St. Louis Place

Despite getting chased by brick thieves during my excursion through St. Louis Place, I was still able to get some interesting photos of the area. What is surprising, is that while driving down St. Louis Avenue this last weekend in the St. Louis Place neighborhood, I saw houses that look identical to houses in Lafayette Square, where the same houses would cost $500-700K. It’s a shame, because St. Louis Place looks like it was once one of the nicest areas of the city, and now it’s one of the most destroyed and pillaged areas of the city.

Above is the Falstaff Brewery No. 5, which has been renovated into very nice apartments. The Falstaff label was once brewed by Lemp Brewery and later purchased by the Griesedieck Family. The old Columbia Brewery became Plant No. 5 and its location in the middle of a residential neighborhood is typical of 19th Century urban development. Workers would live within a five minute walk from work, and there was no need for hour long commutes by car, not that most people could afford the luxury of such transportation at the turn of the 20th Century. Now obviously, we now know that it was hazardous for people to breathe in all the pollutants from the smokestacks belching black smoke at the end of their street, but the ideal of people living close to their jobs is still attainable, if people are willing to actually look hard enough.

Besides the brewery, the company renovated man of the rowhouses nearby, including this charming half flounder to the north. It clearly once had an neighbor to the left, but it must have been demolished when the streets were lined up to improve traffic flow.

Above is one of the various abandoned warehouses in the area.

Perhaps one of the most iconic views of North St. Louis, this look down N. Market St. has largely lost its historical context. While there is new housing along this street, it has failed to understand the relationship between original housing and new…

…leaving this absurd juxtaposition of an original rowhouse sitting a good forty feet in front of the in-fill housing to its right. Sure, they put the garage in back, as is typical of an urban environment, but really, what is the purpose of a front yard? Couldn’t the house just as easily built in line with the pre-existing house, allowing for a backyard at least twice the size of the current one?

But by far, the most important feature of this neighborhood, St. Louis Place Park, remains intact, and provides an important focal point for redevelopment in the area.

Update: The house on the left in the last picture has been demolished.

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