Clamorgan Alley is not the historic name for this alley, which cuts between the 700 blocks of North First and Second streets. But it received that name because Jacques Clamorgan once owned this land, and in a famous court case, after giving the land to his slave, Esther, in an effort to avoid creditors (something that doesn’t work nowadays), tried to get it back.
He famously failed and Esther retained ownership of the land right here in Laclede’s Landing, and the individual land I think is under Christian Peper’s tobacco warehouse. Honestly, it seems like it would make more sense to name this Esther Alley, but whatever.
In fact, in 1983, as this promotional poster shows, it was actually being billed as “First Street Alley.”
The alley is not as thriving as perhaps the creators of the promotional poster had intended, but the Old Spaghetti Factory has held out, and is perhaps one of the original tenants from the redevelopment in the early 1980s.
North of Lucas Avenue, formerly Christy Avenue (that name moves all over the city in the Nineteenth Century!), it dissolves into vacant lots on one side. Alley life once thrived in this city, for better or for worse, and many alleys were named. North of Morgan, Clamorgan was actually named Waddingham by the turn of the Twentieth Century.
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I’m glad I was able to enjoy the thriving years of the Landing. My husband and I spent a weekend at the Missouri Athletic Club this past summer. We walked to it from the Arch grounds….it is a sad sight to behold now.
It is, indeed. I didn’t intentionally take photos of these buildings without people in them–there just simply weren’t any people around. It was totally dead.