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  • The Doors of St. Louis Hills

    Posted on July 6th, 2005 Toby Weiss 3 comments
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    St. Louis Hills is so enchanting, so perfect that it’s like being on a movie set. A sweet, nostalgic movie about the perfect city neighborhoods your grandparents lived in. Or being on a television show set, that lost episode of Family Affair where swinging city bachelor Bill decides Buffy & Jody need greenery and open air, but it must be in an urban setting.

    It’s a gorgeous place, the architecture alone is deserving of the coffee table book treatment. The houses distinctly divide into two characters: pre-WW2 and post-WW2. If it were an album, it’d be Heart’s Dog & Butterfly. On the “Dog” side, there’s one really cool and queer detail that needs a spotlight: The Doors!

    Most all of these ranch houses appear to have been originally built with matching front and garage doors. Decades of home improvements have sullied the mix, but enough remain to turn hunting for them into a leisurely sport.

    Biking through the neighborhood on a holiday weekend morning, I collected as many doors as I could without making anyone uncomfortable. They are hastily taken, usually in poor lighting, and lots of the (most choice) garage doors were up because the owners were working in and/or out of them. I don’t have the time or the funds to do it properly, but still, it had to be done, because I just love them so damn much.

    FRONT DOORS

    GARAGE DOORS

    MATCHED SETS!

    Special Note: Architecturally, the North Side & South Side of St. Louis City have many mirroring neighborhoods, but not nearly as many Door examples remain in the North. I’ve also seen versions in both North & South County, but nowhere is there a better concentration than St. Louis Hills Estates.

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    3 Responses to “The Doors of St. Louis Hills”

    1. Excellent post. I’ve often admired the architecture in St. Louis Hills. I went on a house tour a few years back. Although I am frequently in this neighborhood, I never noticed the matches. Very cool…

    2. So glad you finally got this great photo-essay together! But what I’m really interested in (and a little mystified by) is the Heart-album analogy. Would it be accurate to say there’s a little “Passionworks” to Lafayette Square and that the Moorlands Addition is totally “Bad Animals,” or am I missing the point? 😉

    3. I absolutely love St. Louis hills! I just hope that more and more professionals will be moving into the area so they are well-heeled enough to take good care of these wonderful houses. I hate to see any of these beauties fall into the hands of people who neglect their homes.

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