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Discussion: Sunday neighborhood stroll

in: Ricka; Ricka > 2016-05-22

May 24, 2016 1:54 PM # 
Very interesting neighborhood you have there. I remember the Tower Grove area back in the early '70's when I lived and worked in West County. We used to come into your area for fern bars, hippie cafes and the architecture....much more interesting than W County.

Glad to see that you're still enjoying the neighborhood, even tho the fern bars may be gone....
May 30, 2016 1:00 AM # 
Somehow they have evolved into fern-ner restaurants. :)
May 30, 2016 10:56 PM # 
Well we went through that phase up here in Chicago. Some of the best neighborhoods were 'mixed' for a period of time.

But as I recall, that Tower Grove neighborhood had very substantial, good-looking housing stock; I predict an eventual 'gentrification' wave. So enjoy the diversity. And be careful what you wish for. Property values might increase, but so do taxes and snobby neighbors fresh from the suburbs!
May 30, 2016 11:55 PM # 
Fascinating but not "typical" populations & housing trends in STL. Gentrification seems a long way off, if ever.

STL City population has dropped from 900,000 in 1950's to about 320,000 now and still decreasing slowly. STL City broke from STL County over a century ago and "they" do not want us back.

In terms of poverty, segregation, and crime, north City has become a disaster area with little hope. Fortunately, near north STL won over cornfields of IL for relocation and expansion of former "US Defense Mapping" agency -- should help.

1-2 decades after other urban areas, people are moving into condos in downtown STL -- slow steady increase continues: tech and medical jobs. Due to schools, crime, and history, families are not 'flocking' from the suburbs - never will. Some retired do.

Our Tower Grove Heights and other small neighborhoods have "very nice" housing prices [by STL standards, not by Chi-town, Minneapolis, and the coasts].

STL City owns several thousand decaying brick houses -- rehabbers have just begun again to buy up the 'better' ones in terms of condition and neighborhood. But I just dumped a house in bad shape in bad neighborhood to my neighbor for $500 when rehabbers were not interested in paying $2-3000. That's a sad summary of most of north STL and large pockets of south STL.

With International Institute nearby and offering all manner of support, the city is a dynamic but somewhat unseen mix of Whites, Blacks, and immigrants from Africa, middle East, South & Central America, Eastern Europe etc.

And we enjoy it.
May 31, 2016 2:32 PM # 
...STL City population has dropped from 900,000 in 1950's to about 320,000 now...

Well the population of most areas of the US has dropped since the 1950's. My city neighborhood on the northside of Chicago has about HALF the population that it did in the 1950's when it was a blue-collar neighborhood full of factories, not residences as it is today.

But in 1950 the US was just beginning to realize the post-war baby boom. And the country was coming off 20+ years of war and depression. So when the armed services demobilized and people returned to civilian life, there was a housing shortage.

Not to mention that The Pill, abortion, and even generally-accepted Birth Control were concepts that were still years away from common use. The Catholic Church dominated Chicago's working class neighborhoods then, and families with 6, 8 and even 12 kids were commonplace.

Not today. Our higher standard of living has changed all that. And the $2-$5 million homes on my block are occupied by DINKs (Double Income; No Kids) or, at most, 2 very lucky kids, where a tenement with dozens of kids used to stand.

So depopulation can be, but isn't necessarily a sign of urban blight. And I still think I'd rather live in your neighborhood in St Louis than West County.

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