A Preservation Plan for St. Louis
Part II:  Property Types

Period 3 - The World's Fair City & the Automobile (1904-1940)
Residential Property Types

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Public Housing

A major goal of Progressive Era proponents was the creation of quality housing to replace deteriorated tenement buildings, which were seen as unsightly as well as unhealthy. Public housing, however, was slow to develop until the Depression forced the issue of public housing to the forefront of political agendas.

Neighborhood Gardens, a complex of twelve three-story brick buildings, was constructed between 7th, 8th, Biddle and O'Fallon Streets in 1935, and was the only low-income housing complex completed in St. Louis before World War II. St. Louis architects Hoener, Baum and Froese produced the complex for private developers, in an attempt to demonstrate that public housing could be attractive and financially sound. Using Moderne style elements, the building presents flat wall surfaces; openings, including windows with multi-light metal casement sash, are detailed with horizontal string courses. Projecting stair towers containing the entrances are regularly-spaced on each facade, and are flanked by apartment balconies. The complex had 252 residential units, with courtyard gardens landscaped under direction of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

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