Gate District, Revisited

I’m still suspicious of the Gate District, a redevelopment in the 1980s where most of the existing housing stock was leveled and replaced with wood frame houses typical of that decade. There is still a lot of the historic fabric left, however. Honestly, from what is left, I find it hard to believe that all…

Gate District Rowhouses

Cut off by I-44 and demolished in large sections, the so-called Gate District still has some surprises, such as these row houses. There used to be thousands of “true” row houses in St. Louis, but they’re mostly gone. Too dense, or something like that.

Historic Photos of Immaculate Conception Church Under Construction, 1908

A reader sent me these wonderful photos of his grandfather, John J. Newport, working on the roof of Immaculate Conception Church on Lafayette Avenue.  In the background, you can see the neighborhood before it was decimated by the construction of I-44. Photos courtesy of Jim Newport.

Immaculate Conception Church

Update: See historic photos submitted by a reader in this post from November of 2012. I photographed the parish school in May of 2021. I went back in the late summer of 2021 to photograph the church again. The old Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, on Longfellow at Lafayette anchors the intersection proudly. St. Kevin’s and…

Hodgen Elementary Demolition Pending

Update: The school was torn down and replaced with nothing. Some in-fill, that I do like, was built on the lot facing Lafayette Avenue in 2018-19. Historic image added in November of 2022. Much of the Gate District, formerly the Compton Hill neighborhood, has been obliterated. But much to my delight, much of it still…

St. Louis Flower Market

Who realized that the wholesale flower market is on LaSalle Street just southwest of the intersection of Jefferson and Chouteau? Despite most of the area around it being demolished for the Gate District, the street is almost completely intact. One can only imagine how amazing it was when all the houses around this street were…

Gate District Re-examination

I decided to re-examine the Gate District in response to the impassioned arguments of one of the neighborhood’s residents that the area does have life in it, despite its reputation among local preservationists and others. What I found were several streets of very beautiful houses along Lafayette Avenue, with some abandonment and some new in-fill…

Abandoned Grocery Store

Update: In the fall of 2012, this store was redeveloped into a new, smaller grocery store and several other parcels. See some of the buildings that used to be on the site in this post from 2020 (third photo). It never amazes me that a grocery store at the corner of Jefferson and I-44 could…

The Gate District

The Gate District is one of those areas that doesn’t quite fit into North or South St. Louis. Sandwiched between two major interstates, the area saw intense demolition decades ago, and now is a strange pastiche of new-urbanist and historic housing. A surprisingly large number of original buildings survive in the area. Update: In the…