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Urban Places in St. Louis I am Thankful for

November 24, 2004 Featured 4 Comments

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving so I thought I’d share the urban places in and around St. Louis that I am thankful for. These are in no particular order:

Crown Candy Kitchen
• City Life is great here as are the banana malts.
• Diversity is exemplified by the clientele
• An original element from a very urban neighborhood, Old North St. Louis

Downtown Loft District(s)/Washington Ave.
• It takes people to have city life and the lofts are brining them to downtown in droves
• Shops, restaurants and other signs of life are emerging daily
• It is hard to walk down the sidewalk without seeing someone I know
• Loft activity along Locust between Jefferson & Grand should also get grouped in here – bridging downtown with mid-town.

City Grocers
• Many stores have opened downtown recently but none as important as a grocer
• The store pulls you in from the sidewalk with its big windows and mezzanine level seating
• Provides necessary services to all these downtown residents

The West End
• Euclid between Lindell & Delmar is an awesome urban street
• Intersections at Maryland & McPherson helped motivate me to move to St. Louis in 1990
• Maryland Plaza will once again be a major shopping destination
• The Chase Park Plaza is a big asset, love the theatre.
• Kopperman’s deli & Coffee Kartel deserve special recognition

• Who doesn’t love Mardi Gras?
• Clementine’s, oldest gay bar in St. Louis
• Soulard Market – great produce & people watching
• Soulard Coffee Garden – great food, patio and sidewalk seating
• McGurk’s Patio is one of the best in the city

Lafayette Square
• The park is stunning – what an urban park should be.
• Great commercial street along Park
• Excellent diversity of housing – apartments over stores, townhomes and large residences
• Benton Place is the ideal private street – perfect scale and decidedly urban
• Eleven-Eleven Mississippi – the restaurant & patio fit nicely with the lofts and neighborhood

Lemp Brewery complex
• I’ve never once been inside the complex but it is visually stunning
• You can feel the life of the brewery even when mostly empty.
• Like much of St. Louis, this will once again be a thriving area

Anheuser-Busch Brewery
• Not the beer or politics but the buildings and their relationship to the street
• Bicycling through the complex when the Christmas lights are up is a moving experience
• Shows industry need not be in an industrial “park”

City of St. Louis Park system
• Forest Park is the obvious choice – the definition of urban park
• Tower Grove Park is a lasting legacy from Henry Shaw
• Carondelet Park on the South side & O’Fallon Park on the North side were built to appease citizens that felt Forest Park only served those in the center.
• Fairgrounds Park at Natural Bridge & Grand is on the scale of Tower Grove Park
• Hyde Park was the site of a Civil War battle!
• Fountain Place – a small residential urban park/street just off Kingshighway
• And so many other great parks scattered throughout the neighborhoods

The Delmar Loop
• Once known as the U-City Loop, it is now stretching East into St. Louis
• The best urban street in the region – period.
• Diversity of everything – people, shops, experiences
• We need much more of this kind of exciting street life

Streetcar suburb downtowns
• Webster Groves is very charming and well used by area residents
• Kirkwood has a great feel and is a big draw for people to the area
• Ferguson is less lively than Webster or Kirkwood but the feeling is there.

Clayton-De Mun
• Tucked away between Skinker and Fontbonne Collge is this wonderful enclave
• Kaldi’s coffee is always a pleasant experience
• One of the best scaled examples of how to mix commercial in a residential area

A few restaurants that are urban at heart
• Tap Room – I love dining on their courtyard
• City Diner – I cannot eat there without running into folks I know
• Chimichanga’s on South Grand – the patio brings life to the area and is the place to be in warm weather

That felt good – to shake off the negative energy of past postings and view St. Louis from the positive. I’m sure you’ve got ideas for urban places you are thankful we have in St. Louis – use the comments section below to share. Happy Thanksgiving!


Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. Dustin says:

    I am really pleased with the new streetscape improvements along S. Grand between 44 and Arsenal. The planted medians, neck-downs, bike lanes, and more appropriate lighting serve to make this a much more enjoyable stretch. I know that there are those (okay, you Steve) that take exception to the glare of the light fixtures in adjacent windows and are worried about the upkeep of the planted medians but I am still impressed. It has made a world of difference.

    The other place I am thankful for that you had not mentioned is Cherokee – all the way from Lemp to Gravois. Everytime I go to “Antique Row” I feel like I am in another city if not another time. Even west of Jefferson it is one of the most wonderfully scaled streets. The white blooms of the Bradford Pear trees in the springtime is truly otherworldly.

  2. Michael says:

    That is a great post. Despite the pervasive urban sprawl in the St. Louis there are also some winderful things going on in this town. When I moved to St. Louis, I was immediately struck by the diversity of architecture and neighborhods in St. Louis City. There are so many opportunities for savvy developers to renew these areas. Fortunately many people are starting to wake up to these opportunities, as you point out in your post.

    Have a great Thanskgiving.


  3. Maggie says:

    Yes, there is much to be thankful for in St. Louis!

    I particularly enjoy the plethora of free things to do here. I think St. Louis is unparalleled in this department. We have world class institutions such as the zoo & botanical garden that are free, or really cheap. A never ending array of festivals/events to attend. And great places to window shop and people watch. I’ll never understand those who complain that there is nothing to do in this town. In fact, my husband and I are often torn between where to spend our free time.

    I would also like to say my thanks for a few local establishments. First is, ofcourse, The Iron Barley. Their food and friendly service continue to amaze me. I love Hartford Coffee, not just for the yummy Chai but because it’s a place I always run into friends. Finally, as a chocoholic I must say that Bissinger’s in the West End has stolen my heart (the chocolate covered raspberries and blackberries only available for one month during the summer are delectable)!

    But what I am most thankful for are the terrific people I have come to know in this town. Creative, interesting, and caring people who work so hard to make St. Louis even better. To each of you (you know who you are) I say thank you!

  4. Joseph says:

    I’m grateful for the Georgian City Hospital condos, the South Grand-44 makeover, and a personal rediscovery, the lobby of the Hyatt Regency at Union Station.


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