The Gatesworth

The gracious interior of the Gatesworth’s four-story atrium was developed by Directions in Design. photo by Alise O’Brien

For St. Louis natives, it should come as no surprise that Forbes magazine included The Gatesworth at One McKnight Place in its top 10 luxury retirement communities nationwide. Over the past 20 years, The Gatesworth, with its distinctive architecture, has set the standard for exceptional senior living, with a gourmet kitchen, stimulating activities and elegant decor. So what is it like to live there? We went to the source to find out.

Roger and Alice English, who will celebrate their sixth year at The Gatesworth in September, take full advantage of the wide range of activities offered. They swim regularly in the heated, indoor pool, participate in group exercise classes and go to personal training sessions in the fitness center. They also enjoy intellectual stimulation via regular meetings of the Questers discussion groups and the Philosophical Cafe. For the Englishes, life at The Gatesworth is a life in motion. “The wide array of activities here really keeps you going,” says Alice English. “You truly have to look at the schedule and plan ahead or you might miss something!”

Most St. Louisans, regardless of age, would envy their lifestyle. With 235 employees to serve residents living in 260 apartments, anything is possible. “Our philosophy is: The answer is yes, what’s the question?” says co-owner David Smith. Uniformed doormen welcome residents and guests into the elegant lobby with a dramatic atrium and luxurious decor. Gourmet meals are served in the formal Colonnade Room, as well as in the more informal Palm Court, both with full cocktail and wine bar service. There are also three unique private dining rooms, as well as a complete room service menu.

To help residents stay in shape, The Gateworth offers a full-service day spa and fitness center with a lap pool and five personal trainers. And residents have access to a full array of optional services, including daily housekeeping, dog walking, car washing and personal shopping. Two stretch limousines and a Cadillac sedan are available to take residents out on the town. And when they stay in, the 104-seat Starbird Theater features a state-of-the-art surround-sound system and performing stage. The community also houses a grocery store and gift shop, banking facilities, a business and computer center, a well-stocked library, an arts center and a greenhouse.

When Marjorie Young and her husband Paul moved to The Gatesworth two years ago, she expected to feel sad about leaving their family home in Ladue. “I thought I’d be sobbing, but that morning, I found myself in my coat and eager to go,” she says. Now, instead of worrying about the landscaping, the pool and the rest of the burdens of home maintenance, Young says she can focus on enjoying her new home. The owners of The Gatesworth, who are St. Louisans, combined two adjoining apartments for the Youngs, allowing them to keep most of their treasured belongings. “My children know I’m safe and happy, and I absolutely love my apartment. Everything is just right,” says Young.

Demand for apartment residences at The Gatesworth has meant a waiting list. “For many years we have remained full, while growing our priority wait list to nearly 100,” says Smith. “With so many people waiting, we decided once again to expand our campus with 38 larger and even more luxurious apartment residences.”

The new addition will include a reflecting pool, outdoor party pavilion and media center, plus spectacular dining and living room settings. It will be completed in the spring of 2009. Already, more than 30 percent of the new residences have been reserved, he reports.