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Archive for May, 2009

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Architecture Students and Cyclists Gather in Old North

While we’ve been recovering from the house tour and working on grant proposals for the Old North Grocery Co-op (watch for more news about that soon), a lot of other things have been going on throughout the neighborhood.

On May 14th we played host to an exhibition of graduate thesis projects by students from the Washington University School of Architecture.  Coordinated by Andrew Faulkner, the event was held at the North Market Apartments community space and provided an opportunity for the students to share their projects and get feedback from the community.

Cristina discusses her plan for a school in Downtown St. Louis

Cristina discusses her plan for a school in Downtown St. Louis

On May 19, Old North welcomed cyclists from throughout the region for the first of the summer series of “Tuesdays with a Twist” bike rides.   Co-sponsored by Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, the Confluence Greenway, Trailnet, Grace Hill, and the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation, the monthly seven-mile rides start and end in Old North and offer riders a chance to enjoy the views from the McKinley Bridge and Branch Street Trestle.  

"Tuesdays with a Twist" riders gather at 14th & St. Louis Avenue

The following flyers provide details about upcoming rides on June 16, July 21, and August 18:

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Congratulations to the Cox Family for Most Enhanced Award

On Friday evening Landmarks Association of St. Louis presented their annual “Most Enhanced Awards” for redevelopment projects that are worthy of attention and praise for preserving and restoring historic properties.  And once again the good folks at Landmarks directed that spotlight toward Old North St. Louis - this time to the property at 1416 Hebert, owned and redeveloped by James and Luz Maria Cox.  In fact, the alley house at 1416 Hebert was featured on the cover of the program for the award celebration.

Before and after shots of the alley house at 1416 Hebert, on the cover of the Most Enhanced Awards Celebration program

Before and after shots of the alley house at 1416 Hebert, on the cover of the Most Enhanced Awards Celebration program

A good crowd of Old North residents and friends joined James and Luz Maria at the awards ceremony to show their support for the individuals and families who have and are continuing to make Old North St. Louis a great place to live.

Ben Schartman, Matt Fernandez, Tom Tschetter, Luz Maria & James Cox, Jeanne & Ernie Stanley on Friday evening.

Ben Schartman, Matt Fernandez, Tom Tschetter, Luz Maria & James Cox, Jeanne & Ernie Stanley on Friday evening.

The investments made by James and Luz Maria represent yet another example of how Old North is changing for the better, sometimes one property at at time or one block at a time.  The photos below show the changes on just one block, with 1416 at the far right.

Just a few years ago, the 1400 block of Hebert was marked by many vacant, deteriorating buildings.

Just a few years ago, the 1400 block of Hebert was marked by many vacant, deteriorating buildings.

Now, the 1400 block of Hebert is one of the most solid in Old North St. Louis.

Now, the 1400 block of Hebert is one of the most solid in Old North St. Louis.

Congratulations to James and Luz Maria and all of their friends, neighbors, volunteers, and contractors who made their home worthy of the Most Enhanced Award.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Scenes from the Old North House & Community Tour

The 2009 House & Community Tour is history - and it turned out to be one of the best in terms of the attendance, the weather, and variety of sites to see.  The following is just a sampling of photos from the big day.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

2 Days to Go! Sneak Previews & Other Opportunities to Support ONSL

With the Old North House & Community Tour just two days away - we want to offer a few glimpses of some of the sights you’ll see, apart from the Crown Square redevelopment. 

This home at 3240 N. 19th Street is nearing completion and has come a long way in less than a year.

This home at 3240 N. 19th Street is nearing completion and has come a long way in less than a year.

As bad as the front looked in July of 2008, the other side was worse, missing the entire back wall.

As bad as the front looked in July of 2008, the other side was worse, missing the entire back wall.

The new building at 1318 Hebert and the historic building at its rear also are nearing completion, with an exciting future as a bed & breakfast, gallery, and meeting space.

The new building at 1318 Hebert and the historic building at its rear also are nearing completion, with an exciting future as a bed & breakfast, gallery, and meeting space.

The owners of both of the above properties graciously have agreed to have their buildings on this year’s tour.  And, as a bonus, you can read more about them on the websites the owners created to chronicle their progress: 

  •  The story of 3240 N. 19th Street can be found at a site with the title of “3 Walls”
  • And you can learn more about the blending of old and new at 1318 Hebert at a site called “1318 Hebert“, with an appropriately descriptive subtitle: “rehabbing a house in the city”

In addition to buying your tickets on the ONSL website, now you can support the work of Old North St. Louis Restoration Group by making an online donation or you can purchase some cool, Old North merchandise, such as t-shirts, mugs, stickers for your car or home.  All you have to do is click on the Buy Stuff  tab along the top of the ONSL.org main page — or you can just click RIGHT HERE.  So, even if you can’t make it to this year’s tour, you can do your part to keep the revitalization moving forward.

But, if you do come out on Saturday, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., you’ll get a chance to see first-hand many of the cool things going on in the neighborhood, including the great spaces shown above.  So, as long as you’re sitting at your computer, why don’t you just click on over to the Buy Stuff page and purchase your tickets now for the low, advance ticket price of $10 instead of paying $12 per ticket on the day of the tour.  (By the way, have we mentioned lately that all tour-goers get free ice cream from Crown Candy Kitchen?)

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

House & Community Tour - Just 3 Days Away! And Some Good Media Coverage Too

Word is spreading like wildfire, with a lot of media folks starting to pick up on how impressive everything is in Old North St. Louis - and how all of it will be on display this coming Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Old North St. Louis House & Community Tour.   See below for some links to recent media coverage, but first we would like to offer a sneak preview of one of the buildings along Crown Square that will be open on the day of the tour:

The historic rehab of the building at 2607 N. 14th is almost complete. It will offer some phenomenal apartmens and fantastic commercial space.

The historic rehab of the building at 2607 N. 14th is almost complete. It will offer some phenomenal apartments and fantastic commercial space.

In March of 2008, the building was in pretty sad shape.

In March of 2008, the building was in pretty sad shape.

This type of redevelopment is winning support from all over the place.   Just this morning, Charlie Brennan had some very kind things to say about the great progress being achieved in Old North St. Louis on his KMOX radio program.  As of today, you can find a link to his interview with Sean Thomas, ONSLRG’s executive director, on the KMOX webpage - or you can click right here to listen: charliebrennanshow050609reonslhousetour

The KMOX website features a link to today's Charlie Brennan show - and a photo of Crown Candy Kitchen

The KMOX website features a link to today's show with comments about the Old North St. Louis House & Community Tour.

Meanwhile, a publication called St. Louis Construction News and Real Estate not only commends the Crown Square development, they have decided to present the development team with their Regional Excellence Award for Neighborhood Redevelopment.  You can read more about that on their website by clicking here.  The judges noted that Crown Square is “one of the largest and most exciting neighborhood redevelopment projects in the city.  In addition to breathing new life into the abandoned buildings along the former mall, this development will restore the 2600 and 2700 blocks of  N. 14th Street as a drivable but pedestrian-friendly street.”  Congratulations to all, including Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s co-developers, RHCDA, our general contractor, E. M. Harris Construction Co., and architects, Rosemann & Associates.

Come see what the buzz is all about on Saturday, May 9 at the Old North St. Louis House & Community Tour.  Click right here for more details or to purchase your tickets online.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Old North House & Community Tour - Just 4 Days Away!

With 4 days to go until the Old North St. Louis House & Community Tour (THIS Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), it’s not too late to buy tickets - whether for yourself, your mother (as a nice, early Mother’s Day treat!), your favorite Crown Candy fan, or even the contractor who worked miracles with your latest home repair or improvement project.  And with weather forecasts calling for pleasant temperatures and sunny skies, what better way to spend a nice spring Saturday. 

The forecast for Saturday, courtesy of Weather.com

The forecast for Saturday, courtesy of Weather.com

If you’d like to help us get the word out to people who could benefit from seeing the revitalization of a cool, historic and dynamic community, please send them a link to this site (www.ONSL.org/blog), a link to the YouTube video promoting the tour, or stop by the ONSLRG office at 14th & St. Louis Avenue to pick up a pile of postcards to deliver to the restaurants, coffee houses, libraries, or other public places you’ll be visiting in the next few days.

The postcard above is in the mail - with many more still in the ONSLRG office

The postcard above is in the mail - with many more still in the ONSLRG office

It’s also not too late to help out on the day of the tour as a volunteer.  We still have openings for house greeters, registration area workers, balloon inflaters and distributors, and many more exciting positions.  All volunteers receive complimentary lunch, a free ticket to the tour, and an invitation to the after-party.  Call the ONSLRG office at 314-241-5031 or send an email to jane@onsl.org if you can join us for a few hours on the day of the tour.  And if you just want to purchase a ticket (or a dozen), you can do so right here - without having to get up from your computer.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Old North Residents Pitch In and Clean Up the Neighborhood

Yesterday was the third of three designated Old North St. Louis spring clean-up days - and residents from different parts of the neighborhood and friends from outside Old North joined efforts to beautify the community.  The community-minded people of Old North St. Louis understand what the Dalai Lama means when he shares an old Tibetan saying that “wherever you feel at home, you are at home.  If your surroundings are pleasant, you are at home.”  They carve time out of their busy schedules to make the community as attractive and welcoming as it can be, so that all residents and visitors will feel at home in Old North. 

The following pictures capture just a little bit of Saturday’s neighborhood-wide clean-up, with volunteers fanning out to pick up trash, cut the grass, pull weeds, plant flowers, and take care of property that is not their own but nevertheless shapes the image of their community.

Stefene and Thom pick up trash along Palm Street

Stefene and Thom pick up trash along Palm Street

Cleaning out the backyard of a vacant building

Cleaning out the backyard of a vacant building

Ernie cutting the grass in front of a speculator-owned property on his block

Ernie cutting the grass in front of a speculator-owned property on his block

Veronica and Brian preparing for work in the 13th Street Community Garden

Veronica and Brian preparing for work in the 13th Street Community Garden

Clearing branches from the side of the Hebert St. Community Garden

Clearing branches from the side of the Hebert St. Community Garden

Dave and Matt clear debris from a city-owned lot on North Market

Dave and Matt clear debris from a city-owned lot on North Market

Come see the results of their hard work and get a sense of the Old North community spirit next Saturday, May 9 during the Old North St. Louis House & Community Tour.

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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