Iconic '50s Ranch Homes Get Their Due in St. Louis

St. Louis is moving towards protecting its mid-century architectural treasures. Some see the buildings as impediments to economic development.
January 19, 2012, 1pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Margaret Gillerman catalogs the increasing awareness of, and recent efforts to protect, some of St Louis's mid-century architecture such as the flying saucer shaped Del Taco restaurant and a neighborhood of 50 ranch homes in the city of Kirkwood. A plan for a new CVS threatens an existing gem.

"Andrew Weil, executive director of Landmarks Association, defends the style against naysayers who say they just don't get what all the fuss is about. 'A lot of people may not like or appreciate Mid-Century design,' Weil said. 'Like it or not, it was an important phase in the evolution of architectural design in this country, city and area.'

Weil added: 'People's aesthetic tastes change over time.' At one point, St. Louis' signature Victorian architecture was considered gaudy and unattractive, he said. 'Now we love it.'

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Published on Sunday, January 15, 2012 in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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