by Michael R. Allen
Today was a lovely day on the near north side of our fair city. At 14th Street in Old North, the two-block former pedestrian mall now has a paved street, full sidewalks and street signs.Â With the addition of street lights, all will be set for the final opening of 14th Street in the heart of the neighborhood.
Up in Hyde Park, as I attended a meeting I heard the clamor of tools around 19th and Mallinckrodt streets. The sounds were unmistakable, and plainly beautiful to hear. They came from two buildings on each side of 19th street in block south of the park. Eliot School LP is rehabilitating these 19th century brick buildings for housing. The long-vacant single family home shown here will hold multiple families.
Another vacant four-family will remain in service as a multi-family building, maintaining the residential density that enlivened Hyde Park in the past. Nearby, Salisbury Avenue is getting new sidewalks and street lights. The Salisbury project is in full swing as well, causing traffic to back up around the entrance to the McKinley Bridge. Let no one mistake the sidewalk work for anything other than a catalyst for future growth. Salisbury offers potential for infill construction and rejuvenated mixed-use buildings. Apartments in solely residential buildings are a great part of neighborhood life, but not the only one. The buildings being rehabbed now will someday join a wave of mixed-use buildings old and new on one of the north side’s most humanely-scaled commercial streets.Â Both 14th Street and Salisbury are central to neighborhood economy, and while much has been renewed around them their historic function — facilitating exchange through commerce –Â is fragile.
One reply on “Renewal Continues in Old North and Hyde Park”
This is good news and an inspiration to spur growth all around. We all need a wave of mixed use buildings especially in NORTH St. Louis on both sides of West Florissant, which I hope does not become the imaginary but ever so real dividing line like Delmar along the city’s central corridor, where most of the development only happened south of the border! I do applaud Old North on is concentrating development and focusing on reviving a central hub where there are places PEOPLE can gather. The 14th street mall was a natural. Leaving out the people factor is what led to the failure of “that” downtown mall with stores that had no people to support it.
Good catch on noting that sidewalk work is a catalyst for future growth. Can we say INFRASTRUCTURE improvements which is so vital to so many necessary north side projects. NorthSide Regeneration addresses infrastructure in its plan, sewers, sidewalks and more. Quite a few places on St. Louis Ave. west of West Florissant DON’T have sidewalks. As the work hastens, more homes, hence more bricks can be saved…simply because more people will be attracted to positive growth, and encouraged to move NORTH! Yes, we must also get back to NEIGHBORHOOD economies! It takes people…We sometimes find ourselves with the chicken or the egg or “Micky” syndrome…somebody has to be first in trying IT!!!