I was in the vicinity of the now-demolished neighborhood of Carrollton, so I thought I would swing by and see who things looked. First off, I couldn’t believe I had missed this giant domed bowling alley the other times I had come by.
Located northwest of Lambert International Airport off Natural Bridge Road, the subdivision’s streets are left behind, and several of the through streets are still open due to pre-existing traffic patterns to various parks and other parts to the north. But the majority of the streets are blocked off with signs warning against trespassing.
It’s surreal, and one thing that jumped out at me was just how bad of condition the streets were, on the closed portions of the subdivision. Obviously the City of St. Louis, which now owns this land, was not patching or repairing the closed sections, so the shabby repairs and patchwork must have dated to when this area was still inhabited.
These photos were taken on a gloomy, overcast day, but I almost feel like that’s appropriate. Bridgeton’s population was devastated by the airport noise mitigation buyouts, and I know I’ve heard that many residents feel it was a serious blow to the character of the suburb. It’s a surreal landscape, and worth visiting. Very few people seem to travel its vacant streets.
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I get that this place was gutted for a reason (noise), but it’s hard for me to imagine such a huge swath of emptiness existing in almost any other city in the world.
Yeah, I feel like there has to be a better use of the land, whether conversion to warehouses like on other sides of the airport or even just expanded park space for Bridgeton. Doing nothing is a waste of potentially at least somewhat productive land.