Streets of St. Charles

I was out visiting a friend two Saturdays ago, and I was intrigued by the “new urbanism” development of the Streets of St. Charles. It’s becoming increasingly common for wealthier suburbs of major cities to build these mixed-use developments, where there are ground floor restaurants and stores below apartments or condos. There’s usually a hotel…

Rapid Changes, Mill Creek Around Grand Boulevard

Late on Saturday, I checked up on how the residential development of the former railyards of the western Mill Creek valley was going. This is west of the historic African American neighborhood, but is the actual valley, where roundhouses and light industry, as well as massive switching yards once lay. The building that was under…

St. Thomas of Aquin School, Renovated

I was extremely pleased to see that Blackline took on the difficult task of renovating the old St. Thomas of Aquin parish school. It is in Dutchtown, which is seeing increased not-for-profit investment, but also extensive out-of-town predatory speculation. The former church is nearby. Sure, the windows were probably not black originally, but it’s more…

Bavarian Inn, More Progress

I had been wondering why there had been no activity at the old Bavarian Inn site for a while. After sitting vacant for a long time, there had been rapid renovation work earlier in 2022. But now, in the last couple of weeks, the new windows have shown up, and the building and renovation is…

Massive Redevelopment, The Grove

Ah yeah, so Vista Avenue has changed a bit since I first looked at it back in August of 2014 when the Grove was still at the cusp of a major redevelopment explosion. The affordable housing above was just about complete in June of 2018, but things sure have changed. Basically all of the old…

Demolition Coming, The Grove, Part Two

The old Emmaus church at Tower Grove and Chouteau avenues will be demolished for the new Ronald McDonald House and headquarters. The old warehouse to the east has already been demolished. The apartment buildings to the east down the block are in great condition, and are not part of the building site. The whole block…

Demolition Coming, The Grove, Part One

This row of houses on the south side of Manchester Avenue, just east of Kingshighway in the Grove, are slated for demolition for the now ubiquitous flimsy wood frame apartment buildings that are going up all over the neighborhood. Left vacant and unmaintained for years, of course they look a little rough around the edges….

Some Final Thoughts on Paris

OK, we’re done with Paris. I did want to give some final thoughts on the French capital, and share some things that St. Louis could learn, and also be honest on some other matters. First of all, it’s sort of unfair to compare the two exactly because with any world capital, particularly a European one,…

Public Space in Paris

One thing I’ve noticed about the great cities of the world, particularly Europe, is their lack of wide open spaces. Isn’t that counterintuitive? Aren’t American cities constantly building more plazas for free concerts and festivals? We need to bring more life to our cities with special events! In reality, life is brought to European (and…