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DETONTY COMMONS

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SAINT LOUIS CITY CULTURAL RESOURCES OFFICE SUBMITTAL JULY 10, 2013

The DeTonty Commons project is proposed by St. Louis based developer UIC. The project site is located on the southern side of the 4100 block of DeTonty Street, facing Interstate Highway 44. DeTonty is the current northern boundary of the Shaw Neighborhood and its Certified Local District. UIC has spearheaded efforts in the Botanical Heights neighborhood (Leggitt and Myers HD) to the north, which has or will include the rehabilitation of approximately 50 contributing structures over a 5 year period. UIC has also spearheaded efforts to revitalize the barricaded highway underpass on Thurman Avenue, and has provided discounted design services for the Shaw Neighborhood’s efforts toward the beatification of the Shaw Boulevard streetscape. The proposed 16 home development that is described in the following pages has been endorsed by Alderman Stephen Conway and the Board of the Shaw Neighborhood Housing Corporation, following a 6 month review and discussion period. UIC has been awarded development rights to the site by the City’s Community Development Administration.

Botanical Grove

Thurman Underpass Project Site Shaw Blvd.

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AREA PLAN

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The site for the proposed DeTonty Commons is on the northern boundary of Shaw Neighborhood, which is now unfortunately defined by a raised portion of I-44. The highway was constructed on the historic boundary between what was McRee Town (now Botanical Heights) and Shaw, which would historically have been contiguous zones of same sized city blocks, with distinction coming in the age and design of homes. The result of the highway insertion is that the northern side of DeTonty is a lightly landscaped highway embankment with no physical or acoustic separation. This peripheral condition and highway adjacency, significantly reduced the viability of the existing residential structures and eventually the structures located on the proposed site were abandoned and deteriorated enough that the City and Neighborhood elected to demolish them. Some redevelopment has recently occurred, particularly in the home on the southwest corner of DeTonty and Thurman, which was rehabilitated in 2011. However, two proposed developments that sought to build new homes with front elevations facing onto DeTonty have failed in the past several years, due to lack of demand.

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SITE ANALYSIS

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The proposed site plan for DeTonty Commons, calls for the existing 14 lots to be replatted to created 16 lots that are oriented east to west, thus perpendicular to DeTonty Street. The lots are configured to create two landscaped courtyards or ‘commons’ with eight homes facing onto each commons. The homes facing DeTonty will be all brick units, with internal units clad in cement fiber lap siding in four and six inch exposures. The homes will have garages located to the rear of the lots, with three new private alleys constructed to access the alleys. In order to maintain the historic density of the site and make the project financially viable, with 16 homes, the northern most lots do extend beyond the historic setbacks. However, as the proposed site represents approximately two-thirds of the block, the new development will set a new precedent. Additionally, the proposed garages have been placed to match the historic setbacks, given their adjacency to existing structures on the east and west ends of the site. The public walks, tree lawn, and northern extents of the site will be replaced and landscaped, including new street trees and a hedgerow with a low fence. The developer is also coordinating efforts with the neighborhood and MODOT to plant the highway embankment with high density plantings that will help to buffer the connection to the highway.

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New Embankment Landscaping

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SITE PLAN

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Shaw Neighborhood and the adjacent Southwest Garden Neighborhood have several precedents for property alignments that alter the traditional block configuration, such as Shaw Place, which pre-dates much of the development in Shaw. These deviations often form a distinct identity and foster a heightened sense of a local community. Other examples include Heger Court and Hortus Court. The later bears the most similarities to the two proposed courts in DeTonty Commons, in that front doors are accessed by a pedestrian walk only. The slightly diminished scale, in terms of mass and articulation, of these homes helped guide the selection of the story-and-a-half homes in the proposed DeTonty Commons.

CLEVELAND PLACE

HEGER COURT

HORTUS COURT

INSPIRATION: URBAN DESIGN

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Bungalows built in a Craftsman style with a story-and-a-half configuration have various precedents in Shaw and surrounding neighborhoods, including homes that were demolished on Lafeyette to clear room for I-44. The basic structure of a full ground floor, with slightly reduced second floor, compromised slightly by the roofline, is a very flexible Bungalow configuration with numerous variations on roof lines, front porches, fenestration and dormers. The homes proposed in DeTonty Commons draw their width, height, and roof slopes from precedents such as these.

4200 BLOCK OF SHENANDOAH AVE.

4400 BLOCK OF SHAW BLVD.

INSPIRATION: BUILDING STYLE
4300 BLOCK OF SHAW BLVD.

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The majority of residential structures in Shaw are 2-story brick buildings. The basic massing is articulated by various secondary design elements, such as porch configurations, cornices, and window location and configuration. Another predominant theme is use of honed or glazed bricks used in bands and at key locations in primary elevations. The proposed homes in DeTonty Commons will draw from the lessons in variations to secondary elements, particularly the porch locations. The all brick homes facing onto DeTonty Street will also incorporate the use of glazed brick banding and windows will have stone sills.

BOTANICAL & LAWRENCE

4140 SHAW BLVD.

SHENANDOAH & KLEMM

INSPIRATION: DETAILS

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The proposed homes in DeTonty Commons are an intentionally contemporary variation on the bungalow style. In this, they match the urban scale precedents of other bungalows in the neighborhood in terms of width, floor to floor heights, and roof slopes. These basic proportions are contrasted with aluminum clad wood windows of atypical configurations and more modest porch structures and eaves. The 4 homes facing DeTonty Street will be all brick, with the interior 12 units being clad in four and six inch exposure cement fiber lap siding. Roofs will be clad in asphalt shingles, with the ability to add solar panels to the southern (non-public) face. UIC believes that these designs meet the spirit of the design standards of this historic district. Street facing units will be in all brick, with painted aluminum clad windows and asphalt shingle roofs, as required. Various other requirements are conditioned by adjacent structures, with the intent to maintain an urban continuity. Given that only six of the approximately twenty-four original structures remain, and the opposite side of the street is now a highway embankment, there is not sufficient context to require a strict coherence to. With this, we submit that it is preferable to seek a solution to the site design that will overcome the proximity to the highway and return this portion of the neighborhood to a density similar to its originally developed configuration. We also believe that given the size of the proposed development, a design that is a variation on a traditional type is appropriate in that it will differentiate the buildings from their much earlier predecessors.

DESIGN

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FRONT ELEVATION

SIDE ELEVATION (facing DeTonty)

SIDE ELEVATION

BACK ELEVATION

DETONTY ELEVATIONS

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FRONT ELEVATION

SIDE ELEVATION

SIDE ELEVATION

BACK ELEVATION

INTERIOR UNIT ELEVATIONS

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VIEW OF COMMONS from DeTonty

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The homes will be built to suit, from standard floor plans, which follow. Homes start with a basic 2 bedroom home, with the ability add third and fourth bedrooms and additional living space. These enlargements are added to the rear of the home, thus preserving the proportions of the courtyard elevations. All homes will seek Energy Star Certification and built to UIC’s green building practices.

DT2 2 BR, 1.5 BA 1650 sf $192,000

DT2+ 2 BR, 1.5 BA 2000 sf $215,000

DT3 3 BR, 2.5 BA 2000 sf $232,000

DT3+ 3 BR, 2.5 BA 2300 sf $254,000

DT4 4 BR, 3.5 BA $2300 sf $262,000

PLAN CONCEPTS

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DT2

2 br | 1.5 bath

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DT2+

2 br | 1.5 bath | extended living

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DT3

3 br | 2.5 bath | ground floor master

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DT3+

3 br | 2.5 bath | extended living

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DT4

4 br | 3.5 bath | ground floor master

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DT2 PLAN atttached garage units

DT2+/DT3+ PLAN attached garage units

DT3/DT4 PLAN attached garage units

WRAP-AROUND PORCH Units on Detonty

ALTERNATE UNITS

attached garage | modified porch

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