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Columbus Square Neighborhood

Columbus Square Neighborhood

It would be good to see some racially diverse neighborhoods in north St. Louis in years to come.  Almost across the board, the current day stats indicate that the north city neighborhoods have very little to no racial diversity to speak of.

Anyhow, this neighborhood is unique in that it's current housing stock was almost entirely built up in the 1980's.  There are some older relics, but most of the apartments, condos and townhomes were built the last 30 or so years.  Here's the city's rundown of the various developments within the neighborhood.  It's always strange to me that each of these developments need to be branded like it's something special:  the Castles, Courtyards at Cityside, Cambridge Heights....very strange.  Is that supposed to evoke some kind of exclusivity?  I don't get it.

The Cheltenham Neighborhood

The Cheltenham Neighborhood

This five-fold jump in Asian residents and doubling of Hispanic/Latino residents, coupled with a loss of white residents is rather rare for this part of the city.

This part of town feels like Dogtown to me, but technically, I suppose Dogtown is comprised of the three neighborhoods of Clayton-TammFranz Park and Hi-Pointe.  Either way, most of the houses in Cheltenham are frame homes and exist in the southwest portion of the neighborhood...

The Ellendale Neighborhood

The Ellendale Neighborhood

So who calls Ellendale home?  The 2000 census counted 1,656 residents (9% decrease from 1990's count) of whom 85% were white, 10% black, 1% Asian and 3% Hispanic/Latino. 756 housing units were counted of which 91% were occupied, 69% by owners, 31% by renters.  The 2010 census data showed a loss of 5% total residents with a minor racial shift to 81% white, 12% black, 7% Hispanic/Latino and 1% Asian.

As the numbers above suggest, this is not a largely residential neighborhood.  And per the map, you can see that most of this area is devoted to rail yards.

Midtown Neighborhood

Midtown Neighborhood

Midtown took a loss of 8% of its residents from 1990 to 2000.  In 2000, 4,408 people were counted 65% white, 27% black, a whopping 5% Asian (one of the largest I've seen so far) and 3% Hispanic/Latino.  There were 1,532 housing units, with an 81% occupancy rate:  1% owned, 99% rented. 

As you can probably conclude from the above number, the residential base of this neighborhood is largely made up of the student population at St. Louis University.  There are some homes on Westminster Place in the northwestern corner of Midtown, but I wouldn't be surprised if these were owned or affiliated with the university as well...

The North Pointe Neighborhood

The North Pointe Neighborhood

Before I show you what I saw today, let me say this is in the top 5 most stable, spic-n-span clean neighborhooods I've seen to date.  I was blown away by this awesome neighborhood.  It's like the Southampton of the north, only maybe cooler because of it's proximity to Calvary Cemetery, the wicked cool turnabout at the convergence of Riverview, Halls Ferry and Goodfellow. 

The LaSalle Neighborhood

The LaSalle Neighborhood

Take a look at the street grid, it's all chopped up and disconnected.   This is my major criticism of LaSalle; that and the 1980's looking public/low-income housing.  The north side of LaSalle is one of the most suburbanized neighborhoods I've visited in that there are corporate "campuses" that are reminiscent of St. Louis County or Anytown, Generica.  The Lohr ABI distributorship and Nestle/Ralston campuses really set the suburban tone.  But it doesn't end there.  The Maronite Catholic Pastoral Center, the Ray Leisure park/playground/neighborhood center are right out of the late 1970s, early 1980s.  The same can be said for the low incoming housing complex called La Salle Park that comes to you right out of the 70's/80s.  That's not to say Nestle, formerly Ralston Purina, hasn't been helpful in maintaining order in LaSalle as you can read from the exerpt from the La Salle Park website, it seems Nestle has been a good steward of the neighorhood.

The Southampton Neighborhood

The Southampton Neighborhood

I guess the fact that Wherry used to be a creek explains the strange angle at which the road diagonally criss-crosses the otherwise perfect recti-linear grid.  By the way, you have to respect this street grid...it's not closed off!  No dead end streets or Schoemehl pots blocking traffic!

There are many quality, convenient services within SoHa.  You have the fully occupied Hampton Village shopping mall at the busy corner of Hampton and Chippewa which includes a quality Schnucks, JC Penney's, shoe store, woman's clothing stores, gym, doctor/dentists offices, chain restaurants, chain barber, and Johnnie Brocks.

The DeBaliviere Place Neighborhood

The DeBaliviere Place Neighborhood

The neighborhood has a highly desireable location as well.  There is a Metrolink station that is the best stop in town in that it's the split between the red and blue line.  You can get on the Skinker/Debaliviere stop and head north all the way to Lambert Airport via UMSL or southwest to Shrewsbury via Clayton or east all the way to Scott Air Force Base via Downtown St. Louis.  Not only is the public transit excellent, the central location is as well.  Think about it, a short walk/drive down Delmar and you're in the East Loop and University City Loop, Washington University's main campus in within a reasonable walk/ride, the Central West End is within eye-shot.  Barnes-Jewish (city's largest employer) is a stone's throw from Debaliviere Place.  Forest Park to the immediate south, man this place has it all.
 

The Ville Neighborhood

The Ville Neighborhood

I must admit, I've really been looking forward to this day trip following the reading I've done in advance of my visit.  There is a lot of historical information available on the this important neighborhood.  The Ville should be one of our greatest sources of regional pride based on its impact on African American culture and society.  A remembrance that St. Louis was a place where African Americans could thrive and make their own way as middle and upper class citizens in the early 20th century.

This neighborhood was the childhood home to Chuck Berry for pete's sake.  That alone makes this place noteworthy, but the history is much richer than even the brown eyed handsome man.

Marine Villa Neighborhood

Marine Villa Neighborhood

This neighborhood appears to have a very active neighborhood association and is well connected to each other through a yahoo group, facebook page and a Marine Villa blog.  They also have a very cool looking neighborhood logo:

There are many landmarks within Marine Villa that are probably known to most.  You have the awesome former Lemp Brewery and International Shoe Company factory...

Kings Oak Neighborhood

Kings Oak Neighborhood

Kings Oak is a highly visible neighborhood, as it can be seen just south of I-64, across from Forest Park's baseball fields and horse stables; and it's eastern border is visible on the heavily travelled Kingshighway Blvd.  Several easily recognizable institutions (St. Louis University High, St. Louis Science Center and Compton Drew Investigative Learning School) anchor the neighborhood.

The Boulevard Heights Neighborhood

The Boulevard Heights Neighborhood

It's an oddly shaped neighborhood that does not include Carondelet Park nor the Loughborough Commons shopping center.  I always thought the River Des Peres was the dividing line between the city and the county, but the map above from the city website shows the city limits extending south of River Des Peres to Weber road.  The neighborhood has some areas that are typical of south city, a la Holly Hills, Princeton Heights, Southampton, etc.  Other parts of the neighborhood are more suburban with cul-de-sacs and no sidewalks, etc.

Patch Neighborhood

Patch Neighborhood

First of all I always thought this area was Carondelet.  Live and learn...this is Patch, the neighborhood with the coolest name of all 79.  The Patch website even claims this area to be in the most southern tip of the Carondelet neighborhood.  This probably stems from the fact that Carondelet was incorporated as an independent city in 1851 and was annexed by St. Louis in 1870.  It's identity is much more common than Patch.  I love this neighborhood.  Everyone I talked to on the street and in the businesses I entered consider this place Carondelet.  No one had even heard of "Patch".  This may qualify it as the most under-recognized and missunderstood neighborhood in the city.

Walnut Park East Neighborhood

Walnut Park East Neighborhood

As you may be able to grasp from the above entry, this place is struggling.  Frankly, the housing stock that exists in WPE was probably never anything out of the ordinary or special in any way.  Working class, small, mostly frame houses were built here.  The brick bungalows that were built here are not in great enough numbers to be impactful or stand out.  The housing in WPE is not really similar to any other neighborhood I've visited so far.  Meaning, the structures just aren't that special.  This is not as true for Walnut Park West, but I'll get to that in a separate post.

Visitation Park Neighborhood

Visitation Park Neighborhood

Visitation Park is a near north city neighborhood with beautiful mansions, incredible architecture and a prominent park. This neighborhood tour was originally published in December, 2009 with updates from July, 2019. The neighborhood is bound by Delmar Boulevard to the south, Belt Avenue to the west, Maple Avenue to the north and Union Boulevard to the east.

Princeton Heights Neighborhood

Princeton Heights Neighborhood

Princeton Heights is a tidy south city neighborhood that benefits from being near the Macklind Avenue district and the convenience of South City shopping, parks and services. If you like the St. Louis gingerbread, bungalows and Dutch colonial homes, this is one of the spots to find them. This neighborhood tour was originally published in December, 2009 with updates from September, 2019.

McKinley Heights Neighborhood

McKinley Heights Neighborhood

McKinley Heights is a south central city neighborhood conveniently located to all things the city offers. The neighborhood is bound by Gravois Avenue to the south and east, Jefferson Avenue to the west and I-44 to the north. This neighborhood tour was originally published in October, 2009 with updates from September, 2019.