As architects and co-owners of a Kirkwood-based architecture firm, we are deeply disheartened to learn of the plans for demolishing the Craftsman-style home at 324 N. Taylor Avenue. The home is a beautiful example of early 20th Century architecture and has been well maintained over the years. This architecturally rich work is absolutely worth preserving.
As residents of Kirkwood for nearly eight years, we have sadly witnessed the consistent demise of countless viable homes in our community. The continued replacement of diverse housing with the same monolithic plans is deteriorating the character of Kirkwood’s beloved streets.
But the proposal to take down the home on Taylor is particularly unsettling. Only a few days before reading last week’s article we happened to pass by this home with a group of people. Everybody in our group (even the very young!) remarked in delight at the Taylor home’s splendid street presence, architectural proportions, historic detailing and period-appropriate color palette.
We are further disappointed to read the statements that there is no viable solution for saving this home. We ask the owners to consider reaching out to a professional architect before determining this home is no longer viable. Such trained professionals could assist with diagnostic analysis and perhaps offer creative solutions by looking at this problem through a fresh lens.
And, although it may seem like an added expense to hire a professional, they may offer solutions that in the end could save money over a totally new build. Additionally, a thoughtful and well-designed intervention could enhance an already established component of the historic fabric of Kirkwood.
To the greater Kirkwood community, please remain vigilant in critically questioning the erasure of Kirkwood’s history one lot at a time. We fear that if such practices continue in Kirkwood, we are in danger of the scales tipping past the point of keeping our rich and varied architectural history intact.