South Side of Old North

Update: As of December of 2019, there has been little development since the completion of the new I-70 bridge, and the area continues to deteriorate. The houses in the first two photos have been demolished.

The southern end of Old North St. Louis is shrouded in tall trees and dense underbrush, but there are still some houses left.

At least some of the buildings seem to occupied, and it’s interesting to see how people live right next door to more industrial and commercial buildings.

Update: The house above has lost its whole western wall on the left.

Unfortunately, the whole area seems cut off and isolated. Honestly, I’ve rarely seen anybody in the area, and there doesn’t even seem to be the element that seeks out dark streets and desolate blocks for criminal activity.

The area is sure to change, as is demonstrated by the new route of Tucker Boulevard, which will connect to the new Mississippi River Bridge at Cass Avenue.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Chris says:

    The second to last photo looks like the building beside the trestle on Tyler. I've always thought it was very interesting (in addition to being in seemingly great shape). Any idea what it was built and used for?

  2. Here is a link to a photo sans foliage: a 1979 proposal for a National Historic District, in which the building is described: down about 1/5th of the way (page 3) and it is listed as "William Barker House and Office" and its subsequent use by the Tyler Metal Products Company, with a description. It was constructed in 1891.If you scroll further down, there are maps of the area – and – a BW photo of the building as it appeared in 1980!

  3. Chris says:

    Very cool. Thanks, Tom!

  4. Patrick J. Kleaver says:

    The building in the second from bottom photo was known as the Aro Sheet Metal and Blow Pipe Company when I lived on the same block (1100 Tyler) from the mid-1950s to early 1970s. It remained occupied til 1990. The then owner in 2018 applied for a demolition permit, but no action was taken on it. It still stands as of early 2020, but its roof has collapsed.

  5. Patrick J. Kleaver says:

    The homes on Hadley Street in the top two photos have been demolished (the sidewalk for the first one remains). The south side of Old North is now primarily the domain of the Sunshine Ministries, which has several buildings on Howard Street between Hadley and Blair Avenue. The cinderblock addition (not visible in the photo) to the building in the second to last photo that was added in 1951 has had some work done to it relatively recently.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      I need to get back by there. I didn’t realize they’d been demolished.

  6. Chris:
    I really enjoy all of your research. I just stumbled onto this particular page, and I’m wondering if you have the data that someone posted the link to in 2011 for the buildings at 1101-05 Tyler. Unfortunately, the hot links appear to be dead. Why do I ask? Well, there were two William S. Barkers, one of them was my great-grandfather; the other was his father, my great-great grandfather. I have a ton of information about both. William Spafford Barker (the father) moved from Galena, IL to St. Louis ca. 1860 and established his medical practice in Old North. During the Civil War, he was an army surgeon on a barge near Vicksburg (I believe). Spafford’s son, Wm. Schirmer Barker, carried on his father’s medical practice for a long career, living from 1863 to 1944. I have extended family who lived all around this Old North neighborhood in its very early days, Including Schirmer Barker’s father-in-law, Jacob Reese Sprague, who (believe it or not) invented the concept of the delicatessen restaurant in St. Louis and opened and ran some of the most popular lunchroom restaurants (including one in the Wainwright Building when it first opened!) in this region between 1884 and 1906. I would love to have the chance to speak with you about all of this. Incidentally, my dad carried on the tradition of “Drs. Barker,” being a pediatrician in St. Louis from about 1960 until 2000. One uncle is still alive — William Schirmer Barker, the namesake of old Dr. Barker! I certainly hope I can find that data on the “William Barker House and Office.” Thanks! Tim Barker, Owner, Paradigm Architects, LLC

  7. Chris:
    I was able to access the links — super! I had thought the building at 1101-05 Tyler was of “later” construction (in other words, built for more industrial use after Dr. Barker moved his office), but perhaps I’m wrong, since the DNR report lists the construction date of 1891. I think the Barkers owned that corner lot (11th and Tyler — originally “Webster”), extending north to Chambers. His address in 1880 is 1103 Chambers, so I think it’s likely additions / buildings were done during that entire period on both end-lots. There are earlier records (1860 / 1864) of Dr. Wm. Spafford Barker having his home and office at NW corner, 10th and Monroe a bit farther north. I also find it very interesting that, according to the DNR research, North Presbyterian became Polish National Catholic ca. 1908, because the Barkers were members of N.P. and moved to a home at 3855 Delmar right around this time.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:


  8. One bit of promising news regarding 1101-05 Tyler: I spoke some months ago with the gentleman who now heads the congregation at the original North Presbyterian, and he says the current owner of 1101 Tyler plans to refurbish and use the building. Don’t know any other details, but it looks now like something is starting to happen there.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      It’s a beautiful building and I hope they can save it.

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