We used to have an elaborate street car system that lasted ~100 years up until the 1960s. The reminders are just a few inches below the current asphalt street surface.
If you ride a scooter or other two-wheeled rig, you have to know their presence as they can catch your tire and quickly put you down. In certain parts of town you have to be hyper-aware, like the former Hodiamont Tracks.
I see the tracks and my mind wanders to the streetcar days. Heck, maybe we need a central place to educate others on this part of St. Louis’ history and share what remains from those days.
One of my favorite buildings along the Hodiamont Tracks is falling fast in the Academy Neighborhood. This perfect wedge building at the intections of Cates and Clarendon Avenues would serve as the perfect spot for what we once had.
The tracks are visible under the poorly maintained streets, leading to a double wide alley where the streetcars once ran along Hodiamont Tracks.
The views from the streetcar windows as they pass down streets and alleys must have been incredible.
I dream of the thought of a streetcar museum in an off the beaten path location…a place of its own, not in the Missouri History Museum or the Smithsonian or elsewhere. A local spot in a place that contemplates the abandonment of public transportation and how that may have led to the current culture of abandonment.
Why not? The location is ripe for investment and love. Soldan High is still healthy and thriving, and Clark School was recently purchased by a local firm with plans for redevelopment as apartments.
Do yourself a favor and take a ride down the Hodiamont Tracks and try to daydream about what once was a dense, functional American city.
Hey, I can dream. If one rich dude can build a trolley, the possibilities are endless.
Check out the potential: