The Ville

The Greater Ville Neighborhood

The Greater Ville Neighborhood

 I can only imagine what the Greater Ville must have been like when this was a bustling, successful neighborhood.

This seems to be another neighborhood with an identity crisis, it could simply be called the Ville, no?  In fact, the neighborhood link on the city website does link to the Ville's site for information.

This has got to be one of the most neglected and struggling parts of town.  I love it here and hate it here all at the same time.  I can't sum it up in writing how I feel when I read about the great history of places like the Ville and then go visit them and see the overwhelming decay and negativity. 

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.