North Up Blair Avenue, Fall 2018

Update: I retraced my path in early and late summer of 2019. Many of the buildings seen below have now been demolished and are now vacant lots. The house featured in the pictures above and below was demolished in 2019.

Blair Avenue gives you a great cross section of the neighborhoods just to the west of Interstate 70, which cut these working class areas from their traditional employment areas along the Near North Riverfront. Old North St. Louis has seen much redevelopment, but there is still much to be done, and great opportunities.

In Hyde Park, everyone I know who loved the building at the corner of Salisbury and Blair cheered when it was renovated; we never knew its rehab would turn out so well. It is a Second Empire masterpiece.

Below, north of the eponymous park, Windsor Park was an old quarry that was filled in and happily turned into a recreational space as opposed to a mid-Twentieth Century housing development.

And then we start heading up the steep hill to the “Red Water Tower” based off the architecture of Venice, Italy. It has been in the news about its need for renovation. Luckily, it will never be marked for demolition, as it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Sadly, the old Orthodox Jewish nursing home is doing just as bad as usual.

Finally, we reach College Hill, where there are people still working hard for their community, such as the wonderful Fresno’s Diner, which has rebounded after a car hit their wall. The food is great, as well.

Update: See the houses below in a post from the winter of 2019. I revisited the half flounder house in the winter of 2023.

College Hill is such a fascinating neighborhood; it is a mix of every different architectural style, with no real dominant period or tract housing from any era.

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