Downtown East St. Louis

Discuss new retail, dining, business and residential projects in Southwestern Illinois, including East St. Louis, Belleville, O'Fallon and Edwardsville.
http://preservationresearch.com/2014/09 ... tember-11/

I would love to see all the historic buildings in Downtown ESL to find new uses. Buildings such as the spivy would have great views of downtown St Louis. But I can not see market rate apartments any time soon but I would not mind to see everything to be all affordable over market rate. A lot of the building can use all the Tax credits they can get. Now if it becomes a historic district their would be a ray of hope now. 8)
Redbrickcity wrote:
http://preservationresearch.com/2014/09/downtown-east-st-louis-historic-district-public-meeting-september-11/

I would love to see all the historic buildings in Downtown ESL to find new uses. Buildings such as the spivy would have great views of downtown St Louis. But I can not see market rate apartments any time soon but I would not mind to see everything to be all affordable over market rate. A lot of the building can use all the Tax credits they can get. Now if it becomes a historic district their would be a ray of hope now. 8)


It saddens me to think I'll probably not live to see the full comeback of E. St. Louis, but in good time, it could happen. I think some people are still living in the First National Bldg. (First Illinois Bank). I've seen lights on late at night.
Surprised this hasn't been posted. East St. Louis began razing a beautiful downtown building, even though the owner has been trying to redevelop it.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/illi ... 1ae38.html

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metr ... 3456d.html
^Big loss for DTESL. They don't have many buildings of that size and architectural grandeur left.
I'm amazed that they would drag their feet on any development plans. If someone came to them with a will and a way, why not fast track it? Or do they just want to see it all flattened in hopes that a clean start may bring has stations, fast food, and box stores?
chaifetz10 wrote:
I'm amazed that they would drag their feet on any development plans. If someone came to them with a will and a way, why not fast track it? Or do they just want to see it all flattened in hopes that a clean start may bring has stations, fast food, and box stores?


Growing up in the metro-east that is exactly how most people and leaders there want and think good economic development is.
Reminds me of Cairo, Illinois most of which has been levelled in the name of safety and sanitation.

^^They probably don't have the resources or institutional capacity to facilitate such development plans. The owner said she wrote the city considering the possibility of TIF funding. Sadly, ESL has trouble picking up its trash, paying its firefighters, paying the RENT for city hall, and keeping the lights on. They just don't have the expertise or resources for creative solutions - hence the push-button response: demo.
One of the biggest problems of St Claire county is instead of using money as in county TIF to help ESL. The county government rather spend millions on the so called "Gateway Connecter" which is another highway project that would cause more sprawl , and flight to Monroe county .

http://www.idot.illinois.gov/projects/Gateway-Connector
Why is tearing down historic buildings a priority? Aren't there like a hundred other things they should be doing?
Ebsy wrote:
Why is tearing down historic buildings a priority? Aren't there like a hundred other things they should be doing?


The reason cited in the article is that it presents a bad picture of East St. Louis to Metrolink riders.

Frankly, I can't say I disagree. If there is one thing I could do to help fix the reputation of East St. Louis, it would be to tear down historic architecture. Fool proof.
God forbid people taking the Metrolink to 5th & Missouri be presented with any sort of decay or dereliction upon getting off the train. Much better that there's no actual East St. Louis - just a blank canvas on which to project one's imagination - than an existing but run down East St. Louis.
jstriebel wrote:
Ebsy wrote:
Why is tearing down historic buildings a priority? Aren't there like a hundred other things they should be doing?


The reason cited in the article is that it presents a bad picture of East St. Louis to Metrolink riders.

Frankly, I can't say I disagree. If there is one thing I could do to help fix the reputation of East St. Louis, it would be to tear down historic architecture. Fool proof.


ESTL's reputation is already shot. Tearing down a building won't do jack
ESTL reputation is so bad that IF they were going to preserve the entire Murphy Building fascade, rebuildinging it elsewhere (I think it would fit in well in Downtown West, or around South Broadway, then I would actually support demo. The Majestic theatre fascade would be an awesome addition to Grand Center. I'd rather see these fascades preserved than let them rot further in ESTL.

Sadly ESTL may be beyond saving in its current form but some of its architectural heritage is worth salvaging. I'm not a big proponent of reinvention by demolition but in the case of ESTL I have some sympathy for hastening to what seems the inevitable outcome.

The state of Illinois owes ESTL some serious attention.
If downtown ESTL's buildings of architectural merit are structurally sound, keeping them is a much better redevelopment strategy than demo for aesthetic reasons.... at least the buildings hold out hope for future reinvestment. A few more empty lots and a lot less character will only make a "rediscovery" of ESTL all the more difficult,
ESTL will be a "back to the cornfields" kind of story.
downtown2007 wrote:
jstriebel wrote:
Ebsy wrote:
Why is tearing down historic buildings a priority? Aren't there like a hundred other things they should be doing?


The reason cited in the article is that it presents a bad picture of East St. Louis to Metrolink riders.

Frankly, I can't say I disagree. If there is one thing I could do to help fix the reputation of East St. Louis, it would be to tear down historic architecture. Fool proof.


ESTL's reputation is already shot. Tearing down a building won't do jack


Sarcasm must not have registered, but I agree. That's what I was getting at.
A nostalgic look back at the good-old-days of Downtown East St. Louis compared to the realities of today:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/colu ... aecb3.html
i,Iive,to,draw wrote:
chaifetz10 wrote:
I'm amazed that they would drag their feet on any development plans. If someone came to them with a will and a way, why not fast track it? Or do they just want to see it all flattened in hopes that a clean start may bring has stations, fast food, and box stores?


Growing up in the metro-east that is exactly how most people and leaders there want and think good economic development is.


I think this is a bit of an unfair statement. Edwardsville, Belleville, and Alton all have vibrant downtowns. Collinsville and Granite City are working hard to rejuvenate theirs. All of these communities have their share of sprawl, but that is to be expected in towns with plenty of land 15 minutes outside a major city. O'Fallon is really the only "major" Metro East town that lacks any sort of real downtown and that embraces an overwhelmingly sprawl-centric growth plan.

As for the Murphy Building, I always thought it was the most handsome building in East St. Louis. Tearing it down does absolutely nothing to help the image of East St. Louis and it is an architectural loss. But, realistically, we're kidding ourselves if we thought it had any serious chance to be redeveloped in the next quarter century.
If they're going to tear most of the city down... Then at the very least use it as a way to realign most of the interstates so it's not a giant spider web of overpasses and over engineered roads. Straighten it out and open up the land closer to the river for redevelopment and get rid of the blight.
It stuns me that there is pretty much nothing in East St. Louis besides the casino.

You guys know how St. Louis is commonly pictured and advertised -- with a view from across the river -- yet most St. Louisans would tell you to never go to downtown East St. Louis.

Hopefully one day, after the collective efforts of CORTEX and others (hopefully) bring huge companies to St. Louis, and St. Louis flourishes with a huge spike in population, people will notice the unkept, ignored patch of land across the river from them.

I would think there would be some appeal to living in a building with that postcard view I just mentioned. Deep down, people would enjoy dining on the rooftop of a fancy restaurant with that view. And I think a lot of people would enjoy it if that's the view they had from their office desk.

Maybe someday.
Unfortunately I just don't see East St. Louis turning around until St. Louis City starts growing in population by a significant margin. Maybe things start to happen when the city starts pushing 400,000 people with a sustained growth rate. Until the cost of living in the city goes up significantly, East St. Louis will continue to rot. Will it come back eventually? Probably, but it will take many many decades. Wouldn't be surprised if the majority of the historic core is gone by that time.
Just the kind of "help" that's been "helping" ESTL for decades. Fingers crossed!

BND - Here's how county officials plan to use $8 million to help East St. Louis

This first phase of the project, which is expected to take about two years to complete, includes reconstruction of Front Street from Trendley Avenue in East St. Louis to where the road dead-ends in Fairmont City. The project also includes resurfacing of Trendley Avenue from Front Street to Main Street, the reconstruction of West Missouri Avenue from Front Street to B Street, and reconstruction of B Street from Missouri Avenue to River Park Drive.


http://www.bnd.com/news/local/article111753472.html
Sad to see the Christ Redeemed Missionary Baptist Church fire in the news today. It still boggles my mind that E. STL can have such great views of downtown and not even one developer who is willing to build a few apartments (even if they're closer to the river/next to metro link and not in downtown ESTL).

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