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Poll: What Is Your Favorite Commercial Street In St. Louis City?

July 14, 2013 Featured, Retail, Sunday Poll 19 Comments

When I first moved to St. Louis in 1990 my first apartment was on Lindell at Euclid Ave. At the time Euclid Ave was the most urban street in St. Louis with shops (remember Heffalumps?) and restaurants. One of my first jobs was at an antique store east of Jefferson, not much positive was happening west of Jefferson except prostitution.   Not long after I made my first trip to Crown Candy — at night. The 14th Street Pedestrian Mall seemed totally dead.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday we have many thriving commercial streets, amazing progress is just two decades.  The poll this week asks you to pick your favorite of these, here are the choices I’ve provided:

  • N. 14th St. (Old North)
  • Cherokee St.
  • Delmar (Loop)
  • Euclid (CWE)
  • Grand (South Grand)
  • Locust St (Midtown Alley)
  • Manchester Rd Ave (The Grove)
  • Morgan Ford
  • Washington Ave

If you think of another you can vote for it in the poll using the other field. The poll is in the right sidebar (desktop layout).

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "19 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    Every commercial street sees its ups and downs. If you’ve seen “amazing progress” over the past 23 years, it’s only because you weren’t here to watch many streets decline over the past century, before you arrived. All these cool, old storefronts that are being renovated today once housed neighborhood-serving businesses, aka thriving, “urban” business districts.

    One challenge with your poll choices is street length – Manchester Road, for example, traverses many neighborhoods besides the Grove, plus includes many commercial districts outside the city. The same goes for Locust, Washington, Delmar and Grand – if your goal is to identify the street that connects the most cool neighborhoods, so be it. But as for selecting just one favorite, that’s tough, it all depends on what I’m looking for. If it’s a day-to-day item, the nearby streets work fine (in my case, Hampton and Chippewa, with Watson and Kingshighway not far behind). If it’s a specialty item, I go wherever the store is located – the street, itself, is secondary. And if it’s for strolling / patio dining / enjoying an urban, pedestrian experience, the CWE or the Loop are my top choices, with Lafayette Square, Morganford and Grand not far behind. Bottom line, it’s more the neighborhood and the businesses, not any specific “street”.

    • I’m trying to understand your comment ” If you’ve seen “amazing progress” over the past 23 years, it’s only because you weren’t here to watch many streets decline over the past century, before you arrived.” So if I was older and had witnessed the decline I wouldn’t be able to see the progress that’s been made in the last 10-15 years? I know I see active storefronts & sidewalks today I didn’t see upon arrival, though I know they likely pale compared to the 40s or 50s, I still view it as amazing. Not finished, but progress.

      Yes, many streets have great length. That’s why I qualified many of them, adding the Grove after Manchester, for example, so someone wouldn’t think I’m talking about St. Louis Marketplace further west.

      I think it is about the street. Cherokee, for example, has a different neighborhood on the north side than the south side, and they change as Cherokee crosses Jefferson.

      • moe says:

        Every city, large or small goes through cycles of renew and decline. You just happened to arrive at the right time to see the renew. Every City.

        Commercial? Well that also opens to Broadway, LaSalle, Choteau, and a few others. They are all testaments to the great and now outdated commercialism that occurred in our past.

      • JZ71 says:

        Two separate responses – one, while some streets (and some parts of some streets) have seen “amazing progress”, I’d argue that just as many other streets (and other parts of some streets) have seen decline, and sometimes significant decline. You’re a fan of Historic Aerials. Look at streets like MLK and Grand on the north side and Jefferson and Kingshighway on the south side. “Urban” commercial buildings have been demolished and replaced with either vacant lots or suburban-scale strip retail – “progress”, but certainly not “amazing progress”. And this is not just a St. Louis / Rust Belt phenomenon, it’s true of every city in the country. Change happens, sometimes in a way you like, sometimes in ways that you detest (and as you have documented in multiple previous posts).

        Two, streets don’t define communities or neighborhoods, they connect commercial nodes. And even commercial nodes that claim a street name (Rodeo Drive, Grand Center, Washington Avenue) are rarely isolated to a single street – businesses ooze off onto the side streets (and in some cases, parallel streets) to create a true neighborhood. The Grove isn’t Manchester, it’s a growing collection of successful businesses that just happen to be located on or near Manchester. Go 10 blocks / a mile either east or west and you see a completely different dynamic, a different “neighborhood” and a completely different urban experience. The street, itself, hasn’t changed, the neighborhood and the businesses that choose to locate in said neighborhood HAVE!

        • I’m very well aware of the decline of cities, I’m trying to show positive change is taking place.

          The Grove is the name of the business district located along a short stretch of Manchester Rd in the Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood. South Grand, like Cherokee, has different neighborhoods on each side of the street. This is true for many other commercial streets, the neighborhood boundaries make it the edge, rather than center.

          Besides, I didn’t want this to be about neighborhoods. I could’ve said “commercial district” rather than street but not all have a well understood district name. The street name remains the best way to identify the area for this poll.

          • JZ71 says:

            I don’t disagree that positive change is happening in the city. My point is that change is uneven, as it is in every city in the country.

            Neighborhoods are defined two ways, with “hard” arbitrary boundaries that work for urban planners, politicians and demographers, and with “fuzzy” boundaries that work for residents and visitors. Many times “neighborhoods” overlap in the views of real people. And while major streets are often used to define arbitrary boundaries, the reality is that the interests of the residents and the businesses are, many times, identical on both sides of “the line”! Do I live in the 23rd Ward, the Lindenwood Park neighborhood, Epiphany, St. Louis Hills, south city, the city or St. Louis (the region)? All of the above – it just depends on who I’m talking to and the context of the discussion.

          • guest says:

            If you live in Lindenwood Park, then you DON’T live in St. Louis Hills, and you better not forget it! (Spoken like a true St. Louis parochial!)

          • Eric says:

            There is a map web site, I forget which, where you can contribute data to the map. Apparently the neighborhood boundaries keep shifting – the prestigious neighborhoods grow and the non-prestigious neighborhoods shrink. This is because if you’re a real estate agent and your property is near the boundary, you obviously want to say that your property is part of the prestigious neighborhood…

  2. Mark says:

    I’ll vote off the board. When i arrived in STL the first time two years ago and began scouting out neighborhoods and areas of the city/county where I wanted to live, I have to say that I was very impressed with the new Truman Parkway, between Lafayette and Chouteau. First impression is that it’s a well-designed street that provides ample room for bikes, autos and pedestrians–an easy. leisurely drive; nicely landscaped with thoughtful islands and, in my opinion, attractive plants that appeared to be well-maintained. Plus, Truman Parkway traverses an area that, in my mind, embodies just about everything that this eclectic city embraces: new single and multi-family housing construction, renovated single and muti-family housing; renovated condominiums, smaller retail venues and office/ business establishments, and plenty of empty parcels of land available for growth and expansion. I may have seriously considered settling nearby if I had been single and without kids of school age.

  3. wump says:

    um manchester rd is not in the city of st louis. thats called manchester ave. cmon, thats like city 101

  4. RyleyinSTL says:

    Macklind Avenue!

  5. Wump says:

    kinda shocked how bad washington ave is doing in the poll. also shocked how well delmar is doing, considering your question is about the city (city delmar leaves something to be desired). cherokee and south grand are probably splitting the vote a bit. Euclid is probably the best, even despite some glaring holes around Lindell. Those developers over there need to get started.


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