Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Eastern St. Louis Place: Revisited

My first experience with brick thieves occurred in the eastern part of St. Louis Place, easily the most devastated portion of the city with whole streets and blocks now vacant. Honestly, it's sickening to see how empty these blocks are now when I know what used to be here. I can only know what it would be like to have known what these streets were like when all the houses were intact, and not just the few survivors I learned to love.What had been dozens of houses along Montgomery Street are now gone, and the only view is the back of some in-fill houses along the park. See what used to be there here.Below is the vacant space that once held one of the most beautiful but simple houses on St. Louis Avenue east of the park. I knew it wasn't safe, and my fears proved true, and it was soon attacked. It's completely gone now.But all is not lost; many parts of the neighborhood are occupied and well-kept, though I'm sure someone said that about the now demolished blocks ten years ago.Read about some of the beautiful houses lost along Wright Street in the last three years in my earlier entries:

More Ruins of an American City
St. Louis Place Blockbusting
I Would Have Lived There

On a final note, I drove up Jefferson last Saturday in the evening to visit a friend in Old North. The drive is surreal; as I headed north, I got a strange feeling that I normally get out in the countryside of Illinois near my family's farm: the feeling of being out in the middle of nowhere. No lights shone from windows, and I didn't see anyone on the streets. A couple of headlights shone in the distance, as they so often do on long country roads. One of the densest neighborhoods in America, not just St. Louis, is almost completely gone.

1 comment:

  1. Chris,

    Your last paragraph reminds me of the pictures I've seen of Detroit. Just do a search of "urban prairies" and websites and photos of Detroit would be there.


A Blog detailing the beauty of St. Louis architecture and the buildup of residue-or character-that accumulates over the course of time.