Home » Books »History/Preservation » Currently Reading:

Book Review; ‘Unyielding Spirit, the history of the Polish people in St. Louis’ by NiNi Harris

August 6, 2007 Books, History/Preservation 19 Comments

My longtime personal friend NiNi Harris has written another book looking at a small segment of St. Louis. Her six prior books covered a number of topics including a history of Carondelet and Bohemian Hill. This time her focus is on the history of the Polish in St. Louis.

scan_7867221_1NiNi (pronounced nee-nee) gave me a media copy of the book for review and I immediately got engrossed in the stories told. While the book includes a good dose of discussion about physical place (church cornerstones, streets, etc…) this is really a book about people.

The book is also a good lesson in history covering 19th Century trouble in Poland, WWI and WWI. This is all tied to immigration of people fleeing their homeland as well as Polish immigrants in St. Louis sending money and men to help in Poland.

Throughout the book we learn about how individuals and families played roles in the establishment of churches in the fast developing neighborhoods of St. Louis. Census figures are used minimally to communicate the point that there were brief periods of time where St. Louis’ population was doubling.

We learn about the founding of numerous Polish Catholic churches in the city. All are now closed except St. Stanislaus which is featured on the cover. The land for St. Stans at 20th & Cass on the then edge of the developing city cost $4,864 in 1880 — quite a sum of money. At the time the parishioners met in the basement of a local Irish church until their first structure was dedicated in 1882. Included in the subtle history lesson was an issue in cities to the east between Polish parishes and their Archdiocese over church management, which likely led to an unusual arrangement:

“With the advice and consent of the Archbishop of St. Louis on May 2, 1891, the parish was made a corporation in the State of Missouri.”

Other churches were established on the near north side including St. Casimir. We also learn about a small group from St. Casimir that formed Sts. Cyril and Methodius Polish National Catholic Church — separating themselves from the Roman Catholic church. Archbishop John Glennon, it was discovered, “on March 14, 1908, excommunicated nine Polish St. Louisans and cautioned parishioners of the St. Casimir.” The decree indicated that members of St. Casimir that attend “services at a schismatic or protestant Church are by that act excommunicated.”

The book looks at the three main areas where the Polish resided and worked in St. Louis — the near north side, the near South side (between what is now known as Soulard and the river) and an area further South now called Mt. Pleasant. Interestingly, I lived for a number of years in the Polish area to the North (including the now Old North St. Louis area) and currently live in the Mt. Pleasant area, just a couple of blocks from the closed St. Hedwig church. Oh sorry, make that “consolidated” church. Still, you learn about the people working hard to buy a home or 4-flat and still how much money they raised to fund and build these churches.

My first flat in Old North was downstairs from an old Polish woman who’d live basically her entire life in that 4-family. Like so many immigrants, her parents had bought the building when she was a young girl. Upon getting married she raised her family in that building. Times, however, changed and her children didn’t want to raise their families in small shotgun flats so while she remained she rented other units out to people like me. My rent in 1991 was only $75/month.

Neighbors included the Bratkowski family, mentioned throughout the book. By reading the book I learned about my friend John Bratkowski’s grandfather’s business being taken for construction of I-70 and much about the early childhood of his mother.
You also learn about businesses they opened as well as the overlap these ethnic areas had with German and Irish areas. Reading about Polish persons enslaved in WWII labor camps is tough. The reader is excited to learn about young men and women finally leaving the slave camps and immigrating to America and finding their way to Polish neighborhoods in St. Louis.

Of course it would be hard to go through a history of people and not talk about the Great Depression. You get a good sense of the importance of holding onto a job, no matter how low the pay or backbreaking the work, because you likely had to help support your entire family. Managing to pay the mortgage and keeping food on the table was the important focus for families through the city during lean years. Even during the prosperous 20s, many immigrant families were just getting started and were not awash in cash. Thus, it should be no surprise that given the poverty, the lack of materials during the war and the shortage of labor with men off fighting in Europe that maintenance of homes in older areas (now approaching 60 years old) was not a high priority.

It was a shock to the new immigrants that had seen their European homeland a battleground to begin to put their lives in order in the US only to have their neighborhoods bombed out not by war planes but by government action — the poorly named “Urban Renewal.” The “slums” around St. Stanislaus where Polish families lived and worked were forcibly taken and wiped off the planet. By this point in the book I had become attached to some of the families, learning about their lives and how they relate to their church and work. But, alas, not enough of the homes had indoor plumbing so the government solution was to raze everything in site — including streets, sidewalks and alleys. You see, the logic was these people were living in slum conditions due to the lack of an indoor toilet so therefore we (liberal society) must help them out by removing everything they had built and worked for. Twisted logic!

On a side note, this past week I visited my Dad, now 78, in Oklahoma and I began to inquire about the depression and the dust bowl in rural Western Oklahoma. He recalled thinking things were bad for his family, living in a small 3-room farm house lacking running water and electricity, until at about the age of 8 (roughly 1937) he went to Oklahoma City with his father to sell a few heads of cattle they had raised. It was then that he saw the shanty towns along the river near the stockyards and thinking that while they were not doing well many more people were far worse off than they were. My Dad remembers his family getting a new block outhouse from the WPA back in the late 30s to replace the old wooden one. When he married my mom in August 1949 his family still did not have indoor plumbing (that would come in the 1950s).

Back in St. Louis a bunch of white men decided that because a certain percentage of older buildings had not been updated with modern plumbing that entire neighborhoods must be decimated, a bad use of good statistics (see the 1947 Plan). In the Polish areas around St. Stans up to 70% of the units still relied on outdoor privies, certainly creating a health issue. Still, rather than create a program to assist residents to finally be able to improve their dwellings the planners of the day didn’t consider such a logical solution — they feared the lack deterioration would “continue to expand until the whole city is engulfed.” NiNi’s book takes you through this time as residents struggle with the loss of their homes, businesses and social networks. Sure, St. Stans was not razed — just most of the homes of its parishioners! Again, we have some really messed up logic when we think a church can survive when we destroy everything around it. Of course, the men at the time honestly thought they were going to be creating wonderful new neighborhoods. In short, they didn’t realize they had wonderful neighborhoods that simply needed long-overdue maintenance and toilets.

This book, highly recommended for anyone seeking a better understanding of life in St. Louis, can be purchased at the Carondelet Historical Society, the lovely Chatillion-DeMenil Mansion in Benton Park, during rectory hours at St. Stans and throughout the upcoming Polish Festival at the Polish Falcons on St. Louis Ave. The book, published by St. Stans is 143 pages and sells for $20. The ISBN is 978-0-9794985-0-3.


Currently there are "19 comments" on this Article:

  1. edwardsville says:

    Nini has it right: the people of this city are what make it great. St. Louisans are a special breed. Without them, the buildings would occupy a boring place. The building stock is wonderful, but is our unique culture which makes people want to stay.

    [SLP — St. Louis does not hold a monopoly on great people or unique culture.]

  2. Jim Zavist says:

    Ah, the clarity of 20/20 hindsight. When Urban Renewal arrived in the ’50’s and ’60’s, how many residents were “pushed” out and how many “jumped”, at the chance to take the money and run, to a “better” life in the suburbs??? With 70% of the housing stock lacking indoor plumbing, is it any surprise that pretty much any place else looked like an improvement, especially to the second and third generations? Remember, we’re the great melting pot. My grandparents immigrated to Chicago in the ’20’s and lived their lives in their ethnic enclaves. After WWII, my parents married and joined the exodus to the suburbs, to get out of living in apartments and to “live the american dream”. My heritage is now ethnic in name only – I never spoke the language, while my dad was closet bilingual. Bottom line, have “we learned from our ‘mistakes?” – are we repeating past bad decisions? I don’t know. There are few, if any, legal residences in the city that don’t now have indoor plumbing – in that sense, we’ve learned and improved. But we haven’t gotten past the concept that sprawl OK or the best or even an acceptable option. I doubt we’ll ever be able to “save” any ethnic neighborhood – kids have a nasty habit of rejecting their parents’ values – but there are a lot of good reasons to encourage new waves of immigrants to feel at home in our neighborhoods (live the Bosnians in the Bevo Mill area) – we need them to maintain our architectural heritage, otherwise, urban renewal may be the only viable answer . . .

    [SLP — Jim I seriously doubt that in the late 1940s when these neighborhoods were teaming with people and not yet at their 1950s peak population that hordes of residents welcomed the idea of their homes & businesses being razed.  The bulk flat out hated the idea of having the government bomb their neighborhood the way the Germans bombed their old homeland. 

    Sure, some of the younger GIs returning to the old neighborhood would have considered a place in the suburbs if only because of government red lining of older neighborhoods for loans.  But what exactly does the younger generation moving to new houses on the edge of town (as we’d been doing since the founding of St. Louis) have to do with completely erasing entire functioning neighborhoods?   The decision to raze the area around St. Stans was make on January 15, 1950.  The area was cleared by April 1952.  By the time the 60s rolled around all the old businesses, friends, jobs, social groups and even churches were long gone.  By then, sure, many of those that still remained may have been glad to take a buyout by then.  You beat people down long enough and they will break.]

  3. edwardsville says:

    Steve, STL really is special when it comes to having good people. The midwest is known for having friendly, hard working, down to earth people. And STL is the cheapest, big city in the midwest. That’s a good combination. How’s that expression go…Perfectly Centered. Remarkably Connected. While we have our share of challenges, our pluses far outweigh our minuses.

  4. redliner says:

    Steve, if you trace the beginning of urban renewal to around 1950, how does it fit in with the timing of white flight and new laws being passed around that timie to outlaw the use of restrictive covenants?

    [SLP — Red lining by the federal government in loans pre-dated white flight by a good decade!  And no real anti-discrimination laws were passed until the 1964 civil rights laws.  The 1948 Supreme Court ruling on Shelley v. Kaemer did not make restrictive covenants illegal — it simply meant that government could not enforce these private agreements by refusing to record a deed or award “damages”.  

    The fact is St. Louis had too many people given the number of housing units we had — aka overcrowding.  This is why you see many 1950s houses in older neighborhoods — all available vacant lots got built on.  I’ve seen old attics and basements poorly converted to living spaces in the period to hlep house all the people.  Loss of population in the 1950s was mainly due to government forced flight by taking of homes for poorly conceived urban renewal and highway projects.  With the loss of thousands of units of housing, you had many people of various races and classes competing to find housing.  The real estate profession in the region basically determined what areas would be white and which would be black.  This pre-civil rights but post restrictive covenants method of segregation meant that white people in areas determined to go black had to sell quickly (in their minds) before the prices bottomed out.  Again, had the government not disrupted the market by taking and destroying thousands of housing units the end result may have been quite different.]

  5. Jim Zavist says:

    I agree, in hindsight, urban renewal wasn’t the best answer, by a long shot. But I doubt it’s the sole reason that ethnic neighborhoods lose/lost their vitality and evolve(d) over time. Dogtown isn’t anymore “Irish” these days than the three areas you identified as originally “Polish”. The Bevo Mill area is no longer “Dutch”, it’s “Bosnian”. It’s a combination of growing wealth (an ability to move up to something better), integration into the fabric of America (less of a need to identify with an ethnic area or group), and new waves of immigrants looking for affordable housing. Fifty years ago, Hispanics and the Sudanese were barely identifiable here, now there are defined enclaves, as there are in many other cities. Urban design plays only a small role in where they land (a “Chinatown” on Olive?!), affordability and acceptance (or at least tolerance) play a much bigger role, along with a community’s mindset, a willingness to embrace immigrants . . .

    [SLP — Jim, areas such as Dogtown and Bevo Mill didn’t have large scale demolitions for the projects like Pruitt-Igoe.  You know, projects taking out 50+ acres at a time!  I’m not talking about saving them as ethic enclaves but saving the neighborhood.  A perfectly fine neighborhood of nearly 60 acres that was lacking enough of a percentage of toilets to avoid being razed has been vacant land for over 35 years now.  Had this not happened would that today be a thriving Polish neighborhood?  Maybe?  It might be similar to Dogtown and The Hill — both slightly impacted by highways but nothing like the scale seen in the near north side with huge areas wiped clean.  Oh, and Chinatown, that was downtown where Busch Stadium was built in 1966 —- that too was erased for urban renewal.]

  6. GMichaud says:

    If you consider all of the churning of neighborhoods, transit, business and the like that happened around neighborhoods such as St Stanislaus and Mill Creek Valley (whose residents could not afford, nor were clamoring for the suburbs) you have to ask if decisions made had ulterior motives.
    Consider the actions of General Motors-Firestone-Standard Oil the owners of National City Lines. Between 1936 and 1950, National City Lines bought out more than 100 electric surface-traction systems in 45 cities, including Detroit, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, Tulsa, Baltimore, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles, and replaced them with GM buses, there is a definite pattern that occurred.
    To this day urban planning is still conducted for the benefit of some unknown agenda and individuals who gain wealth from mega stores, mega highways, mega ssubdivisions and the like, it is the only explanation for the continuation of poor decision making that mars the urban fabric.
    In other words they didn’t care if the neighborhoods without toilets simply needed overdue maintenance. I don’t believe for a minute they thought they were going to create new wonderful neighborhoods. Churn, churn, sell homes in the burbs, churn, churn, anything to destroy St. Louis to support massive land development outside the city. That was the motive then, as now. Nor did they give a damn if St. Stanislaus survived or not.

  7. WWSPD says:

    “To this day urban planning is still conducted for the benefit of some unknown agenda and individuals who gain wealth from mega stores, mega highways, mega ssubdivisions and the like, it is the only explanation for the continuation of poor decision making that mars the urban fabric.”

    Wow. Paranoid much?

  8. GMichaud says:

    No WWSPD, realistic, I guess you think General Motors just accidentally shut down streetcar lines all across the nation also. I’m just saying that that the chaos of urban planning in America is not some innocent mistake. That the city, the highways, the suburbs are all manipulated by people behind the scenes with their personal agendas, which leads back to greed and money.
    Why else would you abandon thousands of years of city building knowledge, only now being reborn with new urbanism?
    If you would take the trouble to do some analysis, instead of mouthing a few sound bits, you might understand how decisions are made.
    I know it is probably too much trouble for you to look up the facts, but if you study the policies of the federal government, backed up by local policy, you will see how they contributed to the decline of the city. Until urban planning is wrestled away from moneyed interests Americans will continue to live in second rate environments. What is worse, the dependence upon the auto, the current urban planning chaos without a balanced environment threatens the very security of America.

    [SLP — You are so correct.  Planning in the 20th century had nothing to do with the natural market — government and corporations stepped in at every turn and manipulated cities.  Anyone that does not know the history of all the policies and such should read James Howard Kunstler’s ‘A Geography of Nowhere.’]

  9. Jim Zavist says:

    The biggest driver of urban change in the 20th Century was (and remains) the automobile. By “giving” virtually everyone unlimited mobility, it fundamentally changed many dynamics, including urban design. When walking or taking public transit are your (or your spouse’s or children’s) only option, proximity to public transit is desirable, if not critical, and density is tolerated. When your family unit reaches the point where every driver has access to a vehicle, the dynamic changes significantly – you can choose to live many more places and still have “easy” access to employment and services. You can choose to live in a dense urban environment or you can choose to live in the suburbs or you can choose to live 40 miles away from your job and still have a reasonable commute. Combine that with the typical evolution of immigrant groups (first generation – ethnic enclaves, entry-level jobs; second generation – work hard, enter middle class; third generation onward – become essentially integrated into the American mainstream) and you have continual churn in ethnic neighborhoods. And they’re defined as neighborhoods having relatively-affordable housing, neighborhoods that are first targeted for “redevelopment” – land is cheaper and resistance is less.

    I agree (as most do), with 20/20 hindsight, that Pruitt-Igoe was a terrible public policy choice. The reality remains that, when it was built, it was expected to offer a big improvement over the housing it replaced. Was there precedent for this conclusion? No. Was there research and logic behind the decision? Yes. Were the results what the “experts” expected? No. Should we do it again? Definitely not! But etnic neighborhoods are defined by more than their buildings. The Lithuanian enclave where my dad grew up in Chicago has moved south and west. The Polish community that supports St. Stan’s has become diffused geographically as they’ve become wealthier, but they return on Sundays. The Hill remains the nominal heart of the local Italian community, but how many Italians now choose to live in Clayton or St. Charles or Chesterfield? Yes, we have a rich heritage and history of ethnic neighborhoods. But we can’t expect to freeze every neighborhood (and their residents!) at some point in time (we aren’t, and likely don’t want to become, another Williamsburg, VA.) – part of a neighborhood’s vitality is its evolution. So yes, the housing stock and its condition need to be factored into the equation.

    Sure, a $5,000 bathroom can be grafted onto a $40,000 structure (in today’s dollars), but it also makes a lot of sense to knock down the $40,000 structure and build a $120,000 home on the same site with central air, a roof that doesn’t leak and an electrical system that won’t fail. The former would preserve the feel and the character of the existing streetscape. The latter would do more to improve the dollar value of the housing stock in the neighborhood; whether it would improve the architecture and/or the urban design is debatable. Still, today, this is a mostly hypothetical discussion – we don’t tear down viable old neighborhoods to build new housing (single family, low rise or high rise), we tear down viable old neighborhoods to build new retail!!!! Our governments are on an endless quest for “new” sales taxes!! In the city, old residences are being renovated every day. Most new residential projects are reusing our existing street grid. Where we’re losing both industrial and residential sites is to new shopping centers. Until the current financial paradigm changes (a heavy dependence on the sales tax), it will trump most neighborhood preservation efforts!

  10. Tim says:

    I wonder how many jobs those Polish immigrants “stole” from good ‘mericans.

    The problem with urban planning wasn’t the poor planning but the belief they could plan at all. Just take a walk through the “success” of central planning in the 20th Century. It doesn’t work for economies or neighborhoods. Most immigrant neighborhoods seldom stay the same. As others mentioned Dogtown is hardly Irish. The next wave moves in as the older ones make enough money to get the hell out.

    St. Louis has a very interesting history. Much of it made by “them fer-ners come to take our jobs”.

  11. Joe Frank says:

    I thought it interesting the other day I overheard someone remark at a restaurant that they liked how “secluded” the “Little Italy” section of St. Louis is.

    Of course, “The Hill” neighborhood is a long-standing, traditionally Italian enclave — but we did have a Little Italy as well. That was in the vicinity of 10th and Cole, within walking distance of the Polish enclave around St. Stanislaus, and the Irish district called “Kerry Patch.”

    Don’t forget also that a sizable chunk of Southwest City, and even the Riverview Boulevard section of Baden, did not build-out until after World War II. So even parts of the City of St. Louis were part of the early suburban development wave. But it jumped the city limits pretty quick after 1960.

  12. a.torch says:

    I will grant you that the auto was a factor but not until much later; in the lower and working class neighborhoods almost no one had 2 cars, much less one (another blow to the working man when the Streetcar system was banished here) If you lived in Soulard, Benton or Lasalle park areas (even neighborhoods farther out) you could/would WALK to work as thousands did at: A.B. Brewery, International Shoe, Lemp Brewery, Iron works, Shapleigh, etc. etc.
    BUT, wide-scale demolition of neighborhoods HAS to be included as a factor in up-rooting ethnic areas; my grandmothers family was part of the smaller Polish/Russian area on the East side of Soulard which was demolished in part for the I-55 construction. And as mentioned before, the Chinatown area uprooted (cleaned off the map by the city) for the Old Busch construction.

  13. dude says:

    In response to what I’m receiving as criticism of automobiles and I agree they have their drawbacks, I’m sure as heck glad I’m riding to and from work in one today and yesterday. 100 degree days seem to seep the fun of walking or riding a bike espicially when you’re wearing a polo and long pants. I guess it’s not the driving I admire but the mobile air-conditioning.

  14. WWSPD says:

    “To this day urban planning is still conducted for the benefit of some unknown agenda and individuals who gain wealth from mega stores, mega highways, mega ssubdivisions and the like, it is the only explanation for the continuation of poor decision making that mars the urban fabric.”


    If you could ease up on the overreaching polemic rant for a second, I was criticizing your quote above. The very rationale for the existence of cities is and has always been the accumulation and desire for wealth. You cite thousands of years of city building. Who do you think created some of the greatest cities gone and some still standing today? Powerful, sometimes dictatorial and autocratic figures fashioned our earliest metropolises. Did the european model grow under the leadership and vision of peasants or did it rise up around and inside the fortified walls of a king?

    Great barons of commerce built cities along rivers, the banks of seas, and later created cities from flatlands along railroad stops. At all these points in time, these cities, some of which now are lauded by hardline urbanists as paragons of the urban built environment, were created by stewards of great wealth. Those seeking opportunity from foreign lands and countryside came to work in the opportunities provided by the thriving commercial success of cities.

    You claim its urban planning that serves at the feet of individuals who seek to gain great wealth. But it is the very ecological system upon which a city arises, that requires and encourages great wealth. There’s a certain group of people that comment on this site that are perpetually skeptical of any and all development by wealthy people larger than one block. Yet it seems that you save your vile rancor when it comes to things like Forest Park, Tower Grove, and any one of our coveted private neighborhoods, all of which are vestiges of this reviled wealthy class that you and others like you seem to enjoy mocking.

    I am completely aware of the well-meaning interventions the US government has foisted upon us through our short history and how they’ve backfired on the health of cities. You cite urban planning as the culprit of the decline of cities and collaborator with ‘big business’ and ‘big money.’ But urban planners are the very governmental administrators that seek public participation at the local level. It is not written in the constitution to give powers to cities, let alone neighborhoods. The ability for a city to govern itself is given at the pleasure of the state. By default, American cities are at a legal disadvantage to govern their own futures. For a city to even engage in any planning exercise at all, that authority is devolved from the power granted to the state. But if you knew this, you wouldn’t have attacked urban planners and understood that the role of the planner has changed over time from rationalist technocrat (i.e.-urban renewal) to advocate (i.e. – Norman Krumholz).

  15. GMichaud says:

    Great Barons of commerce built cities along rivers. That may be, but Paul McKee is not a great baron of commerce. Nor do I see anyone that fits that bill. And so what happened to the barons of commerce? they super sized with the help of government.
    As far as the hilarious comment about being skeptical of anyone who has the ability to develop more than one city block. Architecturally, ascetically and from a city building perspective I would have say I have to agree with you. No wealthy person deserves to rebuild more than a block. From a money perspective, who cares, who cares how much they money they make if they deserve it? The problem is that people like McKee are not building cities; their main skill is manipulating government officials to line their pockets with wealth. It is not city building that has meaning for them, but greed. Of course your goal is to channel as much funding to your wealthy friends as possible; it is clear from your rant.
    Compare Steve’s link with the 1947 city plan to an early 1920’s to 30’s transit plan and you will see the beginnings of the destruction of the city. Please understand, buying government officials is not the preferred method of city building if the desire is to build a good city.
    I also find it amazing that you can defend the actions of a system that resulted in over 50% population lost in St, Louis in less than fifty years. The wealthy really know their stuff, they have done so much for the City of St. Louis, we should be grateful. I’m sorry I can’t share your enthusiasm for the bankrupt system of corporate governance running the city.
    And whether or not the people can build their own city? The wealthy are afraid to find out what can happen, they cling to power like ducks to water. Their easy source of funds will be gone, (Ballpark Village anyone?) And hey we might actually be able to develop a city that meets the needs of the people, not just take care of an isolated developer from St. Charles (or one of his clones).

    References: Gutkind, Alexander, Sitte (especially), Duany, Palladio, Guerinet and others.

  16. WWSPD says:

    My rant wasn’t a defense of the rich. It is the plain and simple truth of cities. Like it or not, cities cannot exist without the wealthy. You truly live in a fantasy world. Where do you think jobs come from? A sustainable agrarian farm that sells its fava beans in a co-op to a community of eco-friendly Richard Floridian ‘creatives’? Or perhaps you think the clay and brick workers in the central part of the city perhaps worked for local mom and pop brick-makers? I don’t need to defend or attack wealth when it creates opportunity, spins off new industries that further create opportunity and create jobs, basic jobs that further spread wealth throughout the city. To make it clear, I do not support the ‘buying of officials’ and no where in my rant do I say I support manipulating government over the will of the people. Those are YOUR WORDS. What I do acknowledge, unlike yourself, is that people move to opportunity and create wealth and wealth is not innately evil.

    You are sadly mistaken to think that somehow capital magically appears in working people’s pockets. That all the people that live in the dear and beloved neighborhoods of St. Louis somehow all make their money from art galleries and trust funds. Honestly, where do people in your world WORK and who provides them jobs?

    Do you really think the wealthy are afraid? Yes, you must be right, they are deathly afraid that is why so many major corporations have stayed in St. Louis over the years for fear of reprisal from the public. If we had people like you flipping every major corporation in the St. Louis region the bird we’d definitely be in a better place. Detroit and Youngstown are awesome examples of how little wealthy corporations mean to the health of a city.

    Finally, people like you continually bitch and moan ad nauseum about creating a city for the people and rail against systems that have looooong been outlined as well-intended interventions that have since backfired on the health of inner cities. No one that has spent any time studying the history of American cities and how cities work is going to argue against the negative externalities of the rise of the automobile, the interstate highway system, FHA/VA loans, redlining, and blah, blah, blah. You’re not giving us anything NEW. Aren’t we all past accepting the fact that these policies incentivized the emptying out of inner cities? God, I hope so. I also hope that we can come up with more solutions than ‘f*ck corporate America, dude.’

  17. GMichaud says:

    Insiders have pushed urban planning to favor their point of view and hence their pocket book. These wealthy insiders are still manipulating government for their benefit. The Paul McKee incident on the Northside is perfect example, tax credits for one man etc. And so far as I can see Congress still operates primarily to fulfill corporate needs.
    If you have read this site at all, hundreds of solutions have been offered to various urban problems. But the government doesn’t seem to listen to any suggestions, except from people like McKee who have a special law written for them to help make a healthy profit.
    The problem here is redefining city planning in a way that includes more than meeting the needs of the corporate world. Loughborough Commons is a perfect example of urban planning that does not fit into the city, but does meet the needs of the corporate client. Steve has offered many suggestions in various posts on how that could have been changed to better serve the needs of the community.
    Many others, including myself have come up with solutions for urban problems in other posts.
    So I don’t believe the problem is a lack of new ideas. Instead there is a blockage in the decision making process. It is one that does not recognize how to build upon the strengths of St. Louis.
    Returning to St. Stanislaus and the destruction of that neighborhood, it mirrors the destruction of the city. As Steve points out they could have added indoor plumbing to the buildings surrounding the church. So what in the process of urban planning would exclude considering those options?
    And as I point out with the demise of the streetcar, this flawed decision making process has been going on for quite some time. The purpose of history is to avoid repeating mistakes, but it is clear that a similar process is in place that today and that it is the first hurdle before achieving a true livable city.
    Being wealthy has nothing to do with city planning, other than those in connected industries are the ones influencing policy and hence affecting the shape of the environment.
    WWSPD, you have veered into job creation and your own fantasy world which has nothing to do with the subject at hand. The subject at hand is related to how St. Stanislaus and the surrounding community evolved and then were destroyed.
    Right from the start, your first post, was a personal attack, and you shift the subject around to instigate more personal attacks.
    I think if you look carefully at urban policy and tried to understand why events surrounding St. Stanislaus happened the way they did and try to understand what drives urban policy today you would find the underlying reasons for a bankrupt urban policy is caused by the undue influence of a few insiders.
    I’m all for treating the wealthy in a fair manner, the problem it is the citizens are the ones not being given their due. And in the end you have a chopped up city, destruction of neighborhoods including those surrounding St. Stanislaus and a city that has lost half its population in 50 years. It is clear proof of a subverted, unsuccessful process.

  18. Well , the view of the passage is totally correct ,your details is really reasonable and you guy give us valuable informative post, I totally agree the standpoint of upstairs. I often surfing on this forum when I m free and I find there are so much good information we can learn in this forum! http://spoon8.net/

  19. ed hardy clothing says:

    We'r ed hardy outlet one of the most profession
    of the coolest and latest ed hardy apparel, such as
    ed hardy tee ,ed hardy bags,
    ed hardy bathing suits, ed hardy Polos,
    ed hardy board shorts , ed hardy men T-shirt,
    ed hardy swimwearand more,
    ed hardy clothing. We offers a wide selection of fashion
    cheap ed hardyproducts. Welcome to our shop or just enjoy browsing through our stunning collection available wholesale ed hardy in our shop.

    our goal is to delight you with our distinctive collection of mindful ed hardy products while providing value and excellent service. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction and we offer only 100% satisfacted service and ed hardy products. Please feel free to contact us at any time; we are committed to your 100% customer satisfaction. If you're looking for the best service and best selection, stay right where you are and continue shopping at here is your best online choice for the reasonable prices. So why not buy your ed hardy now, I am sure they we won’t let you down.


Comment on this Article: