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Modern Infill in Dogtown

March 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,

Modern Infill on Fairmount Ave - Note the Hybrid Escalade parked out front

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.

Forest and Glades

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.

Downtown from an empty lot on Fairmount

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:

Brockschmidt Place near Tamm

than this:

New Houses on Fairmount

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.

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8 comments

  1. God I love the view from Dogtown.


  2. I actually like every house pictured. Even the ones on Fairmount. I think they all work well in their context.

    I wish that they could have foregone driveways/curb cuts, but the structures themselves look nice to me.

    Love the historic ones, too. A whole lot of love going around today from me.


  3. The architecture on Brockschmidt Place is quite unique. Despite being a bit unfamiliar with American architecture, these dwellings look amazing!


    • Aren’t they cool? I have to pause almost every time I walk or drive past them.


      • Hopefully one day I may be able to get into the heart of the USA…


  4. I much prefer to see buildings like those you often see in Seattle. Rather than look at six garage doors there is a single door to a shared garage. The sidewalk is a much more pleasant place with fewer garage doors.


    • It would be nice to consolidate garage doors, but most of the newer homes in Dogtown I have seen are single-family. I actually think that attached two-car garages could be helping ease “County People” back into life in the city.



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