Lafayette Square

9 06 2012

If you thought my first house tour was eye candy, then prepared to be blown away.  There are 75 pictures here, so I arranged them in an auto-scrolling slideshow.  You can stop and manually go forward and back.  You can also view an individual picture right-clicking on it and using your browser’s “view image” functionality.  Hint:  Delete everything in the URL bar after “jpg,” stuff like “?w=470.”  Then you will see the image in its native size, 640×480 or 480×640.

I think these might be the best pics of LS on the internet.  But still, pictures don’t do this neighborhood justice.  This was the first city neighborhood to experience gentrification in the population decline era of the city proper, we’re talking 1970s and 1980s.  Wanna buy in LP?  You better come to the party with at least $300k if you want a condo or a half a million if you want a standalone house.

But, believe it or not, these are not the most exquisite park-front houses in St. Louis.  Lindell Avenue north of Forest Park takes that honor.  I personally like the houses that face Carondelet Park to the north along Holly Hills.  But, diff’rent strokes…

I start at Mississippi Avenue just over the I-44 overpass, then work my way around Lafayette Park counterclockwise (Mississippi Ave-Park Ave-Missouri Ave-Lafayette Ave), then a few pics within LP, then I head east a little bit on Lafayette Avenue toward 18th Street.  You will notice that the biggest free-standing houses (i.e. not condos) are on the north side of the park along Park Avenue — That tends to be the rule in St. Louis when it comes to park front housing, best along the north.  Also notice the flying buttresses on the church, not often seen in The STL.

Took these photos today after departing Soulard Market.

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6 responses

9 06 2012

Very nice. Like the white with the purple door and trim! Did a quick search; doesn’t appear to be a whole lot for sale on Lafayette Ave. [didn’t search the other streets you listed [Mississippi, Park, etc.] and that is a good thing – that they are owned and not foreclosed… And, the prices? I think they seem reasonable enough. It keeps the riff raff out that way. [There is a really nice looking 4 bedroom, 2 or 3 bath, fixer-upper – brick – 2,400 square feet, for sale for only $67,000! A hundred grand, maybe two hundred, or so would bring the house back to its intended grandness – is that even a word?]

9 06 2012

doesn’t appear to be a whole lot for sale

Why would there be? Who would want to sell if you already owned one of these? Especially since you probably purchased during the overheated market of mid-decade last. Even LS had to suffer some property value diminution after the financial crash.

The house numbers of the streets directly on the park are 14xx, 15xx and 16xx Mississippi Ave and Missouri Avenue, and 20xx, 21xx and 22xx Park Ave and Lafayette Ave, if you want to monitor the MLS.

It keeps the riff raff out that way.

And the riff raff isn’t that far away, just on the other side of Jefferson. When LS residents go out for walks, they don’t go west, I can assure you that much. Lafayette Park itself doesn’t have many amenities, the residents got the city to take out the basketball hoops in the ’90s. Guess who they’re trying not to attract.

A hundred grand, maybe two hundred, or so would bring the house back to its intended grandness

Someone who had a fixer-upper business for South City houses told me that a Lafayette Square house that needs renovation takes $200+ to return to glory. Soulard, almost as much. Other city neighborhoods, not that much. And this was after the cost of materials spiked because we were rebuilding Iraq.

That $67G property listed must not have been on the park itself, because I saw nothing on the park or in the immediate offshoots on Mississippi or Lafayette that looks like it needs renovation.

Also, remember this story from a few weeks ago?

Even if there weren’t already a repository for fresh fruits and vegetables (and sometimes live animals) just down Lafayette a bit, (hint: going there today gave me the opportunity to take these pics, as I live in Ballwin), the people who live in LS can afford to travel a bit to get fresh fruits and veges if need be.

9 06 2012

I just did a quick search – first by zip code [after I looked it up – google] and then by Lafayette Ave. The $67K house wasn’t in the area of your photos – it had a yard. And, I know NOTHING about St. Louis – weather, demographics, etc.

With regard to not much being for sale – in my quick search – I think that is a good thing. In the little development we’re currently in [we rent; we’re building a house], there are about 350 houses. There -are 13 or 14 for sale – and this one will be on the market on July 1st. The owner is black; but for him, there is only ONE other black family, here. With no offense to the people that live in this development, I don’t think that an influx of color is going to be very welcome. Certainly the houses in your photos are a heck of a LOT more interesting WITH character and old-charm than the six or seven different houses in this cookie-cutter neighborhood of a development and the houses here are are all in the $230-280ish range. Our little town has its areas, but they aren’t right next to us. Drive ten minutes either direction though…

9 06 2012


Lafayette Avenue in St. Louis City runs the gamut. In its western section, it is nearly solid ghetto. A fixer-upper in those parts on the market for 67k will not actually sell for that much.

9 06 2012

Good stuff. I like the ones south of the park along Lafayette. Most of those have the look of a cross between Lafayette Square and Benton Park, some of which you’ve covered before.

There are some better individual pictures of L.S. out there, but I don’t think there is a more comprehensive set than yours. You cover just about every house and condo that fronts to the park and a few others.

11 06 2012
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