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Virginia Avenue Between Chippewa and Miami Streets, Gravois Park

Gravois Park is such a beautiful neighborhood, and I feel bad that it is often times in the news and in the conversations of South City residents for the wrong reasons. Further afield, it is a community known to few people, despite being an almost completely intact built environment with few demolished houses or vacant lots.

The streets are quiet for the most part, and there just seems to be so much potential on the blocks west of Compton Avenue which cuts through the neighborhood.

But there are still some nice street trees, and affordable houses. I’ve talked to longtime residents, and they speak of days only ten to twenty years ago when the neighborhood was safe and thriving. I don’t know what happened so quickly. I do know the Great Recession and sloppy flippers didn’t help.

Perhaps the interest in rehabbing this time will result in better and more equitable success for the neighborhood.

And please, God, can everyone agree not to add matchstick and vinyl siding second floors to these beautiful houses? Yes, there is demand for these little houses; not everyone needs or can afford a 3,000 square foot house.

The park itself is a nice little oasis that is horribly underutilized right now, and there is still abandonment on its southern edge (sixth photo down). There is so much potential.

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