My Latest Historic Preservation Award goes to . .

Awardees Jenifer and Ivan Garcia!

As Jenifer and Ivan Garcia, the founders of Garcia Properties, state on their website, they formed their enterprise with one driving desire — to leave whatever they touched a little better. Two decades later, after renovating and otherwise bringing back to life almost one hundred individual properties across St. Louis, they have indeed kept to their word.

The award presentation took place on May 23, in the upstairs lounge of the Golden Hoosier Restaurant and Bar on South Kingshighway in South St. Louis.  The Alderman for the 10th Ward, Joe Vollmer, joined me in honoring the Garcias.

Unveiling the award painting to Jenifer and Ivan Garcia


10th Ward Alderman, Joe Vollmer, joined me in honoring the Garcias.


Why I chose Garcia Properties

Unlike many realtor firms, Garcia Properties are not just doing this for profit. I discovered that they apply two other “p” words — preservation and purpose.  After my husband and I made the decision in 2022 to make St. Louis our new base, it was for this reason we chose Garcia properties to find us the ideal historic home/studio here in St. Louis.  We were not disappointed and our Garcia agent, Jeanne Caro was wonderful. From the time we spotted the perfect property in Benton Park, within 24 hours we had toured the home and had an approved offer.  Everything went smoothly from that point to the closing.

My Historic Preservation Award—an original painting of a saved building– honors those who have truly given back to the community by saving old buildings from certain destruction.

The Golden Hoosier

In the case of this award, the hardest task was not deciding whether or not Jenifer and Ivan should be the recipients, but which building should I depict in their award painting, as that they have so many impressive projects.

I chose the Golden Hoosier Restaurant and Bar, being that it is part of the Garcias amazing South St. Louis undertaking to revitalize the corner of South Kingshighway Boulevard.  The project has included Pipers Coffee House next door and there are plans afoot to expand their efforts, including the opening of Bud’s Pizza and Beer bar this summer in the same area.

Jenifer and Ivan’s Facebook announcement about their new venture sums up this article perfectly.  “Bud’s Pizza and Beer will help breathe new life into a block that for decades was home to a laughable/sad concentration of predatory lenders. Over the next couple of years we will restore all the buildings on this block from Mardel, south to Chippewa. We have dreamed of doing this for many years!  Again we thank you for your support and let’s all continue to be the change we wish to see in St. Louis.”

A group photo with some of the guest who attended the celebration

As always, I would like to thank all those who attended the event in support of historic preservation and community revitalization!

May we see much more of this in this historic city of St. Louis!

Cheers, Leisa

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