Community Committed Investor Purchases Historic St. Louis Landmark to Revitalize the Old North Neighborhood

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Mullanphy Emigrant Home to undergo major renovation after Lisa Frumhoff Real Estate sells property.

“I will do everything I can to preserve the history of this iconic building so that we can bring something valuable to this community."

The Mullanphy Emigrant Home, located at the southern end of Old North St. Louis, has been sold to real estate investor and physician, Wahied Gendi, who will be rehabilitating the 151-year-old historic building. Use of the space post-renovation is to be determined; Dr. Gendi is currently seeking suggestions and feedback from the Old North community to help inform rehabilitation plans. The property sits on 1609 N. 14th Street in an area that has seen extensive redevelopment throughout the last decade.

In addition to maintaining the historical and architectural integrity of the original building, Dr. Gendi intends to create a space that holds the same value for the locals as it once did for the immigrants who viewed the Mullanphy building as a place of refuge and a gateway to a new future. He estimates $4 million in renovation and repair costs.

“I will do everything I can to preserve the history of this iconic building so that we can bring something valuable to this community,” said Dr. Gendi. “Whether it serves as a health facility or as residential housing, I will work hard to restore it back to its original glory in a way that best serves the residents of this area.”

Built by George Barnett and Albert Piquenard, the Mullanphy property first opened in 1867 to house thousands of European immigrants after their long voyages across the ocean. The building was designed to uplift and inspire this population with opulent and ornate Italianate architecture. The building then served as a manufacturing factory for the Absorene Company from 1927 to the 1980s before falling into disrepair.

In 2006, the entire southern wall of the Mullanphy Emigrant Home was destroyed by a storm and the city planned to demolish the building. However, invested residents (including Marti Frumhoff*, the deceased sister of St. Louis real estate agent, Lisa Frumhoff, who sold the property to Dr. Gendi), restoration professionals, and local architectural enthusiasts petitioned for its survival with various fundraising efforts.

For years, the Old North Restoration Group was the caretaker of the Mullanphy property, until the board decided to sell the property in hopes of finding someone willing to take on the renovation responsibilities and reintroduce the building into the community. Nolan Sharkey, a member of the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s Board of Directors, enlisted residential and commercial real estate agent, Lisa Frumhoff of Lisa Frumhoff Real Estate (powered by RedKey Realty Leaders St. Louis), to sell the property. The listing price was set at $150,000 and sold for $130,000 to Dr. Gendi in October 2018.

“Mr. Gendi is the perfect buyer for this unique building,” said Gendi’s agent, Emilian Taranu of Terra Realty. “Coming from a country with one of the richest and oldest history on Earth—Egypt—Dr. Gendi understands the importance of preserving cultural history better than most of us, and this is what he intends to do right here, in Saint Louis, with this building. We are both immigrants ourselves, so we connect with this property and its noble purpose.”

The path to saving the Mullanphy Emigrant Home has been full of meaningful connections to its history, from immigrants facilitating the purchase of the property to the selection of a realtor whose sister was passionate about the Old North community and fought to keep the building from being destroyed in 2006.

For more information about the project or the progress of the project please visit, please call Lisa Frumhoff at (314) 393-SOLD (7653).

About Lisa Frumhoff Real Estate
Lisa Frumhoff, Realtor®, GRI, SRS®, SRES®, ABR®, PSA, E-Pro, has more than two decades of experience in St. Louis and St. Charles residential and commercial real estate. From single family homes, multifamily properties, acreage and buildable lots to condos, townhomes, and office buildings, Frumhoff works with both buyers and sellers. Currently affiliated with RedKey Realty Leaders St. Louis, Frumhoff specializes in St. Louis’ central corridor including University City, Clayton, Ladue, Frontenac, Brentwood, Olivette, Richmond Heights, Maplewood, St. Louis City, Central West End, Webster Groves, Kirkwood, Des Peres and St. Charles County. Lisa Frumhoff Real Estate serves the entire greater St. Louis region as a real estate consultant, advisor, and negotiator. For more, visit

  • Marti Frumhoff was on the forefront of the boom in St. Louis City. Marti was passionate about preserving the incredible architecture throughout the city. After her sudden passing in 2007, the St. Louis real estate community and her friends came together to create the Marti Frumhoff Memorial Garden, located at Morganford and Utah in St. Louis City. Today, it is run by volunteers and donations. To learn more, visit

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