Reason #5 to Live in the Riverhood: The People – We Make Things Happen

Jul 9, 2013 by

We are about get controversial here, folks.  We can agree on a lot of things: the Riverhood is awesome, Downtown is where it’s at, and JCMO is way more hipster than you might think. But, one subject people don’t agree on: the Concrete House.  You know the one.  Because at some point or another, everyone has talked about it.

Nestled in the heart of the Riverhood, the Concrete House was constructed within the last five years.  An older, more traditional home was demolished to make room for the new, more modern house.  And when I say modern, I don’t mean with modern amenities. I mean modern as in modern art.  The architecture of the house is unlike anything I have ever seen (in JCMO or elsewhere), and it sticks out on a street lined with historic, mostly brick homes.  I can’t say if I was a closer neighbor, I wouldn’t have shed a tear or two over the loss of the original “look” of the neighborhood.

The Concrete House, JCMO

The Concrete House

But now?  I think it totally rocks.  For me, it serves as a frequent reminder of the kind of people that live in the Riverhood.  And, the people here are pretty frickin’ cool.

People of the Riverhood aren’t afraid to get their hands a little dirty (some of these older homes need a little love).  Our people roll up their sleeves and do work.

People of the Riverhood are opinionated.  And, they don’t always agree.  Not everyone shares the same modern taste as those that dwell in the Concrete House.  But a healthy, informed debate always generates better outcomes.

People of the Riverhood aren’t complainers.  Our people are doers.  If they decide JCMO is “missing” something — they make it happen.  The Concrete House dwellers didn’t write a letter to the editor or complain on social media that JCMO doesn’t have housing stock that meets their taste preferences.  They bought a piece of property (with one of the BEST views in town) and built the house of their dreams.  Kudos to them.

How many times have you heard “JCMO doesn’t have ______.”   It’s easy to put the blame on any number of other people or organizations that your town doesn’t have what YOU want.  It’s AWESOME to step up to the plate and make it happen for yourself.

Some people may not fully appreciate your vision, but everyone should appreciate your willingness to just make. things. happen.

Riverhood residents are notorious for this kind of attitude.  Several years ago, notable resident Andy Neidert decided JCMO needed a smoke free bar — and a local favorite, Gumbo Bottoms, was born.  My husband decided he really wanted to coach high school rugby — and guess what?  Jefferson City didn’t have a rugby team.  What did he do?  Started one…and here we are seven seasons later. Most recently, notable resident Jami Wade has decided to bring an independent theater to Downtown JCMO.  They all decided JCMO was missing something they each really desired, and decided to just make. it. happen.

This attitude is one of the many reasons I love living in the Riverhood (others here:  OneTwoThree & Four). Now, I see the Concrete House as a Riverhood Landmark.  I look at it with pride.  Pride for my community and pride for the people I have the pleasure of knowing and calling my friends — people who each day are getting in the driver’s seat and steering a path to a more unique, more fun, and more wonderful JCMO.


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  1. Stephanie,
    That was very well written, now I want to see the concrete house. I’m new to the area so I’ve never seen it.
    Sometimes things like the concrete house inspires others to think outside the box.

  2. Holly


    My parents were delighted with your post. I don’t think they realized “the concrete house” was still a topic of discussion. You’re right: they appreciate modern art. The concrete home was not the initial goal, however, Doug Garofalo, the architect and artist had a vision. This piece of art was actually one of his last. See an article below about Doug in the Chicago Tribune.

    The Riverhood is what we make it. So kudos to all of the “riverhoodies” that have created their reality and continue to improve our community.


  3. It’s great that home still draws local notice.

    This was the third to last building completed by Garofalo Architects (and probably the last completed while Doug was alive). I was the lead designer and project manager on this home and couldn’t be more proud of what the design team, clients and contractors pulled off. It’s rare to find open-minded people courageous enough to do new things. With such type of people, I hope someday to be able to come back to Jeff.City and add another truly distinct building or two to the community.

    G. Gibson

    • Thanks for reading Grant. I really do see it as a wonderfully unique landmark in our neighborhood. I hope you get a chance to return to Jefferson City as well!


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