Delmar Between Union and DeBaliviere, Part 3

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Many of the buildings along Delmar were clearly built in pairs or in triplets. They create a pleasant, undulating streetscape that is fun to walk along.

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I don’t think, after closer inspection, that the paint colors are original.

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Wow, what is up with that balcony? It’s obviously a later addition.

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Finally, the first abandoned building appears, with all of the telltale signs; missing windows, broken pediments and dead vines point to the neglect of this building.

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But the type-font on 5554 is truly unique; it is such a shame among so many occupied apartments that this one sits empty. Who is coming to save it? Probably no one.

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Update: In the spring of 2021, the gate blocking Clara Avenue was removed, opening up the street for the first time in decades to pedestrianand traffic from Delmar Boulevard.

I think the most striking aspect of Delmar through here, and what certainly contributes to the divide between north and south, is the speed and aggressiveness of the traffic hurtling by. The street is nothing more than another traffic sewer that spews cars to and from University City. Unless you like architecture, there is little to no reason to walk along what is essentially an urban highway. And even worse, the neighborhoods to the south of Delmar have erected a giant fence blocking off Delmar to the north just east of DeBaliviere. It basically says, “We give up; we are going to make no effort to fix what ails the neighborhood to the north, and we are going to turn inward.”

That has never worked, and it’s not working here.

Update: The building below, which is now Grace and Peace Presbyterian Fellowship, was the 1930-1965 home of B’Nai El Synagogue. It’s location just before this one was on Flad in the Shaw neighborhood. Since 1965, it has been located on North Outer 40 Drive just west of Spoede Road.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. David Warner says:

    Interesting to hear you mention the fence blocking off, I assume, Clara. I live in that neighborhood and know of neighbors who have looked into getting that fence opened, at least some of the time. No one seems to know who controls it or how we’d go about getting it opened.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Interesting, David. It seems like it’s common in St. Louis for the memory of who originally built something can be lost.

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