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  • A Kirkwood Teardown Courtesy of Nuns?

    Posted on February 26th, 2011 Toby Weiss 6 comments
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    328 N. Fillmore
    Kirkwood, MO

    Here’s the construction site of another new home in Kirkwood. Here’s what it will look like:

    Yawn.
    Here’s what was torn down:

    Those familiar with it always remarked how Harris Armstrong it seemed at first glance. Look a little longer and you realize it’s a modernizing remodel.

    The home that is now demolished was from 1917.  Somewhere along the way, it was given the ultra-spare modern update, maybe during the late ’50s-early ’60s when anything with even a whiff of Victorian or Traditional to it was considered gauche.

    Also of interest is who sold this house to Lewis Homes. The previous owner is listed as Sister of Mercy of the Union. Check out this link and learn this group disbanded in 1991 to instead become Sisters of Mercy of America. Assumption can be made that if they were still using the old title for real estate transactions (for which they pay no property tax, according to St. Louis County records), they have owned this place since at least 1991.

    Good thing the Sisters of Mercy don’t own this beauty:

    This is a neighbor across the intersection of N. Fillmore and E. Washington. This home and the demolished one are what added spice to this immediate block, because so many eras of architecture are covered. High variety in a bucolic, high-density setting is invigorating. Regardless of time period built, not a one of these homes are immune to teardowns. There’s been plenty of outrage over some of the victims of this trend, but no real solutions… yet.

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    6 Responses to “A Kirkwood Teardown Courtesy of Nuns?”

    1. This is infuriating! Look at the bland crap that is going to replace it. Some people have such bad taste.

    2. Breaks my heart to see homes with character torn down to be replaced with cookie cutter charmless junk. Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s good.

    3. Hate that. (Awesome blog!)
      machelle

    4. John and Susan Minor Coeur d'Alene ID

      How many of you know that the square house that was torn down, courtesy of the nuns, was a DC generation power station for the old 01 streetcar that ran by? It went down to Old Orchard and perhaps beyond, p0erhaps to Clayton. I cannot rmemeber for sure. It was an old streetcar, mostly wood, that had 2 trolleys on top, one at each end, and the motorman had to get out at the end of the line and with a long pole unhooked one of the trolley poles that connected to the overhead power (DC), and then went to the other end and hooked the other one up. He then went to the driver’s station at the other end of the trolley car, after flipping all the wooden seatbacks so the passengers would be facing what was now the front of the car and proceeded to drive back along the 1 way line to the other end where he would repeat the switching process. I rode this 01 line many times as a youth in the late 1940′s. It ceased operation sometime in the early 50′s, and the power station remained vacant and was considered a local eyesore for years until some brave people bought it and turned it into a home. I think their name was Holscher but I could wrong on the name. My parents bought the house across from it pictured, from the original builder/owner Dr Rutledge a longtime Kirkwood family physician.

      John

    5. John and Susan Minor Coeur d'Alene ID

      The power station was definitely NOT a Harris Armstrong design. I lived next door to Harris Armstrong in Oakland on Sappington
      Spur for years, (he designed all 4 houses on Sappington Spur) and knew him well. He did not design it, it was square simply to house the DC generator to power the 01 streetcar line. And it was originally red brick.

      John

    6. not every old builkding is worth saving