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?