Posted on August 8th, 2010 5 comments
750 North Taylor
The 1884 W.F. Warner home in the heart of historic Kirkwood is listening to the tick-tock of the demolition clock, with hopes of a save before the alarm rings.
On the market since 2008, the price has reduced to $895,000, and a new home builder holds an option on it, pending approval of his plans to create 4 new homes on the almost-2 acres of land it has occupied for 126 years.
The Kirkwood Landmarks Commission is trying to save it, and yard sings all over Kirkwood show solidarity. But the trouble with finding a new owner who won’t tear it down is the prohibitive cost of rehabbing and updating it for 21st century living.
Even as the asking price comes down, the rough estimate of $200k for renovation would exceed the home’s value. This is according to the developer who wants to tear it down. He also believes it needs to be a gut rehab. And of course he’d think that, but it’s not necessarily accurate.
The Warner mansion qualifies for historic tax credits. Everything about it is an Old House Journal wet dream. And it feels as if Kirkwood residents are approaching the tipping point of tolerating teardowns – this is not their first rodeo.
If the ideal private residence buyer cannot be found, can other options be explored? Off the top of the head: bed and breakfast, Kirkwood history museum, tea room and meeting space…
Because of the surrounding neighborhood, I’m thinking of lower traffic, money-making ventures that would require a tweak to zoning, but would update and preserve the home to be shared with others in a way that could eventually recoup the costs. Maybe the Kirkwood Landmarks Commission could chip in to make this possible?
There can be a Plan B, C or D for this beautiful home, and since Plan A is not working, let’s hope some inspirational wheels of thought are turning in the minds of those who can make a real difference for the past, present and future of Kirkwood.historic preservation, st. louis county 750 north taylor, kirkwood landmarks commission, kirkwood missouri, w.f. warner house, webster-kirkwood times
5 Responses to “Save 750 North Taylor in Kirkwood”
steve carosello August 9th, 2010 at 9:48 AM
I’m not seeing a vaulted great room! Furthermore, no island in the kitchen? No Kirkwood helicopter mom would be caught dead in that dump.
Is there a historic district in that area of Kirkwood that would make the home eligible for tax credits?
richard stupidhead August 22nd, 2010 at 7:55 PM
steve: yeah, who the hell would want to live in some nicely proportioned Tara fantasy on 2 acres in a decent neighborhood/school district?
This is a beautiful house on the outside and needs much loving. We stopped by this house last Sunday (11.7.10). Love, love love the location. We would love to buy it and rehab it. I am the ideal buyer. As I researched the homes situation further…it is really locked up in red tape…and the lucky land developer has a wonderfully written contract that does not include a “kick-out” clause. Apparently “they” are just dragging their feet to “appease the people”. The land developer has a lot of money already wrapped up in the house (designs and planning)and would lose a lot of money if the house was zoned as historic. What I was told that even if a contract was submitted for the full asking price…that it would not be considered. Hopefully “someone” has some “big” connections and can zone the house historic. I would think that the developer would at least consider selling the historic house to someone that would have restoration in mind. Why would you want the neighbors all mad at you??…I guess he doesn’t care…he won’t be living there and bringing the value of his own house down.
If anyone out there has information that would help me to purchase this house…please call me.
Aimee – 314-443-9152
Michelle November 22nd, 2010 at 6:24 PM
We too were/are interested in the home. Our agent took us inside and it has great potential. We even went so far as to write a letter to both the owner and real estate agent to express our interest in the home to restore it for our family home. We heard nothing back. I spoke to the agent and he explained that you could put a back up contract on the home but wouldn’t know anything until sometime in 2011. What reasonably family would put their family on hold for that long. The developer is in the commercial development field, so he knows how to write a contract in which the owner has no way out. Shame on him for wanting to tear down this beautiful home. Especially since he lives in the ajoining neighborhood, why would you want your name and reputation smeared like that?