Midtown Streets

Vandeventer, Your Granite is Showing

by Michael R. Allen

While heading north on Vandeventer Avenue today we spotted an open cut just south of Lindell Boulevard, in which workers were repairing pipes. The cross-section of street looked like this:

One can easily see a layer of red Missouri granite paving blocks under the asphalt. Granite paving like this came into use in St. Louis during the early 1880s.  Peter Vandeventer opened the Vandeventer Place addition in 1870, and the street was laid out then from Cass Avenue on the north to Lindell Boulevard on the south.  The southern extension between Lindell Boulevard and Old Manchester Road (now also called Vandeventer) is shown on Pitzman’s 1878 atlas of St. Louis County and City.

Vandeventer likely was unpaved at the start, so the granite blocks may be the street’s original paving.  Judging from what is evident today, they are likely intact and buried directly under the asphalt.  We are never very far from our roots, are we?

7 replies on “Vandeventer, Your Granite is Showing”

You mean Vandeventer Avenue was laid out between Cass and Lindell, right? I always thought Vandeventer Place ran east to west from Grand to Vandeventer Avenue.

Pipes? I think that may be electrical conduit. New street lighting, perhaps? Doing a lot of shoring there, must be going deep. Whatever the case may be, if they don’t want those cobbles, I’ll take ’em.

What business is it of government to be repairing the roads? We need to deregulate back to the days of when Vandevanter Place were erected. The guilded ages got it right!

I lived in a city a while back that redid part of their downtown roads. They discovered the old pavers underneath the roadway and came up with the idea of selling each one for $5.00. They made quite a bit of money and sold every one of them — so there is money in them there roots too. — barbara

When I passed by, the Water Department was working. Looks like they had to cut into conduits to get down to the water lines.

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