Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Old North St. Louis Restoration Group has always maintained a commitment to the ideal that current and prospective residents, from across the economic spectrum, should be able to find high quality housing opportunities appropriate and affordable for their individual circumstances. With that said, we were excited to learn that Habitat for Humanity was interested in adding some of their homes to our efforts to ensure that the market in ONSL includes high quality, affordable ownership opportunities. Last week ONSLRG hosted a community meeting to allow neighborhood residents to hear from Habitat for Humanity staff about their plans to build 17 new, energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly homes in Old North this year.
The large turnout and lively discussion demonstrated that Old North residents are passionate about design related issues. A lot of conversation focused on whether the contemporary design of the new homes would blend well with the historic character of the neighborhood. Most historic neighborhoods that have been around for nearly a couple hundred years, however, include a range of housing styles that reflect the diversity of the population and the evolving tastes and construction methods. While Old North is well known for its red brick, Victorian-era townhouses, the neighborhood is also home to buildings with facades of other materials and colors, as well as variation in size and setback.
It’s worth noting that Habitat’s staff and architects took the time to come up with designs that represent a significant departure from previous homes they’ve built in St. Louis - and with features that reflect characteristics of other homes in Old North, including the neighborhood’s sampling of flounder houses and one-story homes, especially in the northwest part of the neighborhood.
The rendering above shows one of the two-story flounder-style models adjacent to one of the one-story models.
The plan at the moment is for some of the preliminary development work to get started as early as the next month with volunteer crews to be on site for build days in two different waves, one from April through June, and the second from July through September. The homes are to be built on the 1900 blocks of Hebert and Sullivan, and the 1400 block of Dodier (between Blair and 19th), as shown below. As the site plan indicates, Habitat’s plan has attracted the interest of EcoUrban, another private developer with a track record for high quality, award-winning green buildings.
For information about how to get on the list for homeownership or to volunteer to help build these homes, contact Habitat for Humanity at 314-371-0400. To offer your thoughts about how this development fits into the overall redevelopment of Old North St. Louis or for other general neighborhood questions, contact ONSLRG at 314-241-5031 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.