Tempest screen. There just aren't that many roundabouts in St. Louis, but this one is very cool. The St. Louis County cities of Bellefontaine Neighbors and Jennings abut Baden to the north and west.
Baden became part of St. Louis in 1876, but was never incorporated as a city prior to that date. It has the distinction of being a north side residential neighborhood that had a GAIN in population at 3% in the 2000 Census count. However, that momentum was not sustained from 2000-2010 when Baden lost 14% of its residents. The 2010 Census data showed the racial demographics of 92% black and 6% white. St. Louis continues to take a beating in loss of residents. People are voting with their feet and Baden, like nearly all neighborhoods, felt that sentiment.
The welcome mat to Baden, visible from Broadway
I had the privilege of a guided tour of Baden by one of St. Louis' finest firemen. He was able to show me around and point out some of the more unique areas of Baden. I'll get to those in a minute.
To me Baden is mostly known for it's almost completely intact business district along a cool stretch of Broadway from Switzer Avenue to Halls Ferry Road. This northern stretch of Broadway along with the southernmost stretch that goes through the Patch and Carondelet are simply brimming with potential and possibilities for a 21st Century rebirth.
This sign warrants contemplation..."I'll take the gold genie looking one on the second shelf and the 4'x6' velvet Elvis"
If anyone has a photo of this sign in it's original state, please email me!
Broadway ain't all charm and good design though. The 1980's descended on Baden and took a big dump and then packed it up and left this:
The largest city park serving Baden residents is David Hickey Park named in honor of the first St. Louis member of the Expeditionary Forces killed in the World War (source).
Baden has the feel of another neighborhood on the verge of stability vs. decline. It will be a good harbinger of thing to come for St. Louis as a whole. Are we headed toward better days, or still getting closer and closer to rock bottom? We'll have to use the census data in 2020 to judge whether the downward spiral of people packing it up continues. For now, Baden has the feel of a stable neighborhood, but not without challenges.
Outside of the Broadway business district, Baden is largely home to many mid-century modern buildings and homes. I guess I was expecting older, turn of the 20th Century homes. But that's not really the case. And if you are a fan of mid-century apartment complexes, you better get there and check them out, because many are coming down:
Check out the front yards in the next 2 shots...hey we are the Mound City, right?
Let's start with the houses on the train tracks. There are homes with front yards that contain railroad tracks just feet from the front doors.
Baden is one of St. Louis' finest neighborhoods. The commercial district, proximity to the River and the Riverfront Trail make it a highly desirable place.