1726 Park Ave 3-story Apt Building

Renovations and new construction in the Central Corridor -- defined by the area south of Delmar Avenue and North of Interstate 44/55.
soooooooo... this is dead?
Looks to be. I hope a new proposal eventually comes back with some retail.
+1.
symphonicpoet wrote:
Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:12 am
Alex Ihnen wrote:When we talk of "sides", there's a South Side and a North Side, but IMO when we talk of South City, that's a different thing. I don't think I've ever heard anyone who went out to eat in Lafayette Square say they were hanging out in South City. When we're talking about development in the city, Lafayette Square is clearly attached to the central corridor in a way that doesn't exist for say, Holly Hills.

It's semantics and I don't think it matters all that much, but the point is to try and be more informative than not. In that case, saying a new apartment building is proposed in "South St. Louis" is more confusing than saying the central corridor neighborhood of Lafayette Square. But whatever.
We might have to disagree. "South St. Louis" and "South Side" are pretty much synonymous to me. "South City" feels like a newer term to me, but again, I'd take it as the same. (Unless you say Southtown, which is a specific neighborhood and quite distinct from the above. It certainly isn't Southtown, but then neither is the Hill or Carondelet.) If you talk about the development as "Central Corridor" I'm going to think of a very different sort of thing. You're right, it's semantics, but here's the way I see it . . .

To oversimplify a bit Downtown is business. Midtown is theatre. The West End is rich people and Forest Park. North St. Louis and South St. Louis are the places where the rest of us actually live, and work. Lafeyette Square is certainly close to downtown, but it still feels pretty darn distinct in character to me; quite utterly unlike downtown. And not so different from Soulard, or Compton Heights, or Shaw. The truth is all of us define this stuff both a little nebulously and more by landmark, function, and association than lines on a map. And I bet you more folks walk from Lafeyette Square to Soulard or McKinley Heights (which would BE Lafeyette Square if we hadn't hacked a highway through it) than Downtown or Midtown. And in terms of function LS is certainly more South City than anything else. It's one more bedroom community in a phone book full of them. Which sets it quite apart from the central corridor. The central corridor is the big public functions; the public face. It's our Manhattan, if you will. The south side is our Brooklyn and the north side is our Queens. Lafeyette Square is a nice enough neighborhood, but it ain't Manhattan. It's on the wrong side of the tracks. Literally. And it almost always has been. (Since there've been tracks, anyway.)

Maybe it's semantics, but it matters. The very attempt to define it away feels like a part of gentrification. Cool hip kids from outside (maybe as close by as the county, but outside nonetheless) move in and find something. And in an attempt to increase their own hip they say that "Hey, this isn't REALLY Brooklyn . . . it's more Manhattan on the other side of the river." (And there is a stream, by the way. It's buried, but it's there. Under the rail yards. To this day. That's why the valley is there.) So yes, it's semantics. But there's still better and worse semantics; semantics that do more and less to make things clear. If your semantics are driven by the flat geography of the paper map than it might appear to make sense to call a residential neighborhood immediately south of Mill Creek and adjacent to downtown "central." If you want to make clear to an outside how things work, what they look like, or how they feel, then you're much better off calling it "South City." It bears all those South City traits that folks love and hate. All of them. ("Why lookie kids! See how all those streets leading from Lafeyette Square east [and north] have been cut off! Do you know why that is? Let's talk about neighbors and how people treat them and why. You see, there were once big apartment buildings just over there . . .") If that ain't a little South City right there, I don't know what is.
That was an interesting discussion on the previous page on where a neighborhood like Lafayette Square falls on the South City spectrum. Comes to mind that maybe before the I-44 wall of division and destruction was built places like Lafayette Square and McRee Town were firmly seen as South City.... in fact I believe both McRee Town and Tiffany were both part of the Shaw neighborhood before the highway was built.
^I almost hate to reopen this subject. It might be one of those things that's better off dead. But I am nothing if not a damn fool who can't keep his yap shut. And neighborhood naming gets me going.

A few months back I was having a conversation with my grandmother, who grew up in St. Louis during the depression. She expressed the opinion that the neighborhood names are mostly pretty new, with one or two exceptions. Instead she knows neighborhoods by intersections. (Near Park and Grand, or Kingshighway and Chippewa.) I can vouch that during my own youth I described my neighborhood as "near Morganford and Chippewa," and for city dwellers this was usually enough.

For the sake of the less familiar county kids I sometimes referred to Bevo Mill, since folks knew where it was and Bevo Days were still ongoing then. I did not encounter the phrase "Southtown" as anything other than the name for a store until about 1997 or '98 in conversation with another southsider, who suggested my neighborhood was more "Southtown" than "Bevo." (We were discussing theatres, and I told him I'd usually gone to either the Granada or the Avalon in my childhood.) Every now and then someone would speak of people (including me) as "southside Dutch," which felt archaic to the point of quaint to me. Nobody I knew there of any age spoke German or seemed particularly German. Only later did I learn that my great grandmother spoke a sort of house German, but she grew up out in rural Missouri and only moved here as an adult. And all of that apparently went out after World War I. (Portions of my family spoke Slovak until quite recently, with the last native Slovak speaker only dying, oh . . . a year and a half ago or so. But they too grew up largely in rural Missouri, not in the city. Though they did have connections to the area now being called "Bohemian Hill," so there is that.)

I have to confess, my own use is heavily informed by the McCue-Peters architecture guide, which divides the city quite simply into downtown, midtown, west end, north side, near south side, and south side, all the while admitting their boundaries are somewhat arbitrary and the real areas are indistinct. It might well be that the guidebook was the first place I ever encountered the phrase "west end" as a name, though the West End Word makes it rather clear they didn't make it up. (And they elsewhere refer to the "Central West End" when discussing antique dealers that moved from Euclid and Maryland to Cherokee. So that isn't an especially new distinction either, though perhaps it was once less distinct and was probably originally used to refer to a smaller area within the larger.)

All of this is a long way of saying "ain't it interesting how all of this changes."

Of course, it alarms me just how much we have lost from that small volume in the last thirty years. But a few things have changed for the better.

Anyway . . . back to Park Avenue.