This is what St. Louis looked like when we picked up our tickets:
And 24 hours later, it looked like this:
Only not as sunny.
But being house junkies, we could not resist the chance to snoop around 10 fabulous homes built in the 1880s, even if it meant a slight case of frostbite. Besides, we are tough chicks.
Here's a true lay of the land, courtesy of Wiki:
It's so French and lovely, I can hardly stand it. All those Mansard roofs with their scrumptious grey slate, pocket doors and front and rear staircases. Parlors and working fireplaces. Millwork and more millwork. Did I mention the French thing? Fantastique.
Lafayette Park is the oldest public park in St. Louis, created in 1836 and quite the fashionable address in its day. Devastated by a tornado in 1896, the neighborhood rallied until the World's Fair in 1904. From there, it was free fall into neglect and decay.
During the 1970s, when the neighborhood was designated a historic district, people started to buy up these grand old homes, restore them and raise their families there. And the Lafayette neighborhood became a community again.
They even have their own tour posters every year. Carlos Zamora designed this one and signed it for me. I'm thinking Christmas present for our newly-minted St. Louisan, if I can bear to part with it.