North Side of Delmar

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There’s been a lot of talk of “North of Delmar” recently, so I thought it would be interesting for me to drive down Delmar, starting in the Central West End in the west and ending at Vandeventer Avenue in the east and photograph the actual north side of Delmar.  What I saw may surprise you; there is desolation and abandonment, but there is also incredible beauty and resilience.  Take a drive with me…

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I absolutely love the two houses below; it you look closely, you can see they’re actually identical, but they’ve each received their own personal touches: a tower on one house, a flat facade on the other.

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I’ve always been interested in the housing type below; the turrets above the porch are common in houses throughout the western end of the city.  Note too that red brick has been abandoned on the front facades, and replaced with buff or tan brick.

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Two more houses that were built at the same time but minor details and the passage of time under different owners have made them unique.

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The two pictures are almost to Vandeventer, and bring us to the oldest part of Delmar through this part of the city.  Second Empire mansions dominate, but so does the evidence of how this neighborhood declined in the early Twentieth Century.  The houses below probably converted to rooming house, and the storefronts were built out the front, sort of like their now lost neighbor on Olive further east.

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While the vinyl siding replacing the slate shingles is maybe not the best idea, I cannot criticize the owners since they have chosen to stick it out and keep this house occupied.

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  1. I foresee this area north of Delmar slowly revitalizing and becoming an up and coming neighborhood. Nearly all of the South Side has been filled in with many rental properties being converted to single-family housing. Also, with the significantly important housing architecture north of Delmar, I think this huge area would be prime to promote to locals and outsiders as an opportunity to get closer (or back) to city living. Really, since so much of Grand Centre, CWE, and U-City, are saturated, it is only a matter of time until residents begin to remodel and rehab gorgeous homes on the North Side. I think a big push should be made to influence citizens, neighborhoods, elected officials, decision makers, and the media to really shine a light on an area that has had a ill-begotten stigma. So much potential in this area!!!

  2. The first picture used to be a pool hall and I think bar. I played a game of pool there back in 88. I was only 16 at the time and had no ideal what I was doing. Dangerous but fun at the time. I would never do that now.

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