Modern Infill in DogtownMarch 5, 2010
Yesterday, since the weather has been so wonderful I decided to explore my own neighborhood, Dogtown, about which I know too little. My intent was to visit Franz Park and convince myself to somehow make use of its proximity to benefit my health. Now that I know how nice and close it is, I hope to play a game of tennis there in the near future. Speaking of nice and close, I live in the Clayton-Tamm neighborhood. Our neighbor in Dogtown is the Franz Park neighborhood, and how nice and close it is! The one thing about walking around Franz Park that really got my attention though, is the large number of homes that appear to have been built very recently. Fairmount Ave (between Dale and Mitchell) is the most prominently modern street I walked down,
but other areas like Forest Ave North of Mitchell or Glades on the East side of Forest, or the North-East corner of Forest and Garner also have new homes standing out alongside old ones.
Steve Patterson mentions these homes back in December of ’04 on UrbanReviewSTL, and points out that there is no public alley behind this block (I did see one but I guess it’s “private”) justifying the street facing garage (if there’s no alley to hide the garage in where else are you going to put it?). He is not a fan of the street facing garages and driveways, but I see less of a problem with them when the houses themselves are close enough to the sidewalk to make the street still feel urban (and when there is no alley which was the case for every one of the modern homes I noticed yesterday). I will admit that the developments on Fairmount are ridiculous but I don’t blame developers for doing what they did. The rooftop views there are so valuable that they wanted properties that would add to the premium price.
I am happy to see new development in my neighborhood and in the city of St. Louis in general and I understand why people would want to live here and the draw of a brand new house over an antique, but personally, I am a much bigger fan of this:
Still, pretty much any house is better than the vacant lot pictured in the foreground above, and new city residents are just fine with me.