Archive for June, 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008

ONSL has a new business neighbor!

Hostelling International - Gateway Council has moved its office to Old North St. Louis. Mark Cockson, HI-GC’s Executive Director, is shown proudly pointing to the address of his new office space at 2810 N 14th Street.

Hostelling International’s mission is to promote cultural understanding through low-cost travel, outdoor activities, and youth education. Hostelling International - Gateway Council hosts numerous recreational bike rides including the famous Moonlight Ramble which is coming up August 16-17. For more information on HI-GC or to register for the Moonlight Ramble, go to

HI-GC and the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group are currently in discussions to develop the Mullanphy Emigrant Home into a world-class youth hostel.

Stay tuned for details!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Metropolis STL Tours Old North

On June 14th, a sunny and beautiful Saturday morning, 17 members of Metropolis STL toured the developments currently underway in the Old North St. Louis neighborhood. Led by ONSLRG Executive Director, Sean Thomas, the group took a hard-hat tour of Crown Square, the $35 million redevelopment of the former 14th Street Mall, as well as the new construction and renovations on North Market Place, and a few private renovations.
If you or your group would like a tour of the ONSL neighborhood, Crown Square, or other specific developments, contact Karen Heet, the ONSLRG Real Estate Development Coordinator, at
Sunday, June 22, 2008

More Notice for ONSL’s Rebirth

ONSL has been getting quite a bit of attention lately. As noted in our previous post of June 16, Kaid Benfield of the Natural Resources Defense Council has shared his positive reviews of ONSL’s rebirth on his blog (Of the community, by the Community, and for the community). That commentary attracted the notice of Eddie Roth, an editorial writer for the Post-Dispatch, who reported about us on his blog (Plaudits for Northside Neighborhood,which begins with the assertion that “the Old North St. Louis neighborhood is really gaining traction as a community on the rise”) and has also been posted to the blog for the Greening the Heartland Conference (Old North: national press).
The Greening the Heartland Conference starts today and continues through Tuesday at America’s Center in Downtown St. Louis. The fifth annual conference on green building and sustainability is sponsored by the St. Louis Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. On June 13, the GTH blog put its spotlight on ONSLRG’s past-president and current vice president, John Burse. John will be presenting a workshop at the conference along with ONSLRG executive director Sean Thomas and RHCDA’s deputy director David Dodson. Click HERE to see the text of the interview with John and his thoughts about the revitalization of Old North.

John’s answers to the interview questions provide a good preview of what will be discussed at the workshop on Tuesday: “The work that has gone on in Old North is at a tremendous variety of scales done by a small and committed group of individuals. The driving force in Old North is grass roots based energy which is palpable and I can’t say enough about the level of determination. The principles which have fueled the work are at the heart of what it means to be socially, ecologically, and economically sustainable community.”

For more details about the workshop on Old North’s transformation or other events at the conference, visit the Greening the Heartland Conference website. Online registration for the conference is closed; however, the website notes that “there is still plenty of room at the conference.” If you want to attend, they advise you to “just come and register on-site” (at America’s Center).

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Old North…is the very antithesis of sprawl"

Kaid Benfield, director of the Smart Growth Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, praises the revitalization underway in Old North St. Louis on his NRDC blog: Of the community, by the community, and for the community: the rebirth of Old North Saint Louis.

Benfield’s blog entry touches on a bit of the neighborhood’s history, highlights the Crown Square development, includes pictures of the people and places of Old North that tell the community’s story, and draws some comparisons with other well-known revitalization success stories, such as the Dudley Street neighborhood in Boston.

We are honored to have received such glowing reviews from someone who has such deep understanding of what it takes to develop urban neighborhoods with sustainability, social equity, and walkability in mind. Be sure to visit Kaid Benfield’s blog for the complete story.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Opening Day at the North City Farmers’ Market

The rain let up in time for the crowds to arrive for Saturday morning’s opening day celebration for the second season of the North City Farmers’ Market - and a good time was had by all. Highlights of the day included healthy, fresh food at affordable prices; live music; children’s activities; bike giveaways; a celebrity chef cooking demonstration; and a lot of opportunity for neighbors, friends, and outside supporters to meet and socialize with each other.
Congratulations to all who made the first day of the season such a great success, especially Julia Weese-Young (market coordinator) and Lucas Hudson (project coordinator for the “Everybody Eats” project, which was funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health) and the many neighborhood volunteers and staff from New Roots Urban Farm and Old North St. Louis Restoration Group.
Above: Margaret Bianchetta and Eric McSpadden entertaining the crowd with a soulful mix of jazz and blues.
Several of our city’s public officials came out to show their support for the market and celebrate with the community. Present were…
Above: Fifth Ward Alderwoman April Ford Griffin, demonstrating how to cook fried green tomatoes in a healthy way.
Above: ONSLRG Board Vice President Johnnie Owens greeted 3rd Ward Alderman Freeman Bosley Sr. and Aldermanic President Lewis Reed.
Above: City of St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green posed with opera singer Marlissa Hudson (who also performed for the crowd) and neighborhood resident and poet Bruce Smith.
Thursday, June 5, 2008

Grand Opening Celebration THIS SATURDAY for North City Farmers’ Market

Come on out to celebrate the opening of the second season of the North City Farmers’ Market at the corner of North 14th Street and St. Louis Avenue, right in the heart of Old North St. Louis.
As advertised on the flyer above, we’ll have live music provided by legendary jazz and blues musicians, Eric McSpadden and Margaret Bianchetta, as well as singer Marlissa Hudson (not advertised on the flyer unfortunately), cooking demonstration by Alderwoman April Ford Griffin, free health screenings, and bike giveaways. Join us for the fun!

It’s hard to top the nice plug for the North City Farmers’ Market on, so you might want to click on over to that site to take a look at the good things that the impartial, outside observers at PubDef have to say about Saturday’s kick-off event.

For other updates throughout the season, check out the website for the North City Farmers’ Market, which is currently under construction but will be loaded with good information soon. Also noted on the flyer but worth mentioning again: The North City Farmers’ Market is made possible by a grant to the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group by the Missouri Foundation for Health. We can’t thank them enough for their support of this community building and healthy lifestyle-promoting initiative.


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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