Archive for January, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Crown Square Construction Update

A bit of snow and some bitterly cold whether has not stopped progress on the Crown Square Project. Concrete work, framing, demo, and trim work among other tasks have gone ahead full steam. The buildings on Warren are receiving final details such as historic trim, while buildings on the mall are well underway in demo and rebuilding. As you can see below, the Worths in the terrazzo at the entrance to the new ONSLRG office has been salvaged to be a part of the community history museum.

More pictures are available in the Crown Square set on our Flickr Page.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Great Ideas, Energy, & Dialogue at Crown Square Charrette

Despite frigid temperatures and a last-minute change of location, a strong contingent of about 60 ONSL residents, stakeholders, outside friends, and partners of Old North showed up on Saturday at the North Market Apartments Community Room for the public spaces planning charrette. Our new ONSLRG office camera captured some video of the team presentations, so stay tuned for a later post with a link to some of the highlights. In the meantime, the photos below show glimpses of the healthy exchange of ideas that took place among the participants.
The program began with a welcome from 5th Ward Alderwoman April Ford Griffin who commended ONSLRG for its determination and vision, as evidenced by the preservation in progress at the Mullanphy Emigrant Home, despite great hurdles and doubts from outside skeptics. After introductory comments, the participants were divided into 5 teams, each with a mix of neighborhood residents and design or planning professionals. By early afternoon, the teams had come up with long lists of suggestions, ideas, and drawings of what could be done to promote sustainability while connecting the former pedestrian mall to the broader neighborhood in a way that can be attractive, safe, and dynamic. At the conclusion of the team presentations, each individual placed colorful sticky dots next to the ideas that appealed to them the most.

We’ll post more later on the many great ideas recommended by participants, but some of the most popular concepts (based on preliminary tabulation of sticky-dot votes) included proposals to:
-bring more of the activities of the buildings outside through use of French balconies on the buildings and rooftop patios;
-promote building density by building on empty lots or even through “temporary liner buildings”;
-use public art and/or water features in a way that is interactive (with the example of the “Jumping Waters” at Missouri Botanical Garden);
- knit the former mall into the original street grid of the neighborhood by extending development beyond the 2600 and 2700 blocks of N. 14th, from North Market on the south up to Wright Street on the north;
-establish a bike-focused park and ride section in the parking lot with bike racks and bicycle rentals (or even free “rentals”) to promote bicycle usage and connectivity to bike lanes and other nearby bike-friendly amenities, such as the Riverfront Trail and the planned redevelopment of the Iron Horse Trestle elevated trail;
-build “soft curbs” along 14th Street to allow for flexibility in uses, from parking lanes to street festivals and farmers markets during times when the street could be closed off.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Location Change For Charrette on Saturday!!!

We have a slight change in plans for tomorrow’s charrette. We had scheduled to hold the event at Confluence Academy’s Cafeteria Annex, but will need to move the location to the North Market Place community space at 14th and North Market. The address is 1400 North Market St, St. Louis, MO 63106.

Please help spread the word to anyone you know who plans to attend.

Also, we will tour the Crown Square site, so please dress warmly; the high tomorrow is scheduled to be 21 degrees, with most of the day only in the mid to upper teens.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mullanphy Wall Rising

Last week finally provided a break in the weather for the masons to work on the south wall of the Mullanphy Emigrant Home. Concrete block has now been laid up to the second floor. While this is great progress, there is still a long way to go before the Mullanphy Building is safe.

If you would like to help out with the effort to rebuild the Mullanphy Emigrant Home, please visit There you can find out how you can donate to the effort, as well as check out the amazing progress that has already been made. Any contribution you can make to the effort is greatly appreciated, no matter how small, or large. You can also see images of the progress on our Flickr page under the Mullanphy Tab.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Crown Square Construction Update

We took a break from Crown Square updates over the holiday’s, but the construction workers have not. Plenty of work has happened since December. Interior demo is evident throughout the mall. Framing and brickwork is underway on many buildings. Mechanicals are being installed on some buildings. Windows are finally in the buildings on Warren. Kitchen cabinets and historic trim have been installed. Sidewalks have been poured.

Don’t forget about the Charette for public space planning for the mall. It’s this Saturday, starting at 9:00 am at Confluence Academy. More information, including how to RSVP can be found here.

You can see many more pictures on our Flickr page under the Crown Square Tab.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Crown Square in Nationl Magazine

Architect Magazine recently published an article on architecture in St. Louis. One of the featured current projects was the renovation of the 14th St. mall into Crown Square.

The next chapter in the story of a great American city is taking shape

Source: ARCHITECT Magazine
Publication date: December 1, 2007

By Margot Carmichael Lester

Home to American icons the Gateway Arch and Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis is getting a new, edgier reputation thanks to a rise in biotechnology and medical research at Washington University. But this is just one reason biotech and pharmaceutical companies are setting up shop here; there are also the area’s central location, good economy, and dual appeal as college town and Midwestern urban hub.

“We have some of the oldest housing stock in the country, with neighborhoods that predate streetcar-type urban neighborhoods,” explains Robert Wagstaff, a principal of local firm Rosemann & Associates. “As the urban lifestyle becomes increasingly more popular, this is a great strength. We have what people want—we just have to rehab it and make it accessible.”


Architect: Rosemann & Associates, St. Louis
Developers: Regional Housing Community Development Alliance and Old North St. Louis Restoration Group
Expected Completion: 2009
Estimated Cost: $26 million
Redeveloped in the ’70s as a pedestrian mall, this Northside neighborhood conversion will include 78 mixed-income apartments and 26,000 square feet of commercial space.

Read the full article here.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Join us THIS SATURDAY for a Charrette on Public Space Planning for 14th Street (Updated!!!)

Crown Village Associates, LLC
(a partnership of Old North St. Louis Restoration Group and Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance)


WHEN: Saturday, January 19th, 2008 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
WHERE:North Market Place community space at 14th and North Market
1400 North Market St
St. Louis, MO 63106

Confluence Academy Annex Cafeteria
3017 North 13th Street

St. Louis
, MO 63107

Our neighborhood is witnessing the culmination of years of effort to find a way to redevelop the former 14th Street pedestrian mall. In 2007 Crown Village Associates, the partnership of Old North St. Louis Restoration Group (ONSLRG) and Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance (RHCDA), broke ground on the $35 million historic rehabilitation of the largely vacant and abandoned 14th Street mall and a number of buildings on the surrounding blocks into Crown Square, a comprehensive mixed-use/mixed-income development that will stabilize and invigorate the central part of the Old North St. Louis neighborhood.

27 buildings are being completely rehabilitated as a part of this housing and economic development initiative. 33,500 square feet of new high-quality street-level commercial/retail/restaurant spaces will be created, constituting the neighborhood’s first significant new economic development in decades—and a boost to the local economy and tax base. 80 units of rental apartments, townhouses, lofts and live/work spaces—reasonably divided between affordable and market-rate units will be completed as a part of this redevelopment effort.

With construction now underway, we are asking the community for input regarding the public spaces associated with this redevelopment. What street, sidewalk, parking, lighting, landscape and other public space features will make this development more valuable to the neighborhood and to the city as a whole? In a broad sense, what are the priorities to make this the most dynamic space possible? We anticipate discussion to center around three main focus areas:
1. Physical Space
2. Events and Programming
3. Neighborhood Connections
The Charrette will be a collaborative session in which neighborhood stakeholders, designers, planners, and other professionals draft solutions to a design problem while integrating the aptitudes and interests of a diverse group of people. After a short introduction, attendees will divide into sub-groups to discuss ideas, and then present their work to the full group as material for future dialogue.

What We Hope To Accomplish:
The renovation of the former 14th Street mall into Crown Square is the largest development in Old North St. Louis to date, and will certainly generate further interest and development in the neighborhood. With the public spaces of Crown Square, we hope to lay fertile ground on which future developments, events, and activities can contribute to the creation of a dynamic urban village.

Morning refreshments and lunch will be served.

Please RSVP to Karen Heet at the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group Office
314-241-5031 or via email to


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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