Group to present plan to preserve historic Woodside

Woodside with proposed improvements

A group of mostly Maplewood residents has a plan to save Woodside, Maplewood’s oldest house.

The Friends of Woodside’s plan is to partner with the city and drive the effort to make minor improvements so it eventually can be sold. The City of Maplewood owns the house, which was built in the 1840s. It’s at the corner of Breddell and Folk avenues.

friends_of_woodside“We’re trying to help the city stabilize the building so it’s not getting torn down quite yet, and it can be marketed for sale to a private buyer,” Luke Havel, a group member, said. “It’s clear that that is the city’s desire for the building.”

Havel and others in the group are set to present their plan at the city council meeting on April 28.

They’d like to repair and paint the fence, cut down overgrown vegetation, cover the windows with green shutters, paint trim, plug the holes in the siding and clean up debris inside the house. They’d also do some weatherizing so animals and the elements couldn’t get in as easy.

One goal is to help Woodside’s appearance, “So folks in that neighborhood and others don’t have to cringe so much when they drive by,” Havel said.

He said it’s a fairly simple list of items that can be achieved with minimal cost and volunteer workers with professional supervision. They plan on using a crowd sourcing campaign, like Kick Starter, to fund the work.

“We want to keep it in a survivable condition for that perfect buyer and also keep putting the word out that this building is here,” he said.

Havel said it would be a shame for the building, which has survived this long, to just whittle away and be torn down.

See also: Mothball Woodside!, Maplewood History: Woodside’s Family Photo Album

“Once it’s gone, it can’t be replaced,” he said. “It’s one of a kind, not only for Maplewood but for St. Louis County. It has a lot of unique features, from the bark on the hand-hewn floor joists in the basement, to the staircase—the trim work, the molding—it’s just an irreplaceable building.”

Two of the group members have professional restoration experience.

Maplewood resident, Jennifer Taylor, is a historic preservation specialist for Fendler & Associates, Architects, in St. Louis. Ben Ellermann is a project manager for Blaes Architects with a degree in architecture with an emphasis in historic preservation.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help can email Havel at [email protected].


  1. Haveing more than a substantial interest in WOODSIDE , i would like to see the preservation of the house go forward . Martin Fischer.

  2. Halleluiah! I’m impressed! You have come farther in 4 months than the talkers have in the last 10 years! Best of luck with the council approval and much success. The drawing looks great. If the house looks that nice, it could probably do without the fence. Again, best of luck, Luke and company.

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