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Archive for October, 2010

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Neighbors Plan Old North Halloween Route & Activities

Further proof of the vitality of community life in Old North St. Louis:  Old North residents have taken the initiative to start a new neighborhood tradition with a plan for a Halloween evening of trick or treating at more than two dozen homes, businesses, and community gathering places.  Among the stops on the map are the 13th Street Community Garden, Old North Grocery Co-op, and the Urban Studio Cafe.  From 5-7 p.m. on Sunday evening, the children of the neighborhood will get a chance to collect some treats while the parents, guardians, and other adults will get a chance to get out for a walk through the neighborhood and to see more of their neighbors.

See below for the flyer that is being distributed to neighbors throughout Old North.  Please pass this along to any neighbors who might have missed receiving a flyer at their home:

 

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Crown Square to Receive National Preservation Award

The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced today that the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group and the Regional Housing & Community Development Alliance will receive the National Trust/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation for the Crown Square redevelopment of the former 14th Street Pedestrian Mall.

The National Trust will recognize the Crown Square development and present the award at their National Preservation Conference in Austin, Texas, next week.  The announcement of the awards to be presented next week has been posted on the National Trust’s website and includes the following assessment from Stephanie Meeks, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

“In Old North Saint Louis, there’s a new spirit of achievement and optimisim.  The rehabilitation of this vibrant, diverse neighborhood is creating jobs, spurring additional revitalization and demonstrating there’s no building that’s more green or more sustainable than a historic building given new life.”

For more information about the award, click on the following link to the webite of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  The story has already started receiving coverage from local media, including a report by Rachel Lippmann on St. Louis Public Radio, and an article in the St. Louis Beacon.  

Among the reasons that the Crown Square redevelopment has been attracting national attention is the fact that many of the buildings were crumbling into the street before being rescued and transformed into attractive spaces that now provide mixed-income housing for 80 households and providing commericial / retail spaces that are attracting new businesses to serve the community.

2423 Blair before redevelopment.

2423 Blair after redevelopment.

2423 Blair after redevelopment.

2712 N. 14th before redevelopment.

2712 N. 14th after redevelopment.

2712 N. 14th after redevelopment.

2601-2607 N. 14th Street before redevelopment.

2601-2607 N. 14th Street before redevelopment.

2601-2607 N. 14th after redevelopment.

2601-2607 N. 14th after redevelopment.

2822-2830 N. 14th before redevelopment.

2822-2830 N. 14th before redevelopment.

2820-2830 N. 14th Street after redevelopment.

2820-2830 N. 14th Street after redevelopment.

Just about all of the 27 historically rehabbed buildings have been finished for more than a year now, but the 2600 and 2700 blocks of N. 14th Street haven’t been opened to automobile traffic yet because the street lights aren’t installed yet.  Today, however, installation of the light poles began, which means the street will be opened, once and for all, in the very near future!  Some of these posts are visible in the photo at the top of this post but can be seen better in the photo below.  Stay tuned for more news on that front.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday at 1 p.m. is 2nd Performance of Delilah’s Wish at Old North Gallery

A full house at Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s Crown Village Gallery enjoyed a peformance yesterday of Delilah’s Wish.  The 50-minute play, starring and written by Mariah Richardson, is a production of Metro Theater Company and deals with issues of community, diversity, and grappling with the fact that not everybody sees the world in the same way.  It’s a moving story that appeals to young and not-so-young audiences.  Come on out today for another performance at 1 p.m.  The play is free and takes place at 2700 N. 14th Street, in the heart of Crown Square, with plenty of off-street parking behind the building.

Mariah spent time after the performance answering questions from the audience.

Mariah spent time after the performance answering questions from the audience.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Great Crowd, Cool Music, and Lively Celebration at North City Farmers’ Market Closing Day

The festivities are in progress right now along the stretch of the 2700 block of North 14th Street, just south of St. Louis Avenue.  The North City Farmers’ Market end-of-season celebration continues until 1 p.m., with live music from Raw Earth, a lively celebrity chef competition, a best brownie contest, crafts, and lots of great healthy foods!  Come on out!

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Therapy Boutique is Now Open at Crown Square…& So Much More Going on in Old North!

The St. Louis Beacon was here this morning for their monthly installment of “Beacon & Eggs” - and they’ve posted some good shots of the event on the Beacon’s facebook album.  Among the panelists discussing new developments in Old North was Ebony Wilson, who announced that Therapy Boutique would open for business today, with an official grand opening to be scheduled later.

We’re pleased to report that Therapy Boutique is, indeed, now open for business at 2717 N. 14th Street!  Ebony, the owner & stylist for Therapy, joins attorney Norah Ryan (at 2708 N. 14th Street) and the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group (at 2700 N. 14th) as the third occupant of commercial space on the 2700 block of N. 14th.  Meanwhile, a few other prospects are close to signing leases for space on the 2600 block, and we could be just days away from getting the street lights installed, which will make it possible for the street to be opened, once and for all.

Therapy Boutique - “where shopping relieves tension, stress, and all that other mess!” - will be open 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 12-4 on Sunday.  These are introductory hours and subject to change, so you may want to give Ebony a call at 314-241-SHOP or send her an email (Therapy@hotmail.com) to check for any updates.  The boutique is already drawing visitors and customers from Crown Candy, right across St. Louis Avenue.

Ebony Wilson, enjoying the thrill of her first day in business.

Ebony Wilson, enjoying the thrill of her first day in business.

Old North resident V. Lane stopped in with some friends to welcome Ebony to the neighborhood.

Old North resident V. Lane stopped in with some friends to welcome Ebony to the neighborhood.

Be sure to stop by to say hi to Ebony and to take a look at the selection of dresses, accesories, and other fashionable items at Therapy.

Be sure to stop by to say hi to Ebony and to take a look at the selection of dresses, accessories, and other fashionable items at Therapy.

This weekend provides the perfect opportunity for a visit to Therapy, either on Saturday, while you’re right outside the front doors for the closing day celebration at the North City Farmers’ Market (9 a.m.-1 p.m.) and/or when you’re taking in the the performance of Delilah’s Wish (at 1 p.m. Saturday & Sunday).   And speaking of the North City Farmers’ Market, Sauce Magazine’s blog provides a nice pitch for coming out to the market tomorrow.  Click the following link to read “Three Reasons to Help North City Farmers’ Market Close the Season“.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Upcoming Events in Old North include North City Farmers’ Market End of Season Celebration, Metro Theater Co. Play, and Cinema St. Louis Film

The next 9 days will bring a steady stream of events and activities to Old North.

On Thursday the 14th, the Old North Grocery Co-op will hold its first official meeting for Member-Owners (and you can join us for that — all you have to do is join the co-op!  Visit the Membership Page at OldNorthGrocery.com to join online or to download a membership form).

On Friday, October 15th, the St. Louis Beacon will bring “Beacon & Eggs” to the Old North Gallery.  This event, scheduled to start at 8 a.m., includes an opportunity to meet editors and staff from the Beacon prior to an hour-hour long panel discussion on the topic of Old North’s current wave of development and recent activities.  Panelists include Sean Thomas, ONSLRG’s executive director; Claire Wolff of the Urban Studio Cafe; Avis Laden from Habitat for Humanity St. Louis; and Ebony Wilson, who will be opening Therapy, a new fashion boutique at 2717 N. 14th this week.

On Saturday, October 16, the North City Farmers’ Market will hold the last market day of the season from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. along N. 14th Street just south of St. Louis Avenue.  If you haven’t been to the market this year, don’t miss this last opportunity in 2010 to experience one of America’s “Top 20″ Favorite Markets, especially since the season-end celebration will include a battle of celebrity chefs (Brian Hale from the Chase Park Plaza vs. award-winning chef Jack MacMurray of Sage restaurant), a Brownie Competition (bring out your best brownies and you could win a fancy dinner prepared by our own Chef Ivy!), a Cactus Display by local artist Seitu, and live music by Raw Earth, a Gardening Class on the topic of “Preparing for next year”, PLUS crafts, baked goods, and LOCAL PRODUCE!

On both Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th, at 1 p.m., Metro Theater Company will bring the play, Delilah’s Wish, to the Old North Gallery.  The play, which is set in Old North St. Louis, features local playwrite and actress Mariah Richardson in the family-friendly performance.  The play is free (although a $5 contribution is requested to help offset the costs).

At 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21, ONSLRG and Trailnet will co-host a community meeting at the the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group office and gallery on the topic of the planning for a Bikeable & Walkable Master Plan for Old North.  Come on out to see how the plan is coming together and to offer your ideas and suggestions for making improvements to the sidewalks, streets, and other paths throughout the neighborhood.

On Friday, October 22nd at 7 p.m., the Old North Gallery will open its doors for another free film brought to us through a partnership of ONSLRG and Cinema St. Louis.  The October feature is a Halloween treat, the animated film, “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.”  The movie starts at 7 p.m.

For information about any of these events or activities, call the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group at 314-241-5031.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Scenes from “Open Streets” in Old North and North City Farmers’ Market

The heart of Old North St. Louis was abuzz with activity on Saturday as a mix of cyclists, hikers, strollers, and skaters participating in the City’s “Open Streets“ day crossed paths with shoppers at the North City Farmers’ Market at Crown Square.  Just up the street at Wingmann Park (west of 14th between Wright and Dodier), Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s greenspace committee and Habitat for Humanity worked with volunteers and resources from Operation Brightside to make significant improvements to the triangular community garden.

Zara prepares to sell some coffee at the Urban Studio Cafe stand.

Stephen and James kept busy at the bike repair and tune-up station.

Stephen and James kept busy at the bike repair and tune-up station.

Free bike helmets and helmet-fittings, courtesy of St. Louis Children's Hospital and Forks & Feet Forward Old North!

Free bike helmets and helmet-fittings, courtesy of St. Louis Children's Hospital and Forks & Feet Forward Old North!

The bungee run.

The bungee run.

Sarah Kate Buckles, Manager of Old North Grocery Co-op, staffed the co-op's stand at the market.

Boxing lessons were among the many aerobic activities offered as part of the Open Streets events.

A main-stay at the market, Willie offered a variety of greens and sweet potatoes, fresh from his farm.

Inside the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s office, Washington University presented another one of their weekly family nutrition cooking classes, while ONSLRG’s gallery was the setting for a presentation to University of Missouri journalism students, led by Kara Lubischer of MU Extension, about the variety of healthy eating initiatives under way in Old North.

Next weekend will bring even more activity to Crown Square as the North City Farmers’ Market finishes up its 4th season with the last market day of the year (9 a.m.-noon on Sat., Oct. 16 - check www.northcityfarmersmarket.org for details), and as Metro Theater Company brings two performances of Delilah’s Wish to the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s gallery at 2700 N. 14th Street on Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th.  See below.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

“Open Streets” in Old North on Saturday, Oct. 9

Forks and Feet Forward Old North! has partnered with the City of St. Louis to bring the St. Louis Open Streets to Old North St. Louis Saturday, October 9th, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.  Open Streets is a FREE community event for all ages.  You’re invited to take to the streets to walk, bike, play, and rediscover the City on car-free streets.  It’s a huge street festival!  You learn more about Open Streets on the City’s Website: http://stlouis.missouri.org/open-streets/

Forks and Feet Forward Old North (FFFON!) will host an “activity hub” along 14th Street with fun activities for all ages, including the following:
• A climbing wall (courtesy of Upper Limits climbing gym)
• Free bike helmet giveaways (courtesy of Children’s Hospital and FFFON!)
• Live music in conjunction with the North City Farmers’ Market
• Zumba classes
• Yoga classes
• A free-throw competition
• Free bike tune-ups (courtesy of our neighborhood bike gurus Stephen and James)
• Hula hoops
• An inflatable “bounce house”
• A youth bike rodeo to teach safe cycling (courtesy of Trailnet)
• Health screenings (courtesy of Grace Hill)
• Nutrition education (courtesy of BJC)

All of this will be happening along N. 14th Street.  Also on the street will be the North City Farmers’ Market, which is winding down the 2010 season with one more Saturday after this week. 

Because the streets will be OPEN for bicyclists, joggers, skaters, and strollers, that means the streets will be closed to cars from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Wright Street, however, will be open as the only street north of North Market that will allow cars to cross N. 14th Street.  See below for street closure information and a map of the area.

If you’re coming to the neighborhood for the Old North Grocery Co-op or the North City Farmers’ Market and want to get to the parking lot off of 13th Street and Montgomery, the best option is to come up North Florissant to St. Louis Avenue; go east on St. Louis Avenue 1 block to Blair; take a left and go north on Blair 1 block to Wright Street; take a right and go east on Wright for 2 blocks to 13th Street; take a right on 13th Street and go 2 blocks south to the parking lot which will be on the right, just past St. Louis Avenue.

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Memorial Service for Johnnie Owens - Sat., Oct. 2 at 11 a.m.

The memorial service for Johnnie Owens will take place tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 2) at 11 a.m. at Christ Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church on N. Kingsighway.

As noted in previous posts - and echoed in the many comments posted by others - Johnnie was well-loved throughout the community and will be sorely missed by 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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