Holy cow, creative and inspiring infill right here in South City? Indeed, and it looks dynamite. St. Louis has so many holes and empty lots, this city NEEDS infill to make streets contiguous and sound. You know not everyone wants to maintain a 100 year old home. Some people simply want new and presumably lower maintenance, higher energy efficiency but with city living amenities. Bring em on. St. Louis NEEDS more infill of all types...and we can do better than the more traditional suburban designs that already exist in much of Botanical Heights (complete with cut off streets to form cul-de-sacs).
This is a fascinating part of the city with so much potential to connect itself to the utterly amazing Shaw neighborhood and Missouri Botanical Gardens to the south and southwest and the dwindling (see SLU residential demolitions), but no less inspiring Tiffany neighborhood to the northeast and the burgeoning Forest Park Southeast neighborhood to the northwest. For whatever reason I love this part of town. The Willard Home Products and other factories are so well maintained and remind me of the old days when St. Louis MADE things and people lived near factories where they worked. This area has tons of potential.
I've circled the area of Botanical Heights that is getting a face lift.
Again, note its proximity to Shaw immediately to the south of the I-44 barrier...now we just need to get rid of the out-lived Schoemehl pots and street barriers that were installed to impede access from the formerly problematic McRee Town to the burgeoning Shaw neighborhood. Now that there is positive activity and a larger school in this area north of I-44, the city needs to reopen the streets that the tax payers pay for to provide...here it comes...access from one neighborhood to another. Here's an example of the roads cut off at I-44, the unofficial barrier between Shaw and Botanical Heights.
Physical barriers between Shaw and Botanical HeightsTo me, the reopening of a street means an area has "made it" and the ghetto behavior that got the roads closed in the first place is now in check.
Back to the construction work going on in Botanical Heights. In my opinion, this modern infill looks fantastic against our old brick beauties. Here's a fact: they don't build em like they used to. You simply can't, so our old brick, stone and wood beauties are relics of another era. Yet many of them have not withstood the test of time and disinvestment & neglect of owners, so there are plenty of empty lots in mostly all neighborhoods. Some areas such as Lafayette Square and Soulard have seen AMAZING new construction that fit in very well with the old classics...other neighborhoods have not done so well. I've got nothing against modern and crisp/clean lines...heck, I'd be happy if the empty lots on my block (in a local historic district) were filled in with well-done mod designs like you'll see below. It's simply a compliment if you ask me. One era saying to another: "here's the best design and materials of their respective times living together in harmony".
Check out this nice looking new construction underway in Botanical Heights:
And there are also plenty of old buildings/homes undergoing rehab: