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Hodiamont Avenue, Borderlands

Hodiamont Avenue was a street car line, and it ran right along the border of St. Louis to the Wellston Loop. It is pretty much the last north-south street before St. Louis County, and many of the east west streets terminate at Hodiamont.

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Unlike the last time I photographed the Borderlands, this time I shot from inside the city, and not from Skinker/Kienlen. It’s interesting in that the old wood frame houses west of the border are actually older than the brick homes in the city to the east. It’s usually the other way around.

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It is a mixture of the occupied and abandoned, industrial and residential.

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This apartment building was converted into larger units as some point, as evidenced by the filled-in doors on the first floor.

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It is a forgotten, desolate place. Wellston is nearby, but the fame of its street car line overflows into the city, as seen below.

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11 Comments

  1. Another place that the “We can (perpetually) BUILD our way out of it!” people don’t want to talk about, think about or even acknowledge exists. In 30 years everything on and around the Delmar loop will look the same because of the same inept mentality.

    • I always enjoy your sunshiney disposition. Why do you say that “in 30 years everything on and around the Delmar loop will look the same because of the same inept mentality”? What’s the “inept mentality” you speak of?

  2. Why is it that every time I leave a comment here – no matter what it is – I get the same douchebags trolling said comments? Why is that? Look folks, I would love to meet each of you in person and shut your mouths permanently; very few things would give me more pleasure. But, I have a life to live that doesn’t include going to jail over pithy online bs from spineless trolls. That said, should we ever meet face to face and you decide that you have the balls in real life that you IMAGINE you have online… try me, please, please, please try me.

    • Gee – OK for you to post opinionated bloviations, but not others to comment on them?
      How – I don’t know – “white” of you.

      Gosh, but you type a mean challenge…

    • @Bryon: You’re such a tough guy. Threatening someone and calling them names is always the best way to respond to someone wanting some clarification on your comment. Pete wasn’t disagreeing with you, just want to know why you thought this place and the Delmar Loop (which are completely different) are going to be the same in 30 years.
      Bryon, you’re a real keyboard commando, the true internet ninja.

  3. Boys are so stupid. That said, maybe Bryon meant the Wellston Loop. And if I’m reading it right, he means that nothing will change because nobody really wants it to. At least not the ones who can afford to make it happen.
    The buildings, if they don’t fall down from neglect, will still be as unsightly as they are now.
    I grew up in Normandy, 50s and 60s, my mother grew up in Wellston, grandmother still lived there on Plymouth, and Wellston looked not much better then than it looks now. In fact, I see little evidence that the slums of StL are improving. Maybe a little building over there in McRee Town/Botanical Heights, but nothing recent.

    • Sue, I’m always looking for other perspectives, and I’m interested in your appraisal of the Wellston Loop in the 50s and 60s. Most people have told me that it was flourishing back then, but your opinion is different?

      • Oh, no. The Wellston Loop, and all along Easton Avenue, was still a pretty active hub even into the early 70s. Little Mom and Pop restaurants and shoe stores and dress shops. I recall riding the last of the streetcars, the Hodiamont line, into town with my aunt.
        But the town itself was falling into disrepair. Wagner Electric was still there, and my grandmother had boarders that worked there. The tavern was still on the NE corner of Plymouth and Delaware (now Stephen Jones.) But a drive along any of the streets in the early 1960s would show a landscape dotted with empty lots, places where beautiful brick homes once stood, but were burned to the ground. Maybe purposely for the insurance money — I would hear my uncle, who was probably the last white man to move away, say.
        Yet, like all of StL, Wellston had a warm appeal, to me anyway. It was almost like city living, but not quite suburban, as we came to know suburban after WWII. And I enjoyed my trips to the Loop to shop and have lunch.
        My point was that it seems no one wants to make it a desirable place to live anymore, so it will just continue to waste away until it’s an uninhabited expanse of land.

        • Sue, correct me if I’m wrong, but a lot of the houses in Wellston were wood frame, right? They don’t hold up as well as masonry.

          But I agree with your point that a neighborhood will only be as prosperous (barring macro events like earthquakes) as its residents are willing to fight for.

  4. On the contrary, there were more houses that were red brick than wood frame. I have a picture somewhere of Plymouth avenue in 1940, and the two houses showing, one was actually an apartment building that my parents owned, and they were red brick. And my grandmother’s house was brick and wood.

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