Golf in North St. Louis


How does a round of golf amongst the hallowed grounds of Pruitt-Igoe sound to you?

Yes, as recently as 2000, the city had floated the idea of removing large portions of the street grid in North St. Louis to build a suburban style, “urban oasis” that I suppose would cause people to abandon their McMansions in Chesterfield and resettle in the heart of North St. Louis. As a centerpiece of the redevelopment, the golf course would annihilate dozens of (admittedly depressed) blocks of the 19th C. street grid.

While not every aspect of the plan is moronic, it is frightening that some civic leaders are still trying to compete with St. Louis County in the “suburban wars.” The city of St. Louis is being reborn because it offers something you can’t get in the suburbs–the urban experience. Trying to reproduce the suburban experiencee in the city will always fail, because places like O’Fallon, St. Charles and Chesterfield do sprawl so much better than the city ever could.

And that’s not a bad thing the city does sprawl poorly; it only serves to encourage the city to take a new-urbanistapproach to revitalization.

Update: Of course, this plan was dropped for McKee’s plan, which also failed. As of April 2016, the site above is slated for the new National Geo-Spatial Imaging Agency.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. It may be suburbanish… but I wouldn’t complain about another good golf course here in the city! Forest Park is nice, and Old Normandie is almost in the city, but there aren’t too many options for us golfers who live in the city.

  2. Chris says:

    I agree that St. Louis could use another golf course, but I’m a little worried about the “build and they will come” attitude of the plan. St. Louis sometimes jumps the gun with building amenities before the critical mass of people has arrived to patronize them. Many people believe that the failed St. Louis Centre might have actually succeeded if it had opened today instead of twenty years ago before the recent revitalization of downtown took hold.

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