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.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 21st, 2008 at 10:29 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.


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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