North St. Louis is just one gigantic wasteland, right? Wrong, particularly just north of the Central West End, around the historic Lewis Place, the streets are lined with houses just as stately as those to the south of Delmar.
In fact, the entire western end of the city, stretching to the city limits, was once the wealthiest part of the city. While Lafayette Square was full of boarding houses and factories, its wealthy residents long departed, the areas around the West End teamed with some of the most important leaders in St. Louis industry, including the DeWitts, who lived on West Cabanne Place.
These neighborhoods survived suburban flight, but they’re now at a critical stage where many of the residents, having bought the houses in the 1960’s, are now passing away or moving out of the neighborhood. As with all neighborhoods, the question remains: who will replace them? Will young, energetic people move in and update the houses for the new millennium, or will suburban slumlords buy them and turn them into decrepit rental properties that breed crime?