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Presentation: Neighborhood Change in the St. Louis Region Since 1970; What explains neighborhood success?

Two local professors will attempt to answer the question in the headline when they present their research findings one week from today:

The older parts of the St. Louis region have faced serious challenges in the past 40 years. Some neighborhoods have done better than others. Hank Webber, Washington University, and Todd Swanstrom, University of Missouri–St. Louis, will present their findings on St. Louis neighborhoods that rebounded from decline. The “rebound communities” will be the subject of future UMSL “What’s Brewing” breakfast forums that will take place in the neighborhoods with local activists telling their stories of neighborhood resilience.

Is there a secret formula for success? We can find out Thursday October 10th from 7pm-8:30pm, followed by a reception. The event is free.

Click image to see event page at Missouri Historical Society
Click image to see event page at Missouri Historical Society

The event will be held in the Lee Auditorium, lower level of the Missouri History Museum.

— Steve Patterson


Lecture and New Book on The Architecture of Maritz & Young

August 10, 2013 Books, Events/Meetings, Featured, History/Preservation Comments Off on Lecture and New Book on The Architecture of Maritz & Young

Authors Kevin Amsler and L. John Schott will give a lecture on the architecture of Maritz & Young next week, here are  the details:

When: Wednesday, August 14 2013 at 7:00 pm
Where: Missouri History Museum, AT&T Foundation Multipurpose Room (lower level)
How Much: Free

This lecture coincides with the release of their book The Architecture of Maritz & Young: Exceptional Historic Homes of St. Louis

Cover of new book
Cover of new book

The Missouri History Museum Press is pleased to announce the publication of it latest book, The Architecture of Maritz & Young: Exceptional Historic Homes of St. Louis. No single architecture firm has shaped the style of St. Louis more than Maritz & Young. Anyone who has driven along Lindell Boulevard across from Forest Park or strolled the sidewalk on Forsyth by Washington University has seen the residential architecture of two men named Raymond Maritz and William Ridgely Young. The homes include the French Renaissance splendor ofhotel owner Morris Corn’s Lindell mansion and the Spanish-influenced Forsyth home of William Lewin.

From the beginning of the 20th century, Raymond E. Maritz and W. Ridgely Young built more than 100 homes in the most affluent neighborhoods of St. Louis County, counting among their clientele a Who’s Who of the city’s most prominent citizens. The Architecture of Maritz & Young is the most complete collection of their work, featuring more than 200 photographs, architectural drawings, and original floor plans of homes built in a variety of styles, from Spanish Eclectic toTudor Revival. Alongside these historic images, Kevin Amsler and L. John Schott have provided descriptions of each residence detailing the original owners. Lovingly compiled from a multitude of historical sources and rare books, this is the definitive history of the domestic architecture that still defines St. Louis.

I’ve only had time to browse the book, but it is packed with great vintage images and detailed text. The book is on sale now, copies will be available for purchase at the lecture as well. The authors will sign copies following the lecture.

— Steve Patterson


St. Louis PrideFest Downtown June 29-30

Today and tomorrow the annual PrideFest celebration will take place in downtown St. Louis. For many years the parade was on South Grand, ending in Tower Grove Park. Before that the parade was on Euclid, ending in Forest Park.

Top of the Civil Courts building in rainbow colors for PrideFest2013
Top of the Civil Courts building in rainbow colors for PrideFest2013, click image for Slate article on the history behind the rainbow colors.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the gay rights movement and why we celebrate in June:

In the early hours of June 28, 1969, a group of gay customers at a popular gay bar in Greenwich Village called the Stonewall Inn, who had grown angry at the harassment by police, took a stand and a riot broke out. As word spread throughout the city about the demonstration, the customers of the inn were soon joined by other gay men and women who started throwing objects at the policemen, shouting “gay power.”

Police reinforcements arrived and beat the crowd away, but the next night, the crowd returned, even larger than the night before, with numbers reaching over 1000. For hours, protesters rioted outside the Stonewall Inn until the police sent a riot-control squad to disperse the crowd. For days following, demonstrations of varying intensity took place throughout the city.

In the wake of the riots, intense discussions about civil rights were held among New York’s LGBT people, which led to the formation of various advocacy groups such as the short-lived Gay Liberation Front, which was the first group to use the word “gay” in its name, and a city-wide newspaper called Gay. On the 1st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the first gay pride parades in U.S. history took place in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and near the Stonewall Inn in New York.

The Stonewall riots inspired LGBT people throughout the country to organize in support of gay rights, and within two years after the riots, gay rights groups had been started in nearly every major city in the United States. (civilrights.org)

In 1987, just 3 years before moving to St. Louis, I drove a vehicle in Oklahoma City’s inaugural Gay Pride Parade. I was just 20 and we didn’t know what to expect. Turnout was good and nobody got beat up.

Over my years in St. Louis I’ve attended our St. Louis parade on Euclid and on South Grand, participating a few times. As a downtown resident of 5+ years I’m glad to see the event relocate to downtown.

Some in the LGBT community, including many friends, aren’t happy about the move downtown.  They’re having a picnic this morning at the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market followed by a block party at Hartford @ Grand. I’ll stop by if I can but I know I’ll be able to travel a few blocks to for the main event, here’s some basics from the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis:

PrideFest 2013 is happening this Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30 at Soldiers’ Memorial.

On Sunday, the Pride 5K begins at 7 am, followed by the Pride Parade at 11 am. The Pride Parade will begin at Market and 8th Street, and will travel west to 18th Street for full disbandment. All street closures will be contained to Sunday.

Parade Closures

Market closed from Broadway to 18th Street, starting at 6 am

7th Street closed from Walnut to Chestnut, starting at 6 am

8th Street closed from Chestnut to Walnut, starting at 6 am

**All side streets leading into Market from Chestnut on the North and from Clark and/or Walnut on the South will be closed, starting at 6 am**

The exact closure times of some streets will be contingent on police direction that morning. Streets are scheduled to reopen by 3 pm Sunday.

5K Closures

The Pride 5k will do a continuous loop around Soldiers’ Memorial, starting at Pine & 15th Street; to Pine & Tucker; to Tucker & Market; to Market & 17th Street; back to Pine to complete the loop.

Pine closed from Tucker to 18th, 6 – 8:30 am

**Additional closures for the 5k will be side streets leading into Pine from Olive, between Tucker and 17th Street**

Tucker will be closed starting at 6 am from Olive to Clark and will reopen after the 5K contingent upon crowd size and police discretion.

The parade runs west on Market from Kiener Plaza, starting at 11am on Sunday. Click map for more information.
The parade runs west on Market from Kiener Plaza, starting at 11am on Sunday.
Click map for more information on PrideFest 2013.

The boyfriend and I will be at the parade Sunday, this will be his first.

— Steve Patterson


Happy Memorial Day

May 27, 2013 Events/Meetings, Featured Comments Off on Happy Memorial Day
The impressive mosaic tile ceiling in the center of St. Louis’ WWI memorial

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, a day for family gathers, the Indianapolis 500 race, etc.  But the origin dates to the 19th Century:

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all. (continue reading…)

My heart goes out to all who’ve lost family or friends in service to our country.

— Steve Patterson


St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study: First Round of Open House Meetings Scheduled March 28, April 2, and April 5

The following is a press release:


Bi-State Development Agency (Metro) announced the first round of public open houses focusing on a new St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study scheduled for March 28, April 2 and April 5. The study is another step toward fulfilling Metro’s long-term goal of offering efficient, competitive and attractive transit services to more residents and more places in the St. Louis region.

The study, led by the Bi-State Development Agency (Metro) and the Transportation Corridor Improvement Group, will identify two transit investment projects to move forward in pursuit of federal funding. It is anticipated at least one project will be implemented as a result of this effort.

The St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study is a direct result of Moving Transit Forward, the long-range transit plan that highlighted the potential of using the region’s existing network of highways and major streets to provide higher-speed, limited-stop transit services. The general transportation corridors identified by the public as significant opportunities for high-performance transit are Interstates 70, 44, 64, and 55, major streets near those highways, and Grand Boulevard in St. Louis.

“By improving the connections between people and jobs, education, and other opportunities, we can maximize the potential not only of our transportation network, but of our residents and businesses as well,” said Jessica Mefford-Miller, Metro Chief of Planning and System Development.

The study takes a data-driven approach to identify and evaluate potential projects. Final recommendations will be shaped by several objectives, including improved access to transportation that supports economic growth; expansion of access to opportunities; enhanced employer access to a broader and more diverse labor pool; reduction of traffic congestion and air pollution; and financial feasibility.

The partners leading the St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study will answer questions and encourage discussion at the three upcoming public meetings. The meetings will be conducted in open-house style, with the attendees invited to participate in interactive activities designed to gather community input on project goals and transit performance criteria. Residents will also learn about the range of possible options for expanding cost-effective rapid transit service in St. Louis.

The same information will be presented at each of the public open houses.

· Thursday, March 28 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. A formal presentation will be made at 5:30 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. Located at the JC Penney Conference Center at the UMSL Campus. The meeting will be in the 1st Floor Lobby of the building located at 1 University Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63121.

· Tuesday, April 2 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. A formal presentation will be made at 5:30 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. Located at the World Trade Center on the 10th Floor. The building is located at 121 S. Meramec Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105.

· Friday, April 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A formal presentation will be made at noon. Located at St. Louis City Hall on the 2nd Floor Hall and in the Kennedy Room. City Hall is located at 1200 Market Street St. Louis, MO 63103.

More information and futures updates on the St. Louis Rapid Connector Study can be found at www.movingtransitforward.org/stlrapidtransit.

About the Transportation Corridor Improvement Group

The St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study is being conducted by the Bi-State Development Agency (Metro) in partnership with the Transportation Corridor Improvement Group, a partnership between East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWGCOG), St. Louis County, the City of St. Louis, and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).