People & Places

Best New Building 

Botanical Grove

The structure at 4230 McRee Avenue is not a towering skyscraper or a luxe shopping center. It's a simple one-family home two blocks from the Missouri Botanical Garden. Aesthetically, it's a little jewel box. The design is simplicity itself and harks back to the iconic row homes that are, in some parts of St. Louis, an endangered species. At the same time, with simple details — the candy-color red at the doorframe and around the windows, the sharp angles and clean lines — the home is unmistakably modern. But 4230 McRee is not unique. In fact the house next door looks almost exactly the same (in green), as do others on the 4200 block of McRee. It's all part of a neighborhood re-imagination by Urban Improvement Construction. The homes are all affordable, LEED certified and are meant to draw new life to what was once a rough-and-tumble neighborhood. On top of the lovely look of the homes and the mission, it's hard not to fall in love with the bitchy ad campaign that UIC rolled out earlier this summer, a series of bumper stickers and coasters that read, "Friends don't let friends live in Chesterfield." With homes like these in heart of the city, why would friends want to?

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