Every time I drive down Midland Boulevard in Overland, I catch a glimpse of this amazing house and I’m reminded that I need to do a write-up on it. Built around 1910 from plans published by Frank Lloyd Wright in Ladies Home Journal, this unique property was actually designed by local architect Lawrence Ewald, who created it for one of Overland’s leading entrepreneurs.
Officially known as the Gocke-Vance House, it’s constructed almost entirely of steel and concrete, and it’s certainly reminiscent of Wright’s classic Prairie style with its flat roof and horizontal bands of windows.
I was thrilled to take a tour of it several years ago, marveling at its wide open living spaces, two matching guest houses and sprawling lot complete with tennis court and inground pool. But alas, when it hit the market last June, I knew it would probably be a hard sell.
For one, it’s pretty modernized inside. A lot of original details do remain, but cosmetically, there are some elements that may not appeal to hardcore Wright aficionados. Like the newer wall-to-wall carpet…
And the fully updated kitchen…
There’s also the issue of price and neighborhood. Because let’s be honest: how many buyers are searching for a $425,000 property in Overland? And who wants to spend that much when most of the surrounding homes are significantly smaller and selling for south of $100k?
In Ladue or Kirkwood, this place would sell in a heartbeat, and for a whole lot more. Besides its architectural pedigree, it has 3118 square feet, sits on 1.7 very lush acres and comes with two rental homes that generate $950 a month. It’s almost like a mini compound.
But is that enough to justify the price? I’m not so sure.
Take the fantastic Mid-Century Modern in Calverton Park. It’s architecturally significant, has 3200 square feet, 2.61 acres, an inground pool and a guest house. It’s even in an upscale neighborhood and it’s still listed for just $299,000. Because that’s the reality of the market in the northern burbs.
Of course, many folks in Overland like to think of themselves as Mid-County rather than North County, and there’s certainly an argument for that. But we’re still talking about an anomalous property in an area where prices have been steadily declining. Not that I wouldn’t love to see a good strong comp to raise the tides!
2615 Poe has 4 bedrooms & 3.5 baths. It’s listed by Kathy Renaud, Coldwell Banker Gundaker, for $425,000.
If you’d like to own one of the coolest houses in St. Louis, and you don’t mind the Overland locale, give me a call! I’d be happy to talk more details with you.