any alumni can tell me when the school was closed via the alumni Facebook page

If anyone reading this can provide proof of how the clock/bell tower was lost as per the second photo above, let me know. I am thinking tornado/storm but have no proof.

One of the worst tornados in U.S. history occurred in May, 1896 that did a number on this part of town. Here's a photo of the damage just a few blocks north of Charless School at Jefferson and Allen Avenue:
The Charless School withstood some pretty big tests from Mother Nature, but it was not able to survive the St. Louis wrecking ball. Per city records, a demolition permit was issued for the property in 1993. (source)

Demolition of our historic schools was short-sighted and ignorant. As we know now, many of these schools are being rehabbed for modern residential.

So it goes.

Although no one will call this row of new homes "Charless Village" once they are constructed, it's at least a nod to the history of the school, likely named after Joseph Charless (who added the 2nd S to his last name to emphasize how it was pronounced in his birthplace, Ireland). Charless was famous for publishing the first newspaper west of the Mississippi, the Missouri Gazette in 1808. (source

Once the school was razed, the property sat vacant until most recently when building permits were issued in 2016.

Per city records, the property changed hands in 2007 from the St. Louis Board of Education to suburban developer CF Vatterott (officially entered as "Affordable City Homes of St. Louis, Inc." in the city database). Vatterott owns quite a bit of property in this part of the city from the Gate District to Fox Park to McKinley Heights. 
In fact, Vatterott recently floated several highly-subsidized, low-income home construction projects in these parts and many of the neighbors were quite vocal against it, though not for the reasons one would expect (low income-NIMBY's, bad design, cheap materials, although those reasons were debated). The loudest dissent came from the dubious financial terms that by no means appeared to be in favor of a family on a fixed/low income. The financing plan made public by the developer appeared to be a bum "rent-to-own" deal for the tenant that no financial adviser would likely recommend to someone with as a sound long-term investment.

I'd like to see Vatterott return with a more equitable proposal that would mutually satisfy the developer, the existing neighbors and prospective buyers. It is high time to act as opposed to sitting on the many lots they've owned for many years. Or, just sell the property to someone that has the will to develop an even-handed urban plan that can gain support from the current residents/tax payers.

Anyhow, Vatterott is building five new homes on the former Charless School property...and I'm hopeful that this development will be a step in the right direction for the property and by extension, for the neighborhood.

Per the Vatterott website the ~1,568 square foot 3 bed/3 bath homes are being offered for ~$215,000.

From the Vatterott website:
Now taking reservations! Five historically-based Energy-Efficient new homes now underway on Shenandoah Avenue in historic McKinley Heights! Representing the first new construction homes offered in this area in decades - enjoy modern open floorplan layouts, full basements, two-car garages and high-efficient systems together with historic elevations with 9 ft first AND second floor ceiling heights. (source)
The thing that is unclear is if these are market rate, if there were tax abatements awarded and if the sides will be vinyl or brick. The overall ability of new faux-historic construction usually depends on the details and finishes. So far, it's too early to tell.

The good news is the placement of the homes blends in well with the existing homes on the block.  Judging by the foundations, the five homes are densely placed and they have a good relationship with the street. The massing and overall shape matches the adjacent homes and they will fill a much needed gap in the street wall along Shenandoah that's been there since the 1990s.

See for yourself how they will fit in:
The garages will utilize the alley:
And they kept the long stone wall and stairs:

We will have to see how the finished product turns out, but at a minimum it is good to know that more people will be moving to this important part of the city. Not everyone wants to maintain a 100+ year old home, and these will provide a lower-maintenance alternative.

We need more residents to make the city feel vibrant and keep wonderful local places like Kim Van, Milquetoast Bar and Fritanga open.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Lafayette School Converted to Lafayette Lofts in Soulard

The Soulard Neighborhood recently had an exciting new residential development hit the market with the renovation of the former Lafayette Elementary School at 815 Ann Avenue. 
This beautiful school building was built in 1907 by renowned architect William B. Ittner. The school sits on a 1.59 acre lot and boasts nearly 62K square foot of space. Lafayette Elementary School was named for Marie Jean Paul Lafayette a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War. It was active as an elementary school from 1908 to 2004 when it served ~200 PK-5th grade students.

Due to declines in the number of students due to massive population declines in St. Louis, the St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) decided to sell several schools over several rounds of closings. While the school would have made a perfect charter or private school, the SLPS chose to prohibit use by such entities to avoid competition. There are currently 27 schools available for sale throughout St. Louis.

Lafayette was sold for ~$800,000 to Advantes Development, a real estate firm that has done several amazing projects in St. Louis including a conversion of the former Hope Lutheran School to 22 market-rate apartments at 5320 Brannon Avenue in the Southampton Neighborhood, branded as The Mack Lofts. 
photo credit: Advantes Development

Advantes corporate offices are located in the Hill Neighborhood of St. Louis, making them a true city company!

Advantes reportedly invested ~$3.5M to convert Lafayette School to 36 market-rate apartments (source). The conversion is quite impressive from the outside as all the architectural details remain intact, including the ornate brickwork and familiar lion fountains.
Since historic tax credits were leveraged in this renovation, several interior details were also restored with new uses. Per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
The principal’s office at Lafayette is now the residents’ laundry but the school's marble and travertine entrance, broad staircases and maple-floored hallways are restored to meet historic tax credit requirements.
There is protected off-street parking including covered parking, a large landscape surrounding the building and all the other modern amenities one would expect. A two bedroom/one bath unit leases for ~$1275/month.
photo credit: Advantes Property Management

This location is great with easy access to Interstates, public transportation, Downtown and South City. Most of all, this is a very walkable location with the beautiful Pontiac Square Park just footsteps away and local markets and businesses aplenty.
It's great to see this historic building get an extended life and new use, bringing vibrancy, positivity and new residential options to a great St. Louis neighborhood. 

The next historic schools up for residential conversion include a ~$5.2M buildout of 38 residential units in the Sherman School at 3942 Flad Avenue in Shaw (built in 1895, designed by William B. Ittner). This project is also being done by Advantes who made the purchase at $700K. (source)

Sherman is tucked right in the interior of a dense, historic neighborhood.
Then, the Gratiot School at Hampton and Manchester in the Clayton/Tamm Neighborhood (built in 1873) is being converted by Garcia Properties (another city business, located on Kingshighway). The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:
Joining the closed-school-to-apartment trend is Garcia Development Corp., which (on December 29, 2015) put Gratiot School, at 1615 Hampton Avenue, under contract for $414,000. Jenifer Garcia, a company owner, said the plan was to redo the school as 22 market-rate apartments.
Gratiot has 27,474-square-foot on 2.86 acres of land right at Manchester and Hampton perfectly located between I-44 and I-64. It served as the SLPS Archives for several years before they closed it in 2013.

Good to see these historic structures finding investment and new life. Let's hope there is a market for the many closed school in North City.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The St. Louis Shotgun

You've heard of the American foursquare and the flounder that are quite prevalent throughout St. Louis. But sometimes when I'm tooling around the city I'll run across a long, narrow rectangular home, some of which are colloquially referred to as "shotguns".

Here's a classic example from New Orleans, Louisiana:

Photo credit: PorterBriggs.com, the Voice of the South

I like this term and wanted to share some thoughts on how it first came to me and what it means and how three particular songs creep into my head each time I come across a classic example of a shotgun house:

"I said shotgun, shoot 'em 'fore he run now..."
"Shotgun": Junior Walker

"And you may find yourself in a shotgun shack..."
"Once In A Lifetime": Talking Heads 

"Well you're crazy mama with your ball and chain and your sawn off shotgun blown out brains..."
"Crazy Mama": The Rolling Stones

These are the songs that flood my brain when I see the many shotgun homes in St. Louis. They are interspersed all over town, north to south from Walnut Park West to the Patch. Though you kind of have to train your eye toward them, as most of them are rather nondescript.

I first heard the term from my girlfriend (now wife) when she first moved to St. Louis from Fairview Heights, Illinois. She rented a "shotgun apartment" in South City. It was the first time I'd heard it, but I loved the way it sounded.  So American! A house like a gun! I thought she was so cool for renting "a shotgun apartment in South City". She was hipped to the term from the landlord that showed her the property.

It's just another small piece of the story on how we fell for St. Louis, a mystery around every corner.

A shotgun is defined as a narrow rectangular domestic residence, usually no more than ~12 feet wide, with rooms arranged one behind the other and doors at each end of the house.
                        Photo credit: PorterBriggs.com, the Voice of the South


The thing that was curious about her apartment building is that it was a four family with two units at ground level and two units above. Therefore it was really more of a side-by-side shotgun, a double-barreled shotgun!

Actually, some might call it a "camelback" shotgun which is defined as a shotgun floor plan that includes a second floor at the rear of the house or directly atop the ground level floor (source). Probably not, but there are variations on the classic shotgun shack.

Either way, it was a shotgun floor plan, and in my many years traversing around St. Louis, I've come to love these homes even though most of the local examples do not have the ornate Victorian embellishments on the front porches like the ones in the deep South.

A recent trip to Memphis, Tennessee sealed my fondness for the style when I found out Aretha Franklin (among other blues/soul greats) was born in a shotgun shack...cementing my fascination and curiosity with these homes...entangling the home style with some of the most influential American music ever created.
Aretha Franklin's Memphis home through age 2: photo credit: Memphis Flyer

So it seemed like a worthy use of my Thanksgiving morning before the turkey goes in the over and the house is full of family to investigate where this term came from and give it some St. Louis context.

The earliest known use of "shotgun house" as a name for these dwellings appeared in a classified ad in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on August 30, 1903. (source)

There are three main accounts on the story behind the term "shotgun":

The first is all about the floor plan where the rooms are all lined up in a row with no hallways, usually in the following order: living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. It was an efficient use of space when cities were crowded and densely built and narrow and long lots were simply more affordable.

The second story is the most entertaining. It claims that if you opened the doors from front to back, you could shoot a shotgun clean through the house. This theory, likely more folklore than anything, was popularized by a prominent architect and preservationist in New Orleans, Louisiana named Samuel Wilson Jr.  He also suggested that shotgun-style houses originated in the Creole suburbs of New Orleans in the early 1800s.

Thirdly, it is a design element for hot weather environments, where if you open the front and back doors, a shotgun breeze will flow through all rooms of the house cooling it.

Most historians seem to agree with Samuel Wilson Jr. that the shotgun originated in the Southern U.S., mainly New Orleans with ties to West Africa and Haiti.

Shotgun architecture is now widely recognized as an African American contribution to American architectural styles.

Evidence suggests that this name is actually a corruption of the word “shogon.” In West Africa, “shogon” means “God’s House.”

John Michael Vlach, Professor of American Studies and Anthropology at The George Washington University in D.C. and director of the university's Folklife Program research backs up the origins of this architectural style came to New Orleans from West Africa via Haiti. 
In Haiti, enslaved Africans took the architectural form common to their homeland and using local materials built narrow buildings with gabled entrances, stucco walls, thatched roofs, and shuttered windows so they could enjoy the only privacy allowed to them. They also wrote African motifs into the exterior framing of their homes. 
When Africans in Haiti revolted in 1791, many European plantation owners fled to New Orleans, taking with them enslaved Africans still under their control. Many other free people of color migrated to New Orleans as well. This had a profound effect on the demographics of New Orleans. In 1810, the population of New Orleans was approximately 1/3 white, 1/3 enslaved Africans, and 1/3 free people of color, most of who had come from Haiti. 
In New Orleans, free people of color continued to build shotgun houses, replacing their African motifs with gingerbread trimmings. And the porch on the front of these houses was quite distinct from French homes whose outdoor areas were actually interior courtyards. The front porch on shotgun houses supported interconnectedness between people and gave neighbors a strong sense of community. 
John H. Lienhard, Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and History at the University of Houston decided they must be a regional invention from the Louisiana bayou country. That's where the older ones seemed to be concentrated. He traces the shotgun house to the early 1800s. Then he finds older shotgun houses in the sugar-growing plantation islands -- in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Finally, he finds that same distinctive design in West Africa. (source)
The folklore of the shotgun being fired through the front door and exiting through the back has been somewhat debunked by at least one researcher. 
The explanation is a quaint one, and would likely have made sense for the Haitian homes upon which the American shotgun house design is based. Once the homes were erected in the U.S., however, doors were usually placed off center, so that a person conducting such an experiment would've probably taken a sizable chunk out of the rear wall of the front room. (Another etymological explanation is that the shotgun house takes its name from that aforementioned West African style of home. (source)
Another interesting note is that some historians claim the shotgun holds another American first:
The shotgun house brought a new home design concept to the United States: the porch. The overhanging roof along the front of the house created a stoop where a family could congregate on a hot evening. The front of a traditional shotgun house would usually encroach upon the sidewalk, and the house's porch gave rise to the longstanding New Orleans custom of visiting outside with neighbors in the evening (source).
As I was reading up this topic and Southern black culture, I couldn't help but think that our culture in St. Louis is exactly what is described in the South, or at least borrowed in some way. I currently live in a majority African American neighborhood and it became apparent pretty quickly that many black people in St. Louis are front porch sitters, this is where the visiting and socializing occurs. White people are more likely to take it to the back yard where fire pits, chairs, etc are set up. Many blacks that ended up in St. Louis came from the South looking for factory jobs, so maybe the many shotguns in the city and the front porch sits have New Orleans, or at least Southern roots. 

However, the shotgun is not exclusive to black families/culture, it eventually spread out of the South to all parts of the U.S.
The influence of the shotgun house would soon extend beyond the African-American community. By the beginning of the 20th century, shotgun house building kits were available on the market for $100. The structures soon began to appear in cities across the United States. Because of their simple design, shotgun houses could be erected quickly, which soon made them a common sight in the boom towns of the West.

But the very nature and design of these homes helped to strengthen the African-American community in the U.S. Because of their close proximity and porches, shotgun houses helped give rise to tight-knit neighborhoods. The shotgun house -- modest, constructed close to other homes, imported from the Caribbean and Africa -- has become somewhat emblematic of the African-American experience. Writes historian Denise Andrews: "The shotgun house represents the slaves' reaction to adversity, making sense of their new environment by modifying familiar living patterns. Cultural contact did not necessitate massive change in architecture; but rather an intelligent modification of culture" (source).
There are both wood-sided and brick shotguns all over St. Louis. I haven't found one with the ornate Victorian porch design, but I'm on the hunt.
Per the St. Louis Cultural Resources Office:
The shotgun house is often found in older St. Louis neighborhoods. Shotgun houses appear in frame with a front-facing gable, or in brick, with a hipped roof. Examples from this period can be found in Carondelet, Hyde Park and Old North St. Louis neighborhoods. 
The shotgun house at 8225 Vulcan, in Carondelet, is built of brick on a rubble stone foundation. Constructed about 1860, it is three rooms deep and has a low hipped roof, and simple corbelled cornice. From a low porch, the front door opens directly into the house's front room. The porch is a modern addition, but the remainder of the house is in close to original condition. (source)
But, shotguns are all over the city, not just the oldest parts. Look no further than Tower Grove South where my favorites are located right in a row on Morgan Ford Road just north of Stella Blues.
Here are some examples in the deep south of St. Louis near Carondelet and the Patch, including the one on Vulcan Street mentioned above on the city website.
 8225 Vulcan Street
But they are located all over, north to south. St. Louis has shotguns in spades. Enjoy them.