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Readers Want Walkability and Long-Term Jobs at NorthSide Regeneration

northside regeneration map
Map of project area

Last week readers at least 135 readers took the poll, indicating what they’d like to see as priorities at Paul McKee’s NorthSide Regeneration project. Here are the results in the order the software listed, two answers tied for the the top spot.

Q: Paul McKee’s “Northside Regeneration” project is slowly moving foreword, pick your top 5 priorities from the following:

  1. Good walkability 76 [11.33% – TIE]
  2. Jobs for locals: long-term work at various pay levels 76 [11.33% – TIE]
  3. Rail transit connected to downtown 64 [9.54%]
  4. Urban form with adequate parking behind buildings 60 [8.94%]
  5. Safety 59 [8.79%]
  6. Mixed uses, incomes 52 [7.75%]
  7. Good street grid with short blocks 48 [7.15%]
  8. Architecture that IS historic looking 43 [6.41%]
  9. Hoodlum-free zone 39 [5.81%]
  10. Renovation of the Clemens Mansion 35 [5.22%]
  11. Many builders/developers, not just a few 33 [4.92%]
  12. Good bikeability 24 [3.58%]
  13. Something…anything ASAP 21 [3.13%]
  14. Jobs for locals: short-term construction work 17 [2.53%]
  15. Architecture that is NOT historic looking 11 [1.64%]
  16. Easy access to highways 8 [1.19%]
  17. Plenty of free parking 3 [0.45%]
  18. Suburban planning, big blocks and cul-de-sacs 2 [0.3%]

I agree with most of the items in the top 10, very glad to see “Good Walkability” tie with “Jobs for locals: long-term work at various pay levels” at the top, followed closely by rail transit to downtown and urban form. I do take exception with one item: architecture.

I was disappointed “Architecture that IS historic looking” got 43 votes, but “Architecture that is NOT historic looking” only got 11 votes. Buildings in 2014 trying to look like they’re from 1914 end up looking cheesy.  Other cities do a great job building new urban buildings that relate to the sidewalk and neighboring buildings without being faux historic. We need to drop the expectation that every new building be given a bit of red brick on the front and a fake mansard roof on top.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. 26 year old young professional says:

    I am in favor of having historic architecture and I am very very strong on my opinion on this.

  2. Maybe a better differentiation would have been “Architecture that fits in with the St. Louis aesthetic” and “Architecture that stands apart from the St. Louis aesthetic” then. Plenty of quality developments are happening in St. Louis that poorly replicate past buildings, sure, but there’s plenty more that give a modest tip o’ the hat to our architectural past while also being something of modern form and composition.

    My main fear of Northside is that we end up with deep-set, vinyl-sided townhomes (like those in PDW at Tucker) and parking island fast food/gas stations. For such a wide swath as this, so close to our downtown, it’d be a crime for the development to not fully embrace and connect to downtown/west, physically and architecturally. As important as it is to improve the area for those who already live there, it’s doubly important to encourage new population (yes, white people) so we can break the damnable Not-Past-Cass (or Cole, or MLK, etc.) mentality.

    • JZ71 says:

      Agree – three sides of vinyl siding with kitschy brick fronts does not equal historic!

  3. JZ71 says:

    I agree with you, Steve, on the historic architecture part – urbanity is more form and less materials.


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