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Friday, December 19, 2014

A Huge THANK YOU and a Fond Farewell to Claire Wolff

Today is Claire Wolff’s last day on our staff as Community Engagement Specialist at Old North St. Louis Restoration Group.  Although we are very sorry to lose her, we are thrilled that she’ll still be in the neighborhood as a resident (and she has promised to put in some volunteer time with us!) - and we’re happy to know that she won’t be far away as she takes on her new duties as Grace Hill’s new Director of Community Development.

We really can’t say enough about how much Claire has contributed to the work of ONSLRG over the past two-and-a-half years - most importantly, the great outcomes achieved through her efforts.  We do have a lot of grant reports that spell this out, but there just isn’t enough space here for a comprehensive list.  And, since we’re heading out for one last staff gathering to bid her farewell and good luck on her new endeavors, we’ll consider this post to be just part 1 of our goodbye post.  Watch this space for an update later when we have time to fill in more detail and add more photos.

In the meantime, please join us in celebrating Claire’s work with us - and if you see her, tell her thank you for making Old North a better for all!

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Holidays in Old North -TOMORROW- Sat., Dec. 13…Please Come Celebrate with Us

The biggest shopping day of the year (in Old North) is just about here.  Tomorrow, Saturday, December 13, is our annual Holidays in Old North Festival & Craft Market, and we invite YOU and everyone you know to join us.  The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in about a dozen different storefronts along the 2600 and 2700 blocks of N. 14th Street, just south of St. Louis Avenue, in beautiful Crown Square in the heart of Old North St. Louis.

Check out our Facebook event page (click HERE) for the latest updates on all of the participating vendors and activities - and be sure to let your friends know you’ll be attending.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Winter 2014 Edition of Old North Community News Is Out

If you live in Old North, you can watch for the latest edition of Old North Community News to show up on your doorstep any day now. If you’re outside Old North and won’t get a chance to pick up a copy from the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group office or any the retail establishments throughout the neighborhood, you can read all the latest news by clicking on the photo below.

As you’ll see, the cover story shares ONSLRG’s plans for new houses on the 1300 block of Monroe Street.  Thanks to the approval of development gap funding from the City of St. Louis Community Development Administration, construction of 3 new homes could get started as early as spring 2015.

Since we’d like to get as many prospective buyers as possible pre-qualified for financing before construction gets under way, please help us in posting or distributing the flyer below. Click on the flyer to download a PDF version for printing or posting online.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mourning the Passing of Tom Tschetter, former ONSLRG Board Member, Expert Contractor & Rehabbing Guru

We were saddened to learn yesterday that former Old North St. Louis Restoration Group Board Member and Real Estate Committee chair, Tom Tschetter, has died.   All of us at ONSLRG extend our condolences to Tom’s wife, Susan.  Visitation is scheduled for Friday, December 12, starting at 9:00 a.m. at Grace & Peace Fellowship, 5574 Delmar Blvd, 63112, with the service at 10:00 a.m.

For many years Tom and Susan graciously opened their beautifully and painstakingly restored home on North Market Street for the Old North St. Louis House Tour - and it was always a "must-see" stop on the tour.

As ONSLRG's Real Estate Committee Chair, Tom was one of the select few who participated in a celebration on the evening when construction finally got underway (beginning with excavation for the foundation) for new homes at North Market Place in the spring of 2004.

As ONSLRG's Real Estate Committee Chair, Tom was one of the select few who participated in a celebration on the evening of the day when construction finally got under way (beginning with excavation for the foundations) for new homes at North Market Place in the spring of 2004.

As an expert carpenter and rehabbing guru, Tom was responsible for, directly involved with, or lent a hand in some way with numerous rehabs throughout Old North, including many Landmarks Association “Most Enhanced Award”-winning projects.  We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Tom for his mentoring of and assistance to countless rehabbers over many years, his service as an ONSLRG Board member and Real Estate Committee Chair, and so many other contributions as a volunteer, friend and neighbor.

In March of 2012, Tom and Susan, and their award-winning home, were featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch homes section, and as they always did, they took advantage of the opportunity to share their love for Old North.  Click HERE to see that blog post and for the link to the Post-Dispatch article and more photos of their home.

Tom, in the brown jacket and cap, was among neighborhood residents who volunteered their time on a bitter cold, January morning to board up vacant buildings so that they could survive the winter and later experience full historic rehabs.

Tom, in the brown jacket and cap, was among neighborhood residents who volunteered their time on a bitter cold, January morning to board up vacant buildings so that they could survive the winter and later experience full historic rehabs.

Tom will be sorely missed and appreciated for many years to come for the role he played in the revitalization of Old North.  If you ever find yourself driving through Old North admiring the phenomenal historic preservation that has taken place at so many homes, think of Tom.  No matter whose home you stop at, there’s a good chance Tom was involved in one way or another, whether as a contractor, volunteer, advisor, or friend.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Just 1 Week Away: Holidays in Old North Festival & Craft Market, Sat. Dec. 13

Get your holiday shopping list together, round up the kids, tell your neighbors, and start clearing out space in your vehicle of choice to load up on all sorts of cool gifts at the annual Holidays in Old North Festival & Craft Market on Saturday, December 13.  The fun-for-all-ages event takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in several different inside spaces along the 2600 and 2700 blocks of N. 14th Street, in beautiful Crown Square in the heart of Old North St. Louis.

Did we mention the free photos with Santa?

Plus… food, music, children’s activities from the Magic House, and so much more!

Check out our Facebook event page (click HERE) for more info on the many vendors confirmed to be here - and to let your friends know you’ll be attending.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Media Buzz about Old North: from Post-Dispatch Coverage of Gina & Travis Sheridan’s Home to St. Louis Public Radio

If you missed the feature in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Nov. 15 about Gina and Travis Sheridan’s Wright Street home in Old North, don’t worry, there will no doubt be plenty more where that came from.  Gina & Travis recently closed on the purchase of the home they had been renting, thanks to mortgage financing from Midland States Bank.  And, long before they officially owned the home, they had already started spreading the word far and wide about how cool Old North is and have been active participants in numerous efforts to keep Old North moving in a positive direction.

The article in the Post starts with an opening line that sounds a lot like what we keep telling anyone who’ll listen:  ”Great things are happening in Old North St. Louis, thanks in part to residents like Travis and Gina Sheridan…

You can read the whole article by clicking HERE.  And to see the short video that accompanies the article, in which Travis proclaims that they live in “probably the best neighborhood in all of St. Louis” and where he gives credit to the work of Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, as well as the support from David Noble of Midland States Bank, click HERE.  And if you see Gina or Travis around the neighborhood, be sure to thank them for the wonderful things they keep saying about Old North.

But that’s not the only good press we’ve received lately.  Shortly before that piece ran in the Post, St. Louis Public Radio posted a story about the ongoing progress in Old North, which included comments and observations from longtime and newer residents and businesses in the community.

Among the individuals quoted in that piece were residents Joe and Susannah Eisenbraun, Phil Valko (both a resident and director of Washington University’s Sustainability Office), Dr. Annessa Blackmun of Blackmun Footcare, M.K. Stallings of UrbArts, Eric Woods of Firecracker Press, Veronica Holden (resident and owner of La Mancha Coffeehouse), Tom & Gloria Bratkowski, and Sean Thomas of Old North St. Louis Restoration Group.  Other neighborhood businesses, nonprofits, and amenities mentioned in the story included Crown Candy Kitchen, Kennedy’s Pet Shop, the Sustainable Land Lab projects (the Mighty Mississippians,  and Sunflower+ garden, the Chess Pocket Park, and the planned Bistro Box), Headhunters Barber & Beauty Salon, and the neighborhood’s many community gardens.

To read the whole story and to listen to brief clips of the interviews, click HERE or on the image above.

For more on media coverage of all things Old North, click HERE for our past blog posts on the topic.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Supporting Community Development in Old North on Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, & Giving Tuesday

Today is Small Business Saturday… please support the small businesses of Old North, including the retailers at Crown Square!

As a mixed-use community, Old North is home to many small and medium-sized businesses that employ residents of the community, attract visitors to the neighborhood, and provide valuable goods and services to residents of Old North and other neighborhoods.  The following is a list of some of the businesses and nonprofit organizations in Old North that may have items available for your purchase…

14th Street Artist Community, 2607 N. 14th Street

Better Life Cleaning Products, (to find a retailer or to buy online, visit CleanHappens.com)

Blackmun Footcare, 2608 N. 14th Street

Boss Metal Fabricators, 1125 Montgomery St.

Building Futures, 2617 N. 14th Street

Central Print, 2624 N. 14th Street

Crown Candy Kitchen, 1401 St. Louis Avenue

ExKuisite Designs by Kimberly, 2611 N. 14th Street

Firecracker Press, 2612 N. 14th Street

Headhunters Barber & Beauty Shop, 2613 N. 14th Street

Kennedy’s Pet Shop, 2701 N. 14th Street

KRAV Boutique, 2717 N. 14th Street

La Mancha Coffeehouse, 2800 N. 14th Street

Marx Hardware, 2501 N. 14th Street

Northside Workshop, 1306 St. Louis Avenue

Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, 2700 N. 14th Street

Perpetua Iron Works, 2803 Blair

The Racq Salon & Spa, 2605 N. 14th Street

St. Louis ArtWorks, 2707 N. 14th Street

UrbArts (Urban Artists Alliance for Child Development), 2600 N. 14th Street

Zuka Arts Guild, 2701 N. 14th Street

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CYBER MONDAY

This Monday is Cyber Monday, which traditionally has been one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.  So if you’re shopping online on Monday (or any day of the year, for that matter), consider buying some Old North merchandise by clicking HERE.  ONSLRG t-shirts, mugs, and stickers make great presents!

If you want to purchase any merchandise available on Amazon, consider supporting Old North St. Louis Restoration Group by making the purchase via Amazon Smile (Smile.Amazon.com) and select Old North St. Louis Restoration Group as the non-profit to benefit from your purchase.  AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support ONSLRG every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization (which, we hope, is Old North St. Louis Restoration Group). On your first visit to AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), before you begin shopping you need to select a charitable organization - just type in “Old North St. Louis Restoration” in the search box, which will then bring up Old North St. Louis Restoration Group - and then you just click on the “select” button to designate ONSLRG as the charitable organization of your choice to receive donations from eligible purchases. Then the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The site will remember your selection, and every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation.

For more about the Amazon Smile Foundation, click HERE.

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But wait, there’s more!

According to GivingTuesday.org:

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.

We’d greatly appreciate any support you could offer for ONSLRG on this Giving Tuesday.  One option for you is to click HERE or on the image below to make a financial contribution to help us continue our work of revitalizing the physical and social dimensions of the Old North neighborhood in a manner that respects the community’s historic, cultural, and urban character.

Or, you can click HERE to learn about ways you can volunteer some of your time with us.

We’d also like to know if you have any other creative ideas for helping ONSLRG continue the great progress we’ve made.  Feel free to comment here by clicking on the LEAVE A COMMENT link at the top left side of this post, or send us an email (to info@ONSL.org) to let us know your idea.  As always, feel free to share this with others who might have an interest in supporting ONSLRG by clicking the envelope image with “EMAIL” under it, also at the top left side of this post.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Old North St. Louis Restoration Group Office Will Be Open During Regular Business Hours

Regardless of any announcements regarding the Grand Jury decision, the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group office will remain open during regular business hours on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  Although some schools and businesses have already announced plans to be closed, we will be here to continue our work of building an inclusive, welcoming, safe, stable, vibrant, and sustainable community.

However, since Thanksgiving and the day after are holidays for our staff, our office will be closed on Nov. 27 & 28. Even though the ONSLRG office won’t be open on Friday, we encourage everyone to come on out to Old North on Black Friday (and Small Business Saturday) to support the local, independent businesses of Old North - and the hardworking people who bring jobs, investment, and much needed goods and services to the community.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Holidays in Old North Festival & Craft Market - Saturday, Dec. 13

Please make plans to join us in Crown Square on Saturday, December 13 for our annual Holidays in Old North Festival & Craft Market.  The festivities will take place from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. inside several different spaces along the 2600 & 2700 blocks of N. 14th Street.  Featuring free photos with Santa, up to 50 vendors, holiday music, and food, the event is free of charge and will happen regardless of the weather - so, even if there’s a blizzard or 70 degrees outside, come on out to join us.

Visit the Facebook event page by clicking HERE to let all of your friends know you’ll be going.

And, if you’re an artisan vendor, there still is room for a couple more! If you’re interested, send an email to Claire@onsl.org.

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Celebrate the Music (& birthdays) of Scott Joplin & W.C. Handy on Saturday, Nov. 8 at the ONSLRG Gallery

Join us in commemorating the birthdays of two legendary figures from the world of music with important ties to the City of St. Louis.

On Saturday, November 8 at 2 p.m., the Ragged Blade Band will perform at the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group Gallery (2700 N. 14th Street) to celebrate the lives and legacies of Scott Joplin, the “King of Ragtime” and W.C. Handy, known as the “Father of the Blues.” This month we celebrate the 141st anniversary of Handy’s birth (Nov. 16, 1873) and perhaps the 146th anniversary of Joplin’s birth.  Although Joplin’s actual birth date is unknown, the marker at his gravestone lists it as Nov. 24, 1868.

This year also marks the centennial of the publication of “Saint Louis Blues,” which Handy said was inspired by a woman he saw on the streets of St. Louis.  First played and published in 1914, “Saint Louis Blues” has been called the “most influential song of all time” by Ted Gioia, author of The History of Jazz (as reported in the June 2014 issue of The Atlantic:

“The most exciting development in modern music is the multicultural mixture of old sounds into new hybrids. And no one mixed them up better than W. C. Handy in “St. Louis Blues,” which brought together the 12-bar blues, Latin rhythms, and the American popular song in one of the biggest hits of all time.”

Joplin’s most famous piece, “The Entertainer,” which was composed and published during his St. Louis years, has also earned a spot among the classics of American music.  The Recording Industry Association of America ranked it #10 on its “Songs of the Century” list.

So, come on out to celebrate a couple of American classics in the heart of a neighborhood not far from where the streets of where one of the songs was inspired and just blocks away from the home where the composer of the other lived.  As an added bonus, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that funds raised at this concert will go to support the work of Old North St. Louis Restoration Group.  Admission is just $10, payable at the door.

Arts programming throughout the year, including at the ONSLRG Gallery, has been generously supported by the Regional Arts Commission and the Arts & Education Council of Greater St. Louis, and other events in the gallery have been funded by Missouri Humanities Council - and we do thank them all for making it possible for ONSLRG to bring community enriching programming to Old North.

This event, however, is billed as a fundraiser for Old North St. Louis Restoration Group.  If you can’t attend the event on Saturday, please feel free to make a contribution to ONSLRG online by clicking HERE or on the button below.  Please note that we now offer an online contribution option for you to set up a recurring contribution so that a certain amount gets contributed each month making it so much easier for all.

WHAT'S NEW IN OLD NORTH

Welcome to the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group's blog. What's New in Old North chronicles the dramatic transformation under way in the neighborhood of Old North St. Louis. As a neighborhood just north of Downtown St. Louis, Old North is becoming a dynamic urban village of new and historic homes, a landmark eating establishment, beautiful community gardens, and a diverse, friendly, and engaged community.

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