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Formerly Vacant House Now Occupied

Architecture in St. Louis has grabbed my attention since that first day I drove in on I-44 from Oklahoma, that was in August 1990.  In March 2004 I attended a Rehabber’s Club meeting with a good friend, architect Dustin Bopp, in the Benton Park West neighborhood. Afterwards I walked across the intersection to admire a boarded up house on a large corner lot. It was built in 1887.

2706 Wyoming on March 27, 2004.
27xx Wyoming on March 27, 2004.

Beautiful, I thought. I could see past the boarded up first floor windows and the moss growing on the brick in the corner, imaging it when new and how it might be again someday. Life moved on and I forgot all about this house.

Then a few months ago I stumbled across the above photo on my computer and I wondered what became of this home. Was it torn down? Still vacant & boarded? Occupied?

Same house now
Same house now
Front view
Front view
Front entrance
Front entrance

I found out online that work began less than a month after I saw the house and in 2006 it sold to the current occupants. Last week I finally got by to see it again. Magnificent!

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Currently there are "14 comments" on this Article:

  1. Scott Jones says:

    One house at a time… looks great!

     
  2. Amy Headrick says:

    Love that house, thats my neighbor’s…WOW…never seen their house before their rehab!!
    Way to go Kim!

     
  3. samizdat says:

    Nice. I am especially appreciative of the decision to retain the original arch-top opening in the relevant windows. I am hoping that they are original windows, but if not, it is still a relief to see the house the way it should be, but often isn’t.

     
  4. moe says:

    I wonder if tax credits played a role or if this was 100% private. Don’t get all dissy yet folks. Tax credits have played an important role in some sections of our City (McKee not included) and if they get cut further, some projects could suffer. On the other hand, the building was in good shape it seems, even the windows on the second floor are intact. So I wonder if the inside was a total rehab or not. But bottom line, it’s good that the house found a new life and adds once again to the neighborhood.

    Steve…I think you’ve mentioned in the past, but what brought you to St. Louis in 1990 and later motivated you to move to our City? (You know, I see the pictures of the economic destruction of such cities as Detroit, Pittsburg, etc….and I see similar buildings sitting in a field of trash and rubble and on one hand I think thank God we haven’t suffered as much as some cities (including north side, we still are better than what some cites have gone through) and yet, I think what a waste…if only…if only…

     
    • It does appear St. Louis tax abatement was granted in this property, not sure if Missouri historic rehab tax credits were.

      To answer your question about moving to St. Louis in 1990, I’d just finished college and was going to be roommates with a friend in Washington DC. We drove up I-44 from Oklahoma, turned south on I-55, exited at Arsenal, turned right on Lemp and a block later we were at her mom’s house. I was hooked by the time we stopped. The next day her mom and a gay couple she knew gave us a tour of the city. I fell in love and that day I decided I’d live in St. Louis.

       
  5. Brian Kenney says:

    Wait! You were two blocks from my house and didn’t stop by to say hello? Kidding. There are a lot of houses in BPW waiting for rehabs like this.

     
    • I want to see your project in person! That day I was a transit user so 1) I had the chair 2) planned three stops on my bus transfer. Besides stopping at Jefferson @ Wyoming I also stopped at Jefferson @ Gravois and Jefferson @ Lafayette. With a bus every 20 minutes I had just enough time to take pictures at each point and return to the stop for the next bus. DFS and I will drive there to see it sometime so I don’t have the chair to deal with.

       
  6. kimbollinger says:

    Hey!! That’s US!! 🙂 What a great surprise to see our house here – thank you, Steve for the kudos!! We’ve been here almost 7 years and loving it! Still have some details to complete, but of course a home-owners work is never done! Especially an OLD home-owner’s house! 🙂 I so appreciated seeing this! (thanks for sharing Carrie!)

    We welcome you to stop by and see the old place! It took about 3 years to rehab all the way to the studs. Needed electricity, AC & heat, water and everything else you can imagine! Yes, we did get the 10 year tax abatement which was a big and much needed draw after sinking a lot of dollars into the place. We fixed it up to historical standards including all wood windows on the street-sides. We planted the required 5 trees along the street when we moved in and they seem to be doing well – even after they had to dig one up when there was a sewage break out front a few years ago! We ran into some financial difficulties after my hubby’s work closed down and we had a job-hunting transition about 3 years ago. It took a couple of years for him to find work and recover, but we’re back in the saddle and continue to make improvements as we can!

    Thanks bunches for the kind compliments and pics! It’s so nice to get a pat or two after the years of elbow grease, being “fully leaded” after removing layers of paint, and wondering if all those dollars and energy spent indeed was the right thing for us to do! 🙂 Articles like that make it feel worthwhile!

    Come see us sometime!
    Kim & Scott

    2706 Wyoming

     
    • guest says:

      A story like this is refreshing compared to so many of the “what if” oriented discussions. Here we see real leadership: people sinking in their own time, treasure, and lives into making something happen. Nothing pie in the sky about. Quite the contrary: vision brought to reality by old fashioned hard work and commitment. We need more stories like this!

       
    • No, thank you for providing such a pleasant subject for my 2013 photo. I’m so glad I wasn’t the only person who appreciated this house. Congrats on a beautiful home!!

       
    • Kim,
      Just a personal note to thank you for the great job on 2706 Wyoming. I’m so pleased the house is in good hands.
      When I took that pic in March 2004 I had no idea what the outcome would be, it’s nice to see positive results.
      Steve


      Sent from my iPad
      Text/Voicemail: (314) 514-5785

       
  7. JZ71 says:

    And from today’s Post-Dispatch: “St. Louis is the fourth-best place in the country for buying cheap old fixer-upper houses, according to RealtyTrac.”

     

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