• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

    Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.

Yet another St. Louis Thread.. commentary of my brief visit.


Sorry no personally taken pics this time. I feel St Louis has been well documented through photographs in this forum.

I started my trip at the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois Statewide Conference at the Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton, IL. The bluffs along the river and IL-100 are beautiful and worth the trip in itself. I'm thinking of making a trip down in the fall.

Being inspired from previous Alton photos, I took the tour. The downtown is nicely intact. There are many restaurants, bars, and boutiques throughout a small couple block area. An arm of the downtown stretches along Broadway St to the east. Here the downtown is a less kept and occupied. But nice architecture. If you get to Alton, stop at Fast Eddie's for the 99 cent 1/2 lb hamburgers.

After Alton I took US-67 over to the north side of St. Louis and drove down Florissant Ave to the downtown. The brick is relentless. The amount of red brick is amazing. North of I-70, St. Louis looked to be a decent, 1940s middle class area...at least on the roads I drove. South of it, the blight was pretty bad. I didn't feel unsafe in this area... just amazed by the abandonment. I know the answer but still ask the question...why would anyone want to leave these quality homes?

Downtown St. Louis...on a beautiful 78 degree low humidity (in June?! in St Louis?!) day was light on pedestrian or auto traffic. It was even a baseball game day.. although the game wasn't scheduled to start for another 3 hours. Enjoyed a Schlafly's and St. Louis style pizza at Caleco's a couple block from Bush Stadium. Parking downtown was $5!!! on game day.. It's $5 in Peoria. I was shocked expecting "metropolitan" parking fees.

Took a drive by ugly Busch Stadium and the new baseball park, currently a pit, that is under construction.

The downtown is small, compact and has nice narrow right-of-ways, which if redevelopment or restoration increases would create an awesome environment for living and working. A couple of the new(er) buildings seemed to have a fear of the ground level in that the main entrance was located substantially back from the sidewalks under arcades that were 3-4 stories high. It didn't help to preserve to street wall that the old created. This, of course, is an affliction of many communities.

West End near Forrest Park is beautiful with tons of upscale red brick homes in many architectural styles. This area is definitely worth checking out if you enjoy old home sight-seeing.

Took I-64 to East St. Louis and then took IL-3 through East St. Louis, Venice, etc. I had to see it for myself. It looked like plenty of demolition had occurred there were hardly any industrial structures or anything. I couldn't find my camera when I wanted to take a picture of an abandoned, wood rail trestle that was falling apart with dangling rails.

I didn't venture into the suburbs on in the MO side. But it seems that the few ways for St. Louis to 'save itself' is like many other industrial cities. Reduce suburban type growth and improve the school system. Growth from within, re-use buildings that identify St. Louis.
Last edited:


Glad you enjoyed the city (for the most part). For the record, I have NEVER in my life ever heard of $5.00 parking downtown anytime, game day or not. It's usually anywhere from $8.00-30.00 depending on where downtown you are and the day of the week. You either got really lucky or you parked at some obscure lot run by hustlers (of which there are many).

Re: the North Side abandonment-- yes, it is sad that so many people left these once-great neighborhoods, but there are MANY still left intact. A lot of people are so thrown off by what they see from the major streets, that they don't venture into the residential 'hoods to see what life still exists. The city's South Side is very stable, and getting better all the time. Immigrants have revived once-neglected neighoborhoods and property values are skyrocking in some areas. Population density on the South Side is rising. Did you see the South Side or Near South Side (Soulard, Benton Park, South Grand, Compton Heights, St. Louis Hills, Dutchtown, the Hill, etc.)? Did you get to check out the ever-expanding vibrant and funky Delmar Loop neighborhood that runs from the West Side of St. Louis City into suburban University City? How about Clayton-- one of the largest suburban downtowns in the United States, with some of the metro's tallest buildings? Those areas are all worth a visit. They would show you a side of St. Louis you might not have ever known.

The Central West End, near Forest Park (my neighborhood) is one of the great urban neighborhoods of North America. Thanks for the recap of your visit. I hope you come back to see what you missed.


Could have started with the Nike Missle Site at Pere Marquette. The link is for the San Fran but the same missles were on top of Liberty Ridge in the park protecting STL. I was very unhappy when the silos were filled with gravel. We lost a piece of cold are history that day. I have to admit to taking light fixtures from a trash pile. They hang on the back porch of my house. Stolen but honored and saved.

I haven't been here long but already find it cool how the same images grab the attention of others. The image of the unsupported RR steel is in my head. That would be a great image in the right light. Black and white would be cool too.

The north side has always facinated me. I bought my house on the south side in Benton Park when the neighborhood was still scarey. I consider taking my equity and moving to the north side. I wish I could save this building on Cass avenue. Anyone wanna help? It could be lofts or condos. You could also tear down a couple of additions and have a fortress.

If you folks haven't explored Built St. Louis I think you will like it.Very well done and very sad. Welcome to throw it away USA!
Last edited: