Tour – Exterior

So you’ve seen inside and even peeked at the roof, but let’s step outside for a second and talk about the exterior. 

The exterior space has actually given us a lot of heartache. It’s a long story, so if you’re here just for the pictures feel free to scroll on by. 


We knew when we made an offer on the firehouse that the plots on either side were owned by the city. So our original plan was to buy the plot on the left and the plot on the right (heretofore known as Left Lot and Right Lot). We wanted to fence in Left Lot and add a patio. This plan lasted until just a few weeks from our final closing date when we discovered that the land just to the left of the firehouse… the asphalt that is literally touching the building… the space where the previous owner abandoned a bus… is an ALLEY.


You can see why we were surprised at this turn of events. Dead giveaways like “a break in the sidewalk to allow a vehicle to pass” and “clear passage to another alley or street” are non-existent. Instead, there’s a patch of grass-covered asphalt that ends in a fence. Our best guess is that the city gave the alley to the firehouse but never made it official. We can make it official, but it’s costly and will take some time so we’re still mulling it over.

That revelation lit a fire under our butts to get the process started to buy Left Lot and Right Lot. A call to the city real estate office revealed that our neighbor (I use that term loosely as no one actually lives in the broken down house that’s two lots over) applied to buy Left Lot mere days after we made an offer on the firehouse. What a welcome to the neighborhood, eh?

Not surprisingly we pounced on Right Lot and got the official “ok” to buy it last week. So the patio and yard are flipping to that side of the building. There’s not much to see there right now, but back on the left side you’ll notice the numerous windows that were bricked over (although the contractor is making progress adding windows!)


The back is more shoddy asphalt surrounded by a tall, barbwire-topped fence. (View from Left Lot.)


The back has a few windows that need replaced, a few windows that have been bricked over, a few satellite dishes (how many is too many) and a ramp leading to the kitchen door, which is totally getting chucked. This is the view from the soon to be installed oversized carport. More on that later.


So that ends our initial tour. You’ve caught of glimpse of what we fell in love with. So tell me, do you think we’re crazy? I won’t blame you if you say “yes.” We have lots of plans for every space in the house. Which are you most interested in knowing more about?

  1. I have to say, I’m interested in all of it: why a firehouse? why in a seemingly industrial part of town? why are your ‘neighbors’ such jerks? what made you choose a commercial space over a traditional residential space? Really, the list goes on. I’ll just wait here while you compile three years of posts to explain yourselves.

    1. Hahaha! Those are great questions! We certainly jumped into this blog assuming that most readers would know our story. I’ll work on a background post that can turn into a better “about us” 🙂 Thanks!!

  2. Call me argumentative, but I’d kinda like to know about the neighbor who pounced on the other lot…

    1. Oh my! We were sick when we found out. Our only thought is that he/she (can’t tell by the first name) kept an eye on the property listing and knew and offer had been accepted. Technically he/she didn’t outright buy the lot. St Louis has an option to put down 10% while you work on raising the funds and finalizing your plans. In 6 months the lot could be up for sale again if he/she doesn’t come through.

      1. I’d have that date on my calendar and arrive early. I’m sure you do.

        1. We’re certainly tracking it. The biggest hiccup is that we can’t claim it as a side lot unless we get the alley vacated (official process that is not cheap and could take years), and if it’s not a side lot the price is significanly higher. We’re certainly weighing all the options.

  3. […] few blocks west of a popular arts and entertainment area. It has no immediate neighbors: just a few Lots, an abandoned house, and a power substation. It faces an elementary school and the streets that […]

  4. Saw you on house hunters and will be back to watch the firehouse progress – I don’t not think you are crazy – I think it’s awesome !! If you are still working 2 okay now 3 full time jobs be sure you take time to enjoy!!

    1. Thanks for finding us Debby! Yes, we’re basically working non-stop. Someday we’ll slow down 🙂

  5. […] you need to know that we love natural light (and white paint.) Ever since our plans for our yard flipped to the west side of the building, we’ve been desperate to add some windows to that side. Tackling the first floor living room is […]

  6. […] heard the story about how our yard came to be on the right side of our building, check out this VERY old post. The other thing you need to know is that between our yard and the yard attached to a two family […]

  7. […] Buy Right Lot […]

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