North St. Louis, Late Summer, 2019

I met new people all over North St. Louis this summer, including members of the congregation of the Original Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in the Ville neighborhood, on St. Louis Avenue. Better Family Life had organized dozens of churches to host barbecues all summer long, and the Church had been one of the participants. I had a great time stopping by on several occasions while the congregation offered free food and clothing to anyone who asked.

I also had the opportunity to finally visit the William A. Kerr Foundation, in the old Belcher Brothers Artesian Well building, which was renovated several years ago in the Near North Riverfront. They host shows and other events often. Nearby is the old Laclede Power Station, now owned by Great Rivers Greenway and awaiting a donor who will fund a restoration.

I also noticed a “ghost sign” at the corner of 14th and St. Louis Avenue, and if you look closely, you can see the building to the east of Crown Candy Kitchen was once a chopy suey restaurant.

In St. Louis Place, the vacant church of St. Augustine’s still sits, awaiting redemption.

On the Near North Side, a house that many people love continues to deteriorate.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Tim Long says:

    In the 50’s and 60’s the building to the east of Crown’s was a drug store.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      I believe the sign is still preserved! For legal reasons it cannot be put back up–something about the fact that “pharmacy” is a heavily regulated word by the government, so it is kept inside.

  2. ME says:

    Great post! Cool Buildings with so much potential. Those all would be some awesome renovations. Hopefully someone steps up in time.

  3. David says:

    14th Street was a great destination shopping district up until the late 60s. It even had a JC Penny store.

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