January 27, 2023
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The house, known as the “Magic Chef’s Mansion”, was built in 1908.


The legendary Magic Chef Mansion got a $1.6 million glow, but even six figures isn’t that much for such a big house.


The roof of a mansion in Compton Heights appears to have been damaged in a storm. And this is a cost problem. The home is 7,404 square feet, and as any homeowner in one of St. Louis’ historic districts will tell you, the slate roofs covering such a large space are extremely expensive.

Indeed, records filed with the City’s Office of Cultural Resources show that replacing the existing roof slate and applying ice and water shields to protect materials underneath is a six-figure job in itself, with that portion of the work alone valued at $638,572. . .

In addition, the mansion’s trustee filed for the removal and replacement of copper gutters and downspouts ($303,605) and the removal and replacement of copper dormers and flashings ($421,110). Scaffolding alone will cost $122,000. And an additional estimated cost of $150,000 is associated with the replacement of the copper and rubber flat roof in the carriage yard.


Total amount: $1,636,390.

Now, it’s worth noting that official city records only value the mansion at $200,000, which tells you both how out of touch with reality some of those estimates are. and that these houses can be a real money hole. Even the Magic Chef’s Mansion, which is sometimes open for ticketed tours and private events, is certainly more of a love affair than a business venture.

So the next time you drive around Lafayette Square or Compton Heights dreaming of buying one of those big old mansions and living like a robber baron, you might want to think twice. They are beautiful, yes. But old houses are not cheap.


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