Taking Preservation Seriously

Joe Carpenter, a structural engineer in KPFF’s St. Louis office, is renovating his home--an 1890 house in the Benton Park Historic District in St. Louis. Joe has spent the past 14 years learning his house’s history, and recently located the “building approval coupon” issued to J. Jacob Fischer on May 21, 1890, for the construction of the house.


Since purchasing the property, Joe has discovered one of the house’s main secrets: the stairs in the house had been situated in two different locations. Since neither location was conducive to today’s lifestyles, Joe and his wife chose a third location for a new grand staircase. Joe’s attention to detail and sensitivity to the historic nature of the property resulted in a new staircase constructed of oak with details replicating a style popular in the 1890s.

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The exterior is a typical St. Louis Second Empire style flat, with a slate mansard roof. His daughter, Celina, is proud of her home, and #ThisPlaceMatters to her! 

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When asked about his favorite part of rehabbing the home, Joe replied, “It was great to finish a ‘6-month project’ in just two years!” The Carpenters are excited to be a part of the renaissance of one of St. Louis’s oldest intact neighborhoods.

May is Preservation month! For more information on the National Trust for Historic Preservation and #ThisPlaceMatters campaign click here.
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