Built St. Louis > > Vanished Buildings > > McRee Town

I revisited the site of the neighborhood in May 2006. Clearance was widespread, but did not yet appear to be complete. Several blocks of houses stood vacant, some marked with ominous spraypainted X's which seemed to indicate their impending destruction.

The new houses were well underway on nearby blocks. They are larger than the buildings they replaced, clearly aimed at a higher income bracket. They are placed fairly close together, creating an urban street. Design-wise, they are the usual mish-mash of brick and vinyl siding, cappd with a plethora of gables, as if no other architectural gesture could possibly create the image of "home".

The development is known as Botanical Heights; the McRee Town name will presumably be swept away. The developer offers a whole range of "neo-traditional" homes. Many are rather bland and placeless - though I do rather like the row home option, and not just because it's the most urban. The Aldridge model also shows some awareness of its St. Louis context; the flat-roof model is especially charming.

The destruction of McRee Town remains a controversial issue three years later, as a recent blog post demonstrates.

More on McRee Town at Ecology of Absence, including photos from 2004 and 2005.

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