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A Look at St. Louis’ MLK Drive, Part 2 of 5

January 14, 2007 Downtown, History/Preservation, Transportation 1 Comment

This post is part two of a five part series. Part two looks at MLK Drive from Tucker to Jefferson Ave. Click here to read part one.

Along Tucker (12th) we see ugly bright yellow “Jersey” barriers placed along the outside lane. I’m standing at the start of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive which is to the left, heading westbound. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is located on the right with literal acres of surface parking on the left.

Above is 16th Street as seen from Delmar, the next block up is MLK. Two years ago this was gated off forcing pedestrians traversing the area to seek alternate routes or as they had done when I posted on it back on November 18, 2004 pry the bars enough to allow a person to squeeze through. I’m glad to see it opened once again to traffic.

Former Franklin School, above, bounded by MLK on the north, 18th on the east, Delmar on the south and 19th on the west is getting rebuilt into affordable housing units for the active adult (55+). Thankfully I am still too young to qualify although I’m just a short 15 years away.

Near 22nd Street along MLK is a vacant city block, at least partially owned by Butler Re-Development. Part of an earlier city-backed development scheme for the area, many current owners have been sitting on these vacant parcels for years with little to no pressure from City Hall to bring the land back into productive use. Substantial amounts of land in this area are vacant. The city helped many of these owners acquire the land, maybe it is time to step in and demand they finally do something? Mayor Slay is a proponent of selective use of eminent domain, if this doesn’t qualify I don’t know what does.

A few additional photos from MLK between Tucker & Jefferson can be seen on Flickr. To continue to part three of this series click here.


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  1. rick says:

    The red brick building in the top photo across from the PD is reputedly the former home of one Stack Lee.

    The little rooms on the two floors in the back part of the building was where Lee’s hookers did their tricks. Lee was a pimp who shot “Billy” in a St. Louis saloon over a dispute stemming from a hat.

    From the legend of Stack Lee comes the famous rock and roll and blues number “Stagger Lee”.


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