I’ve always been intrigued by McKinley Heights; sandwiched in between Lafayette Square, Soulard and Benton Park, it gets forgotten by many people.
Update: I photographed the building above in May of 2019. I photographed the houses below again in October of 2020.
But obviously, due to its close proximity to those other famous neighborhoods, McKinley Heights is ripe for revitalization, which is already occurring.
I’ve always been confused by the relative youth of the housing stock in the area; while it is deep inside the city, east of Jefferson, it seems that development came late, or more likely, the houses currently here are a second generation of houses. Really, if it weren’t for I-44, this would be southern Lafayette Square, and McKinley Heights is a late appellation, named after the high school in the middle of the neighborhood.
In fact, the southwestern corner of the neighborhood seems to be the oldest, at the corner of Gravois and Jefferson Avenues.
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Actually the area between Geyer and Ann was home to South Side Park in the 1800s, at one point having a racetrack. After the 1896 tornado development gradually came about in the park, and sped up after the opening of Mckinley Highschool. More information in the neighborhood historic register nomination: http://www.dnr.mo.gov/shpo/nps-nr/84002655.pdf