Old North, Revisited Winter 2022, North Eleventh Street Between Montgomery and Monroe Streets

I’ve long been intrigued by this corner storefront sitting right by the interstate. The black paint is the from the never-ending efforts of Operation Brightside to cover up graffiti. The city agency is currently winning at this address, but the tide of battle will probably turn the other way sometime this summer, and so on.

It has a garage building in the back that has now rapidly deteriorated, and seems to have collapsed.

Heading south, we come to the first of the three civic circles laid out by the founders of Old North St. Louis, which of course was just North St. Louis at first. What many people might not realize is that originally before the interstate was built, these three circles were in the middle of the plat for the suburb. Now, the portion of the town to the east is the Near North Riverfront and a wasteland, more or less. You can still see the northern curve of the ecclesiastic circle.

There is in fact a church still on the circle, with the interstate to the east.

Update: Thanks to reader comments, this building below has been identified as the old St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church parish school.

There are some more church buildings to the south, which removed the southern half of the circle.

Across Eleventh Street, in what are now the southbound lanes of Interstate 70 was this house.

Dr. Alfred Heacock Residence, Northeast Corner of 11th and Benton Street, Built 1849, Photograph by William Swekosky, c. 1946, Missouri History Museum, N33888

I looked at how the interstate destroyed the neighborhood in a post from January of 2014.

All of the circumference of Jackson Place, the middle circle for recreation, has been preserved.

But my God, what kind of basketball court is this supposed to be? This photo is not crooked.

Further south is the third oldest church building in St. Louis, which was formerly Sts. Cyrils and Methodius Polish National Church. The old factory building on the south side of the circle collapsed due to pile driving during the construction of a new pedestrian bridge and was demolished in January of 2020.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Patrick Kleaver says:

    The building to the left in the sixth photo down is what was originally the parish school of St. Michael Roman Catholic Church. That church, built in 1849, was first located at North 11th and Clinton Streets. The school building was built in 1928. The building to the right was the convent (the school was staffed by the Sisters of Loretto).

    I attended kindergarten through third grade at this school before it closed in 1963. In 1957, the church building was demolished for the highway, and the second floor of the school building (which primarily had been a gym and parish hall) became the new church, continuing in operation until 1975. It was then occupied by the Greater Leonard Missionary Baptist Church until they built their own. They then used the former St. Michael’s as an education center and the convent for administrative offices.

    1. Tim Long says:

      Good memories of St. Michael’s .

    2. cnaffziger says:

      Ah, that makes sense, thanks!

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