Rapid Changes, Mill Creek Around Grand Boulevard

Late on Saturday, I checked up on how the residential development of the former railyards of the western Mill Creek valley was going. This is west of the historic African American neighborhood, but is the actual valley, where roundhouses and light industry, as well as massive switching yards once lay. The building that was under…

A Sad Discovery, Dutchtown

I was shocked to discover that the beautiful house above, one of a pair on the west side of Nebraska Avenue in between Gasconade and Osage streets burned at some point after I photographed them in October of 2019 (fourth and fifth photo down, the burned house is in the fifth photo). But what matters…

An In Depth Look at Laclede’s Landing, Fall 2022

Laclede’s Landing has been in the news a lot lately, and while I’m not going to wade into the controversy that’s been going on concerning crime, homelessness and whatnot, I thought it was time for me to revisit what is perhaps one of the best known neighborhoods in the region. When reviewing old posts, I…

Some Final Thoughts on Paris

OK, we’re done with Paris. I did want to give some final thoughts on the French capital, and share some things that St. Louis could learn, and also be honest on some other matters. First of all, it’s sort of unfair to compare the two exactly because with any world capital, particularly a European one,…

Who Controls the Past Now Controls the Future

Who controls the past now controls the futureWho controls the present now controls the pastWho controls the past now controls the futureWho controls the present now? I’ve been thinking about the lyrics of this song by the band Rage Against the Machine, which are based off the novel 1984, after having gotten back from Paris….

Some Random Impressions of France

First off, perhaps I would like to start off with some impressions of Paris, and France in general. This was my twelfth trip to Europe, but my first to France. Many people were surprised that I had never been, and that was a major reason I chose to finally go. As I remarked to someone,…

Checking In On Mark Twain and Central High Schools

St. Louis voters recently overwhelmingly passed Prop S, which will allow the St. Louis Public Schools to issue bonds for much needed improvements to buildings, most of which are now over one hundred years old, though as anyone who will admit it, are extremely well built and will last for centuries if properly maintained. The…

Northside Regeneration and the Future of North St. Louis

Update: There’s some great news to report on these two houses. For once this is not land speculation but rather the Sisters at Alpha Kappa Alpha rebuilding a founder’s home as part of what will be a museum and community center. Heading east on St. Louis Avenue just east of Garrison, I spotted a strange…

Half Century Old Problems

The Grand Motel at 2534 North Grand Boulevard, or as it was originally known, Lisa or Lisa’s Motel, has now been around since the early 1970s in the JeffVanderLou neighborhood. Its construction reflects a sort of fearful worldview expecting outside invaders as it is built facing inward, like a Spanish mission I have seen in…

A Tour of the Sites Mentioned in the Federal Indictment

Update: As of August 26, 2022, all three former aldermen plead guilty to the allegations made by federal prosecutors and have been sentenced by a judge. The text of the following post has been updated to reflect the changes from allegations at the time of the original writing to guilty pleas. By now I’m sure…