Kaid Benfield Archive


Revitalizing abandoned buildings in Old North St. Louis

Kaid Benfield

Posted July 6, 2009 at 1:48PM

, , , , , , , ,

I really enjoy writing about Old North Saint Louis, because it is showing such hope and progress as it transforms from a severely depopulated, urban once-wasteland into an impressively awakening diverse neighborhood.  One of the parts of the neighborhood that appears to be coming along particularly nicely is the Crown Square development, parts of which are shown in the photos below (courtesy, as usual, of the Old North Restoration Group):

  photo of Crown Square rehab 

  photo of residential rehab in Crown Square

It would be very hard to blame the neighborhood and the various participants in the revitalization if they had given up on properties like these, but their faith in the neighborhood speaks well for itself in the photos, several more of which - just as impressive - are on the Restoration Group's blog.  Here is how the group introduces the subject, in an upbeat Independence Day post:

"In honor of the Independence Day holiday, let's take a moment to celebrate the very real successes that have come forth from citizens working together to create and pursue a vision for their own community.  This has been the case in Old North St. Louis in recent years, where the community has crafted and led several different but coordinated neighborhood revitalization initiatives with the support and investment of resources from numerous partners who respect the importance of the people and existing assets of the community."

Well done.  What a lot of people don't realize, but should, is that projects like these are great not just for the neighborhood and the city.  They are also great for the environment, because they are recycling existing materials and infrastructure and, most important, helping fight global warming by putting households and businesses in the city center, where emissions from driving are the lowest.

I have mentioned the Crown Square project a couple of times before.  You may read lots about it on the project's own website, and lots more about what's happening in the neighborhood on the Restoration Group's site.