I’m tired of Dutchtown only being in the news for the wrong reasons, though I’m not going to pretend like it doesn’t have problems–it does. But on a recent Saturday morning, the sun was shining, the weather was cool, and people were coming out of their houses, and I photographed the beautiful architecture of the huge neighborhood that makes this area one of the most critical parts of St. Louis. If we do not work to keep Dutchtown stable, with its almost completely intact building stock, all of the South Side will suffer. There are so many wonderful people working hard in this neighborhood to make it a better place.
It is also an incredibly historically rich neighborhood, going back far into the early Nineteenth Century. Much of it is cut off to the “left side” of Compton and Dry, but we can still see that what is now the official neighborhood of Dutchtown, south of Chippewa, already possessed extensive exurban development in what were the southern St. Louis Common Fields. Take the house above,on Ohio Avenue, still on a huge parcel of land; it is old, and I suspect it dates back to the 1870s, if not earlier. It is just one example of the history and architectural variety that exists in Dutchtown. Over the next week or so, we’ll begin to look at this amazing neighborhood.