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Housing JeffVanderLou North St. Louis Northside Regeneration

Refaced House on James Cool Papa Bell

by Michael R. Allen

This small refaced house at 2911 James Cool Papa Bell in JeffVanderLou attracts my attention. (The fact that it is owned by one of Paul McKee’s holding companies doesn’t hurt.) Although the new jack-arched window opening is a bit small, the polychrome brickwork is done well. There is even a recurring pattern in the bond found at the roof line and on each side of the window. There are many examples of historic houses being refaced with inappropriate materials, covered with paint that damages the face brick and partly relayed with new brick that doesn’t match. Then there are houses like this one, built in 1890 and refaced after World War II, where the changes add a new and interesting dimension. Perhaps my outlook reflects the fact that I read How Buildings Learn long before I read the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. So be it.

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