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Friday, December 31, 2010

Huge Year for Old North in 2010 - Part 1

With a couple hours left to celebrate the accomplishments of 2010… and to make a tax-deductible contribution to support our work into 2011 (as noted in the previous post, with a link to our online contributions page), this is as good a time as any to review some of the events and activities of this unbelievably busy year.

NEW RESIDENTS

One of the keys to becoming a sustainable and thriving community is attracting and retaining residents.  It’ll be a while before we get neighborhood-level details from the 2010 Census, but we do know that Old North welcomed at least 80 new households to the neighborhood this past year, including new tenants at recently completed Crown Square Apartments; homebuyers who moved into the 17 Habitat for Humanity-built homes on Dodier, Sullivan, and Hebert; and other homebuyers who purchased houses throughout the neighborhood, from North Market to St. Louis Avenue to Hebert.

CROWN SQUARE COMPLETION & RE-OPENING OF 14th STREET

While some of the residential apartments at Crown Square were finished and occupied by the end of 2009, the rest of the apartments, the sidewalks, trees, bike racks, street lights, and the new street were completed at various points throughout 2010, giving us reason to celebrate something new almost every other month.

Although the street didn’t officially open until the end of October - after the street lights were installed, we held our ribbon-cutting and grand opening street festival on July 29.  The film crew from Marvo Entertainment recorded the event for a future production that eventually will air on PBS stations across the country.  Until then, a short clip from the occasion can be viewed online at Marvo Entertainment Group’s website.

Landmarks Association of St. Louis and the National Trust for Historic Preservation gave us even more reasons to celebrate Crown Square when they presented awards to ONSLRG and our development partners at the Regional Housing & Community Development Alliance for our work on Crown Square.  Landmarks presented us with one of their “Most Enhanced Awards” in May (along with one to Old North residents Nico & Nicole Leone, shown in the middle photo below, for the historic rehab of their home on Wright Street) and the National Trust/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation was presented to staff from ONSLRG and RHCDA at the National Preservation Conference in October.

OLD NORTH GROCERY CO-OP OPENED FOR BUSINESS

Old North’s growing population brings with it a greater demand for neighborhood goods and services and other amenities, as well as an increased supply of customers for neighborhood businesses.  To accommodate this demand, and in response to the expressed desires of long-time community residents, ONSLRG initiated efforts to establish a grocery store for Old North and surrounding neighborhoods.  After many months of planning and community meetings, and investment of thousands of hours of volunteer effort to get the building at 2718 N. 13th Street in shape to serve as a grocery store - and support from more people and groups than can be listed here (although UM-Extension, Missouri Foundation for Health, Ken Kranzberg, Kaemmerlen Electric, and IBEW electricians deserve special acknowledgment), the Old North Grocery Co-op opened for business on July 17.

Volunteers from groups such as Students Today-Leaders Forever (mostly from John Carroll University who spent part of their spring break with us), St. Louis area Yale University alumni and current students (who came out for this year’s Yale Day of Service), and students from St. Louis University and Washington University worked side by side with dozens of neighborhood residents and friends of Old North who carried out interior demo, new wall construction, painting, shelf assembly, and countless other tasks for much of the first half of 2010.

 

 

In addition to bringing healthy and affordable foods to Old North, the grocery co-op also brought a lot of outside attention to good things going on in the community.  Among those reporting on the developments in Old North, National Public Radio aired a story about the co-op on NPR stations all over the country.  Click HERE for a link to the NPR page where you can read the transcript or listen to the report by Veronique LaCapra of St. Louis Public Radio.

RE-DEDICATION OF HEBERT STREET GARDEN AS JOHNNIE OWENS GARDEN

We were greatly saddened by the passing of our great friend and longtime ONSLRG board member Johnnie Owens in September, but a few weeks earlier we were able to let Johnnie know how much she meant to all of us when we re-dedicated the Hebert Street Community Garden as a lasting tribute to Johnnie’s many contributions to the community.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2, with images and details about…

-ARTS EVENTS AND OTHER PROGRAMS AT OLD NORTH GALLERY

 

 

-NORTH CITY FARMERS’ MARKET AMONG TOP 20 OF AMERICA’S FAVORITE FARMERS MARKETS

-SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITY GARDENS & DESIGNATION OF 13th STREET GARDEN AS GATEWAY GREENING ”HUB GARDEN”

-NEW BUSINESSES ON 14th STREET

-TOURS AND VISITS FROM FAR & WIDE

-NEW BOOK HIGHLIGHTS REVITALIZATION IN OLD NORTH

In the meantime, have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!

This entry was posted on Friday, December 31st, 2010 at 7:04 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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"Huge Year for Old North in 2010 - Part 1"

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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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