by Michael R. Allen
Last Friday, the Missouri Housing Development Commission met and approved financing for two projects involving large historic buildings in north St. Louis.
The former Blind Girls Home at 5235 Page (1908; J. Hal. Lynch, architect) will receive 4% low-income housing tax credits for Places for Page. Places for People states that the residents of the building will be “individuals living with severe mental illness who can and want to live independently, but who may need the attention and support provided by on-site staff.” Places for Page is a project that would not happen without these credits, and not devised by a developer because of the incentive program (some applications seem to be, but usually aren’t approved).
The second major north side project involving a large historic landmark approved last week was the James Clemens House at 1849 Cass Avenue (1860-1896; Patrick Walsh and Aloysius Gillick, architects). McEagle Properties and Robert Wood Realty requested and received approval for MHDC to issue tax-exempt bonds for the rehabilitation of the buildings into senior apartments as well as museum space. The Clemens House, at long last, will be rehabilitated!