Abandoned Storefront, MLK Drive, Northwestern Downtown

August 2015 477

Once the heart of the city, filled with dense residential neighborhoods and businesses in the alley, this northwestern part of downtown, along MLK Drive (formerly Franklin Avenue here and Easton Avenue further out) was lined with houses. As the houses were demolished for more businesses, some seemed to survive. Note the peaked roof scar on the side of the building. This building is actually L shaped, so I suspect the houses coexisted with business for at least a while.

Franklin

It’s also interesting, because you can see a church on the same block. Later on, as the Sanborn Map below shows, it became a Greek Orthodox Church. Logically, so was the neighborhood around 1909. This part of the city had long been where the most poor and destitute first settled; capturing the American Dream, they then moved west or outwards towards new “suburbs” in the city. City records state the building was built in 1928. A record states that in 1886, a Kate Green at 1928, aged 8, was a patient in the insane asylum. Her house, 1928 Franklin, is on the site of the warehouse.

August 2015 475

But my, what a wasteland now. Nothing. Just vacant lots. What a sad part of the city.

August 2015 471

As can be seen below, the building was not built by 1909, and the dense, old houses not yet swept away.

20th and Franklin

All that’s left now is a parking lot.

August 2015 473

3 Comments Add yours

  1. I’d like to open a tire shop in this building if it’s available for rent from the City of St. Louis.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      You would need to call the Land Reutilization Authority to see if it is available for purchase. I don’t think the LRA typically rents its properties. Good luck!

    2. Chris Naffziger says:

      You would need to call the Land Reutilization Authority to see if it is available for purchase. I don’t think the LRA typically rents its properties. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.