Crown Square in Old North St. Louis (14th Street Mall)

Discuss renovations and new construction in North City -- defined by the area north of Delmar Avenue.
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Does anyone know if most of the buildings fronting the 14th Street Mall are city-owned or under private ownership?

Most seem to be privately owned. The ones in the worst disrepair (burned out ones) seem to be city owned. At least thats how it looks on the City Assessor's site. Some people own more than one and according to the records live on site. I doubt that very much however.

By the way, this is the building that I want:

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And this is the building that I want to see someone put a concert venue in:

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I swear as you walk through here you can almost see it full of people and street performers and food stands. Kind of like the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. I'm afraid if something isn't done soon to save these buildings they won't stay standing for long. Buildings in much better shape have been torn down for being irrepairable in St. Louis.

Stellar, I want that building, too. :D

Okay, Stellar has that one. I've got dibs on this one to open my tavern:



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i'll just place dibs on a barstool in your tavern ...

I have modest wants

No problem - every good bar needs a Norm.



Just like Stellar said, I hope that measures are taken to stabilize these great buildings until they can be rehabbed. I would hate to have another Gaslight Square on our hands (While I'm glad to have new housing in GS, I would prefer to have the original historic buildings that once graced the Olive strip).

As a former resident of the area I can attest to the need for major rehab work. I can't see it really being feasible until the City opens the street back up to traffic. I can imagine eating at a sidewalk cafe in the future and looking at the Arch down the road...or getting plastered at Debaliviere's bar. Save me a barstool too.

Man, I want those buildings too.This area reminds of the plaza malls in Mexico. I have a picture of one, a bit blurry, but it can give you an idea of what this could be, because the malls in mexico are pretty busy. Ill post it soon.

Well enjoy your concert venues and taverns while they last because I am going to take it all away from you and build the first urban Shop N Save. You?re getting eminent domain?d.

I thought you were going to say that one of your old teachers in Wildwood owns all the buildings. :)

That first desired building, with the Jackie Carroll sign on front (please let me have that if you throw it out), is my favorite building on N. 14th Street. It was built in 1893 for the Queensware Stove Company as a showroom. It's an interesting example of a modified Romanesque Revival style; the buff brick is unusual for the style.



Fortunately, its ownership is in good hands.

Citylover wrote:
Well enjoy your concert venues and taverns while they last because I am going to take it all away from you and build the first urban Shop N Save. You?re getting eminent domain?d.




:lol: :) :D :lol:

So... is there a plan underway for this strip or what? who's the alderman for this area? Is it Boz Sr? If it is, I'm sure he's doing nothing to fix this strip.

The alderman for the area is April Ford-Griffin (5th ward). For nearly a decade, this area has had a plan. But no development or streetscape project has yet been formalized that would reopen 14th street as in accordance with the 5th ward plan.

Umm, why isn't it just handed over to Joe Edwards. He has a proven track record. Allow it to become St. Louis' blues jazz neighborhood. Is some turd just sitting on all these properties right now? Before long they're all going to crumble like Gaslight Square did. April Ford Griffen needs to get the ball rolling.



Bars are the initial spark that rejuvenates an area. Blueberry Hill in the Loop, bars in Soulard. Ok, the Landing doesn't follow this logic, but it is usually the case. This area could become a HUGE destination.

JCity wrote:
Umm, why isn't it just handed over to Joe Edwards. He has a proven track record. Allow it to become St. Louis' blues jazz neighborhood. Is some turd just sitting on all these properties right now? Before long they're all going to crumble like Gaslight Square did. April Ford Griffen needs to get the ball rolling.



Bars are the initial spark that rejuvenates an area. Blueberry Hill in the Loop, bars in Soulard. Ok, the Landing doesn't follow this logic, but it is usually the case. This area could become a HUGE destination.




I agree. Actually they have already started to crumble. This neighborhood should be a destination by architecture alone. It used to be known for the iron balconies that used to be on a lot of the homes.



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There should be tax credits or something to encourage their replacement. It lends a sort of New Orleans/Savannah feel to the neighborhood. This should be continued in the infill. New Orleans, Savannah, and Charleston-style architecture would really differentiat the area from Soulard and other neighborhoods with similar red-brick 2nd Empire architecture.



I imagine something like this:



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interwoven with buildings like these:



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The porches add desirability to the houses and restaurants and would really add to the street life (not to mention allow people shade from the 100 degree heat).



Imagine how much the streetscape would improve if the Thomas furnature building in this picture was replaced with a two or three-story structure that had a balcony running the full length?



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April Ford-Griffin could setaside some 5th ward capital improvement funds as local match for a enhancements project. Alderwoman Ford-Griffin and Sean Thomas of Old North St. Louis Restoration Group could work with the City's Board of Public Service (our public works agency) in creating a proposal to be submitted for federal funding. Reopening the street wouldn't guarantee immediate private investment along its blocks, but a current barrier would certainly be removed, helping revitalization take root.

Bastiat,



You just hit it out of the park with that post. With the amazing potential that ONSL has, what wonders it could achieve if the right people, with the right plan came along and livened it up.

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^ Actually, that's an older picture, the balcony is complete and I drank a lot of beer on it when I lived there. It's actually one of maybe a couple balconies left in the neighborhood. I've always held the opinion that until the mall is open to traffic, the neighborhood will never live up to its potential.



Here's a better picture: (courtesy of SMSplanstu)



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This thread should help others see the beauty of the housing stock, it could be like Soulard if there were more density.



http://www.urbanstl.com/viewtopic.php?t=1116

Seriously, the city should make it a priority to get the pedestrian mall removed, work to stabilize the buildings, and develop a plan for revitalization.



How hard is that? :wink:

trent wrote:
With the amazing potential that ONSL has, what wonders it could achieve if the right people, with the right plan came along and livened it up.




As a resident of ONSL, I can tell you that the "right people" and "right plans" are already here -- there just aren't enough of them! Come join us and make your visions come true.

You asked for it, so here's the 14th Street Mall



Notice trees in the center

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Broken Windows and boarded up windows

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This one has been left alone for far too long

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One-story urban retail buildings preceded the big box and strip mall

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Even the dollar store closed, but occupied one of the best buildings

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Hang in there

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Great example of varying heights and shapes

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There is great cast iron storefronts on this one

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The red paint makes it hard to realize that these pictured details are cast iron

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I wonder if this major overhaul and undertaking by the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group has attracted notice by major philanthropic arms like Busch?

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The 14th Street Mall gives off the aura of fear so predominant in our suburbs (gated communities) and media (does not report much white collar crime or that of far suburban communities. The LA School of Sociology has reconfigured the Chicago School of Sociology model of urban growth from one based on optimism and prosperity to our present and future one based on fear and security. Abandonment incites fear despite being devoid of real threat, the many iron bars and bar fencing continue to incite fear despite having no one to keep out except urban adventurers, and the lack of fixing windows, a fresh coat of paint, or maintaining cornices can be the final blow for scaring off people. However, the traffic at Crown Candy can be played off of to revitalize the 14th Street Mall and the pedestrian traffic there alone wards off criminals and gangs. The Street Mall is just waiting for reuse and opening the street is not enough, but also businesses targeted towards the many visitors to Crown Candy and entertainment like venues such as music. Clubs targeting youth would be a mistake, but family oriented businesses might do well.



Fear is what we make it and watching the street is crucial to preventing criminal activity and maintaining order. The 14th Street Mall needs much attention, but I agree that many businesses or rehabbers have skipped over it beceause of how it can easily be perceieved. Opening up to traffic and parking for visitors to Crown Candy would be a good first step or objective. Second would be repainting buildings and doing minor fixes like boarding up all windows and in some cases removing boards from beautiful storefronts. Also, remove gates and fencing during the day. Third, find people willing to rehab or fix the buildings with financial help in small business loans. There is only so much work neighborhood residents can do or the ONSL Restoration Group can do without being beefed up with more staff, resources, and financial backing. It is time for Civic Progress to collaborate with the Planning Agency and Mayor's office in order to make major changes in Old North.



For now the Restoration Group and residents should keep doing there best with what they have, continue efforts with UMSL, and grow tighter together as a neighborhood where people really do know their neighbors and look after one another.

The city's "Jazz/Blues district". I like that idea!

There is a major mall redevelopment plan in the financing stage. 14th street will be reopened as part fo the project, although there is no schedule yet. What will happen will be very big and should please everyone on this board.