You might not care about Farmington, far to the south in St. Francois County, but it is very important to the St. Louis region, actually lending its name to the official name for the combined census region according to the federal government.
It also has an incredibly beautiful Beaux-Arts courthouse, which is not a standard run-of-the-mill example, either, with an interesting massing and front facade facing the main street of the downtown.
The downtown has managed to preserve a fairly strong urban character, which impressed me, as the city is also doing a good job of marketing itself as well. I did not see a single empty storefront on the street in front of the courthouse.
I would suggest they remove the one-way streets that buffet the courthouse, as it speeds up the traffic, and the return of two-way streets would actually improve business, which is already thriving.
The buildings are well-preserved, but in that never-abandoned-so-they-have-all-sorts-of-coverings way. I would rather a building be continuously occupied than untouched and collapsing due to abandonment.
There is terrible sprawl around the outside of Farmington, so I am impressed the city has managed to maintain a strong downtown. It’s a job well done.