Garfield Commons

It was snowing, and I just thought, Thank God. I’m watching it from the other side of the window when there’s so, so many people out there.

Curesa Atkins, after moving into her apartment at Garfield Commons.


The Garfield Elementary School Building had been vacant for years and was structurally unstable when it was purchased by Peter and Paul Community Services.

Their goal was to combine healthy social environments; private and permanent apartments; and accessible program spaces for people who are chronically homeless in a single location.

The project also needed to hold the office headquarters for the not-for-profit.

Funding for the project included a combination of private donations, grants, Historic Tax Credits and participation from the Affordable Housing Commission and the Missouri Housing Development Commission.


Twenty five permanent residents and a dozen employees now live and work at Garfield Commons. The building also serves as the home for programs that serve people who are or have been homeless; programs like the street soccer club Saint Louis Roadies, and the Community CollabARTive program which partners local artists as art instructors to staff and clients of Peter and Paul Community Services.

The building is structurally sound and thoroughly reutilized from the original school gymnasium to a new street soccer field and a mediation garden.

Through an adaptive reuse of the historic building, an open approach to community involvement and application of Inclusive Design to all of the spaces, the Garfield Commons is a model for combatting homelessness in the City of St. Louis.

By Numbers

40,000 Sq Ft. Renovation

25 Apartments

$8,000,000 Construction Cost

Completed 2014

Project type


Multi-family Residential


Historic Renovation


BSI Constructors

Jarrell Mechanical Contractors

Larsen Engineering

St. Louis Review Article

Client Link

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2015 Landmark Association “Most Enhanced.”

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