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Martin Luther King Drive North St. Louis Streets Urbanism

Old Easton Avenue

by Michael R. Allen

One of the two remaining three-story 19th-century commercial buildings on the south side of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive just west of Jefferson disappeared last week.

We have no photograph of the building. May someone else have a better memory of the building than ours.

Rob Powers did get a photograph of another great commercial building across the street that came down in 2001. The “Heller Co.” sign and its greatly-altered building still remain in use. This block was one of many thriving commercial blocks on the former Easton Avenue; by the 1930s almost every block of Easton from downtown through the Wellston Loop was chock-full of buildings housing apartments, stores and offices. The street must have been fabulously urban.

Today, traces of the past density remain, especially between Grand Avenue and the city limits. But the vitality is less evident, and certainly less concentrated. Enough buildings remain to make the thoroughfare a likely candidate for future revitalization.

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