Doors to the Past, founded in 1990 by Bernardo Brunetti, is an historical preservation society based in St. Louis, Missouri. The society manages and leases historic properties located primarily in the city of St. Louis, as well as in Franklin, Warren and surrounding counties. The society’s oldest buildings date from the early to middle 18th century and include frame, brick, stone and log construction.
For the complete list of our key projects, complete with details about our properties, click here.
Our mission is to research, acquire, preserve, restore and maintain early homes, their content, exterior structures and land use for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. Many restored homes are leased to individuals and families striving to blend the gentility of the past with a simpler and greener lifestyle.
Our historic homes, farms and apartments, comfortably blend modern conveniences with the much coveted classical architectural features so prevalent in older buildings. Modern conveniences include updated kitchens and bathrooms, newer kitchen appliances, updated heating/ventilation and electrical systems and various energy saving features. Among the classical features one will often find antique wood flooring, intricate trim and moldings, fireplaces and ornate stairwells. Barns, outbuildings, gardening areas, incredible views and often water sources will excite one’s mind with creative possibilities. Every home is different and features do vary. Please contact Doors to the Past for specific details.
Why do we do it? Simply stated, our society is driven by a strong desire to retain a part of the past that is so evocative of the strength, faith, and determination that led early American settlers to defeat obstacles and overcome adversity. Our ancestors have left a rich and indelible legacy that has formed and enriched the very fabric of our modern society. The Midwest is rich with the settler's history and architecture. However, the homes they built are rapidly disappearing victims of disrepair, new construction and urban sprawl. We are but a small society with a limited budget; nevertheless, we are armed with passion, a strong drive, and ambitious goals. As determined as our forefathers were to build, we are to preserve.
The acquisition, restoration and ongoing maintenance of our historic properties represent a substantial short and long term investment.
Our society is only able to cover a portion of our ongoing operational costs from our leasing proceeds, while acquisition, restoration, repair and maintenance costs are privately funded.
In the coming years however, we intend to form a separate not-for-profit (501c) entity that will allow us, among other things, to accept public donations and establish a board of directors. Like-minded members will broaden the society’s reach and scope and will ensure its perpetuity.
We are continuously searching for early homes, mini-farms and structures to further expand our society’s offerings. If you have an early property or structure that you may be interested in selling or, if you are interested in selling but would like to retain occupancy with a lease-back option, please call Bernardo Brunetti.
Our goal is not only to preserve a structure, but also it’s:
● Written/oral/pictorial history
● Original furniture/content/farm implements
● Manuscripts, document and artifacts
Our society’s main interests include:
Permanent structures (on-site)
● Early frame/brick/stone houses (with/without acreage)
● Log cabins/homes (with/out acreage) hand-hewn vertical or
horizontal logs circa 1780-1890.
Structures and materials to be removed from existing site
● All early log structures – barn, smokehouse, schoolhouse,
● Hand-hewn logs/ disassembled cabins, hand cut limestone,
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