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My Listing in the 8th Annual Big Big Tour

March 22, 2007 South City 16 Comments

This years marks the 8th annual “Big Big Tour” of for sale homes in the City of St. Louis. As with past years, the events includes a wide variety of properties for sale. From their website:

St. Louis’ ONLY city-wide house tour returns soon for its eighth year! This popular and FREE extreme open house and Homebuyer’s Fair will be held Sunday, March 25, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. (Homebuyer’s Fair starts at 12:00, properties open at 1:00) beginning at Central Reform Congregation, 5020 Waterman at Kingshighway in the Central West End.

This year, over 200 “for sale” properties priced from $30,000 to well over $600,000 will be available to tour in neighborhoods in all corners of the city.

Be sure to check out the Big Big Tour this Sunday afternoon!

And while you are out and about, stop by and see my latest listing — a former shotgun house reconfigured into modern living space.

3459_Itaska - 02.jpg

I think this home may change your perceptions about what a shotgun house can look like. The owner of this house (which is not me, btw) relocated the kitchen from the back to the second room. This creates a public space in the front two rooms with a private bedroom area at the back. At just over 900sf, this is larger than some new lofts.

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And the new kitchen is stunning! Many of you may recognize the cabinets as being from Ikea, they are very effective providing lots of storage. But the point of this post is not to sell you the house but to show a new way to think about the shotgun house of which St. Louis has thousands of examples.

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The living room, dining area and kitchen all feel spacious and the relationship to each other is quite nice.

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Originally this house was actually a 4-room shotgun. The area you see above was a tiny kitchen. By removing the wall between the old kitchen and the closet sized bedroom the home feels so much more open.

3459_Itaska - 14.jpg

A bed now fits nicely in the back room with plenty of room for a home office and dressing area.

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The bathroom is entirely new and completely reconfigured from the original bathroom.

Many people have claimed these homes are “obsolete” as a means of justifying razing them. However, given the massive quantity of houses like this that we have I think it makes more sense to reconfigure the interior spaces to work for modern life.

Come by Sunday afternoon between 1pm and 4pm to check it out for yourself, the address is 3459 Itaska (map). For more information review the official listing; #719782 ($109,900).


Currently there are "16 comments" on this Article:

  1. Jim Zavist says:

    Looks great – good luck! . . . . “Obsolete” ranks up there with “blighted”. Value, as is beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes, yes, you do have to “throw money at the problem”. Fortunately, much of our old housing stock is masonry, so it takes a lot more neglect to make them truly worthless. In many other places, shotgun houses are wood-framed, so they’re more likely to be candidates for demolition after decades of neglect . . .

  2. Jan says:

    The house looks great. I love my old house even with its’ imperfections. I wish I could be in that good of shape at 98 years old.

    I often wonder if the new construction homes will be able to last 98 years like my old girl.

  3. maurice says:

    It does look great, though the modern furniture is not my style, I guess I have mixed feelings though because if this was a public site, I would not want to see agents pushing for a sale, but this is Steve’s site and he does have to earn a living (one would guess blogging doesn’t pay much).

    I think equally important is that the owners upgraded the flooring (refinished or pergo? bamboo would have been better), extremely nice warm colors that go with the modern feel of the furnishings. Furniture gives a feel for what can be accomplished in small spaces versus empty rooms. I see that somewhere in its’ history, they did not paint over the original wood trim (why is it that weekend remodelers do that when they should never touch a brush?) .

    [UrbanReviewSTL — For the record my blogging pays right around zip, so yes I must earn a living. Although regular readers will note that I seldom bring in my business life into the blog other than using the sidebar to advertise.  

    As far as flooring goes, this owner was able to save the existing flooring by having it refinished.  That is the most environmentally friendly thing to do in my view — rather than tossing out or covering good wood with additional material that required transportation and other energy uses.  Save what you can, replace what you must.] 

  4. Student discount?

  5. LisaS says:

    I’ve recently become re-enamoured of shotguns, and these photos give good reasons why: for an increasingly single population, they’re great! Good luck on selling it, Steve

    Also, Maurice–once you figure in the energy used to transport Asian bamboo to the States, and consider that most of the bamboo you see is the cheaper sort that is backed with poplar, not bamboo all the way through …. good old Missouri oak is a lot more sustainable. And in a lot of these old homes, the wood was originally painted. We went to a considerable amount of trouble to strip our millwork down to bare wood only to discover paint grade material unsuitable for clear finish. It goes house by house ….

  6. James says:

    According to the web, St. Louis Hardwoods carries Smith Flooring, from the FSC Certified and sustainably managed Pioneer Forest in Missouri.

  7. bev says:

    Great remodel! My husband does this for a “living” (ha!) and has a shotgun from the CDA that they said has been done the way it should be done. His and yours are nice little houses. Somewhere along the line my husband heard that there’s a shortage of inexpensive, small housing, so I say; Save the Shotguns! Or something…

  8. bch says:

    When you finish your degree, what are your career plans? Are you considering real estate? I had always thought you were aiming towards politics.


    [UrbanReviewSTL — I’ve been in real estate over 5 years now.  My degree will be a Masters in Urban Planning & Real Estate Development.]

  9. Jim Zavist says:

    So, you’re headed over to the dark side, to become a developer? 😉

  10. Steve-O says:

    The “Dark-side” could use a few Steve Pattersons.

  11. Jim Zavist says:

    I agree!

  12. Expat says:

    Great house! I used to not like shotguns, but now I love them. One level living is more attractive to me these days. And nobody builds small, one-level houses anymore. This is perfect for a single or a couple that wants to simplify. The advantage of a single-family house without all the stairs and extra rooms to maintain.

  13. andy says:


    Great looking house- I think these shotguns are really important in the affordable housing market.

    All these duplexes and 4-fams that are being converted to single and fee simple condos across the city can be big and expensive when finished. In decent neighborhoods, these 2 to 1 family conversions are usually in the 250-350k range. These shotguns can provide a great efficient space on the cheap, and that is ever important.


  14. Sandy says:

    Hi. I stumbled across your site and saw your remodel of this home. We are looking at remodeling a semi shotgun house and wondered if you would mind telling us around how much did the remodeling cost? You can email it to me at [email protected]. The house is a great price but I would want to do basically what you have done here. This would give me an idea of what we are looking at to redo it. Thanks so much.

    [SLP — I did not personally remodel this house — I was simply the listing agent.  Renovation costs can vary greatly depending upon what you start with and what you plan to do.  I suggest checking out the Rehabber’s Club at http://www.rehabbersclub.org]

  15. Sandy says:

    Thanks for the info. I live in Florida.

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