Archive for November, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday Links for Purchasing from Old North Businesses & Organizations

If you’re making your post-Thanksgiving purchases online on this “Cyber Monday,” then please consider the following options:

(1) Show your pride and support for Old North St. Louis with a mug, t-shirt, window cling, sticker or other merchandise from Old North St. Louis Restoration Group.  Click HERE to purchase any of these items.  You can also use this link to make a tax-deductible contribution to ONSLRG as a gift in honor of a friend or relative.

(2) Old North Grocery Co-op… You can purchase a gift membership by clicking HERE.

(3) Crown Candy Kitchen… Click HERE to purchase candy for shipping almost anywhere.

(4) Therapy Boutique… click HERE for dresses, jewelry, and other fashionable items from the first of Crown Square’s new retail establishments.

(5) Rambles Gift Gallery & Boutique - via… click HERE for “fun, funky, and functional” one-of-a-kind gifts from Crown Square’s newest retailer.

(6) La Mancha Coffeehouse… although it doesn’t look like they have an online ordering option right now, you can send an email to inquire about ordering baked goods as a special treat for those on your gift-getting list or for catering your holiday event.  Click HERE for their website.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Crown Square Wins Another National Award

On November 15, the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association announced that Old North’s Crown Square redevelopment of the former 14th Street Mall was among the winners of their annual J. Timothy Anderson Awards for Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation.   At the awards ceremony in Boston, NHRA presented the award for “Best Historic Rehabilitation Utilizing New Markets Tax Credits” to Crown Square.

According to NHRA’s website, the J. Timothy Anderson Awards “honor outstanding rehabilitation and preservation projects based on several criteria, including overall design and quality, interpretation and respect of historic elements, and market success.”   The $35 million Crown Square development was made possible with New Markets Tax Credits, which were used as part of the complex array of financing for the portion of the project that included commercial spaces and the market rate apartments along the 2600 and 2700 blocks of N. 14th Street.

Crown Square was developed by a partnership of Old North St. Louis Restoration Group and Regional Housing & Community Development Alliance, with E. M. Harris Construction Co. as the general contractor and Rosemann & Associates as the project architect.

For information about the award-winning residential spaces, contact the Kohner Properties management office for Crown Square at 314-588-7267 (or send an email to  For leasing information about the commercial spaces, contact Susan Sauer of Duffe-Nuernberger Realty at 314-571-7654 (or send an email to

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shop for the Holidays in Old North

With the traditional start of the holiday shopping season almost upon us, we offer the following suggestions for finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list while supporting community-based development at the same time.  As an added bonus, you won’t have to rush away from your turkey dinner or get up at midnight to take advantage of these great deals - the shops of Crown Square and Old North aren’t going for any of that door-busting, middle-of-the- night or crack of dawn gimmickry.  In fact, shopping in Old North promises to be much more relaxing, enjoyable, and friendly compared to the chaos and hype of the malls and big box retailers.

Therapy Boutique, 2717 N. 14th Street.

Therapy is offering a special deal on Friday:  25% off on shoes and apparel.  The store will be open 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Rambles Gift Gallery & Boutique, 2611 N. 14th Street.

Rambles will have special hours on Friday:  10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Closet Repeats,  2603 N. 14th Street.

Regular hours at Closet Repeats are Wednesday - Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Old North Grocery Co-op, 2718 N. 13th Street (one block east of Crown Square)

James Anderson stopped by the store earlier today to pick up his fresh and local turkey.

James Anderson stopped by the store earlier today to pick up his fresh and local turkey.

Here's an idea for a unique gift - consider purchasing an Old North Grocery Co-op tote bag and fill it with a variety of non-perishable, local goods sold at the store. Or you can use the tote bag as an Old North Sampler bag with an assortment of items from the co-op and other Old North shops.

Here's an idea for a unique gift - purchase an Old North Grocery Co-op tote bag and fill it with non-perishable goods from the store or create your own Old North sampler gift bag with an assortment of items from the co-op and other Old North shops.

La Mancha Coffeehouse, 2815 N. 14th Street:

Stop in for breakfast, lunch, or just a cup of coffee or a smoothie, and while you’re at it, you can purchase some locally produced artwork, from tie-dye prints to t-shirts, and coming soon: woolen items produced by Andrea Berry.

Old North Merchandise from Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, online at or at 2700 N. 14th Street (although the office will be closed on Friday, Nov. 25).

The above items and much more can be purchased at the ONSLRG office or online by clicking HERE.

Original artwork by Seitu James Smith or Carlos Barberena, currently on exhibit at the Old North Gallery adjacent to Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s office, 2700 N. 14th Street.

The “Nosotros, Los Otros / We, the Others” exhibit is sponsored by Missouri Immigrant & Refugee Advocates with support from the Missouri Arts Council.  The exhibit is open during ONSLRG’s regular business hours (Mon.-Fri., 9-5) and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, except Thanksgiving weekend.

Crown Candy Kitchen, 1401 St. Louis Avenue.

Customers already lined up and out the door for Crown Candy's holiday chocolates and other treats

At lunch time today, customers were already lined up and out the door for Crown Candy's holiday chocolates and other treats.

What more do we need to say?  Crown Candy offers candy, t-shirts, mugs, and gift certificates for meals.

Poor Souls Society Art Gallery, 2701 N. 14th Street.

Poor Souls Society Art Gallery hosts a number of activities but also includes a number of items for sale, including original art.

Old North St. Louis Holiday Market - Saturday, December 17, 11a.m.-5 p.m. at Old North Gallery, 2700 N. 14th Street.

Watch for more details coming soon about this great, new Old North holiday tradition in the making.  In addition to several vendors selling great hand-made gifts (from soaps to knitted items and fresh, baked goods), the Old North Holiday Market will feature Amanda Doyle, who will be on hand to sell and sign copies of her new book, “Finally, a Locally Produced Guidebook to St. Louis by and for St. Louisans.”  Click HERE to see our previous post about this book.

And, if you’re feeling especially generous, how about taking advantage of a great deal on some properties in Old North?

We’ve got some great fixer-uppers for the rehabbers in your life, or some nice move-in ready houses for your friends who live outside the city but would love to have a home closer to all of the great attractions and amenities our city offers, including world-class restaurants, shops, museums, professional sporting venues, and so much more. Click HERE to see our recent post about homebuying and rehabbing opportunities in Old North.

Happy Thanksgiving - and have a great holiday season!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Virtual Old North St. Louis

For the past year or so ONSLRG has been working with University of Missouri St. Louis staff to create a virtual version of Old North St. Louis utilizing the Virtual City Program. The result is a model of what the built environment of Old North St. Louis may have looked like throughout time.

To use Virtual City, you will need to have Google Earth installed on your computer. Currently, only Crown Square and the 2700 Block of N 13th St. has been created. More of the neighborhood will be added over time, and the existing modeling will be refined.

The current model of the neighborhood can be found here. When you open the file, give it some time to load for best results. Click on the files in temporary places to load buildings. There is a time-line in the upper left corner that moves through time, and you will see buildings appear and disappear. Most of the structures at this point are modeled to show mass, scale, and siting. Generic building fronts from the neighborhood are pasted onto the structure. Over time this will be refined to show more detail. For more information about a building, you can click on the little dog in front of each building with more details.

While it is fun to see what once was built in Old North, it is also good to look toward the future. Since the time line extends nearly two decades into the future, we thought it would be a good idea to utilize Virtual City to develop some future development ideas. For now, we have developed three alternatives for future development for a plot of land that ONSLRG owns at the Northwest corner of Montgomery and 13th St. By no means are we committed to any one design, this exercise is meant to create discussion and ideas for a possible future project that at this point has no funding for any alternative. We would like to ask for constructive feedback on these potential ideas. What do you like about the current designs?  What would you like to see designed differently?  And let us know why you are making the suggestions you are offering.  Feel free to post your comments here by clicking on the “Leave a Comment” link at the top left side of this post.  You can also send any constructive feedback that you may have to Matt Fernandez, our Community Development Specialist, at Matt (at)  To see each alternative, click the link below each preview image displayed below.  You may also come by the ONSLRG office anytime and we will show you the Virtual City on one of our computers.

Contemporary loft development.

Contemporary loft development.

Click the following link to view the Contemporary loft development alternative on the Virtual City program.

Mixed-use development with traditional design.

Mixed-use development with traditional design.

Click the following link to view the Traditional design alternative.

Green homes development.

Green homes development.

Click the following link to view the Green homes alternative.

Stay tuned as this program gets filled with more images and as we flesh out the instructions for access and use.  In the meantime, enjoy the stroll down some of the streets of Old North as they may have looked at various stages in history.

Images currently loaded onto a view of Montgomery Street looking east from N. 14th Street in 1955.

Images currently loaded onto a view of Montgomery Street looking east from N. 14th Street in 1955.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Homebuying & Rehab Opportunities in Old North

With interest rates at historic lows and home prices more affordable than in almost any other time in the past few decades, now is a great time to buy a house - and Old North St. Louis has a few that can accommodate a variety of interests and needs.  According to a number of sources (including this report on CBS News’ MoneyWatch, this article in the Wall Street Journal, and a report on CNN/Money that listed St. Louis in the Top 10 Cities for Homebuyers), low interest rates and lower home prices have made mortgage payments more affordable than renting in many places.

If you’re in the market for a new house with architectural features that reflect the historic character of Old North - and within easy walking distance of the neighborhood grocery co-op, a landmark restaurant/candy store/ ice cream parlor, a one-of-a-kind coffee shop, and several new retail establishments at Crown Square, then the home at 1319 North Market is worth checking out.  And, the home is now listed at only $125,000.  For details on all this house offers, click HERE for a downloadable flyer.  Or to visit the webpage for the house created by Dawn Griffin of Circa Properties, click HERE .

If you’re looking for an old, historic tax credit eligible shell that could be rehabbed to suit your creative desires, ONSLRG also has several historic properties that the organization purchased from the City’s Land Reutilization Authority and stabilized for future redevelopment.  Click HERE for a downloadable listing of these properties with recent pictures of current conditions and images of what these cool, old buildings could look like after rehab.  (These images and the marketing materials were produced by two of our summer interns, Annie White and Angela Kress, students at Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts).

If you’re looking for a historic home that’s already in move-in condition, there are a few of those around the neighborhood, as well, and you can find locations, list prices, realtor contact numbers, and other details by clicking HERE for the November edition of the Available Properties list.  ONSLRG’s Community Development Specialist, Matt Fernandez, regularly updates our Available Properties Listing, which can be downloaded from the Real Estate pages of our website or picked up at the ONSLRG office.

Call Matt at 314-241-5031, ext. 101, or send him an email (matt AT to find out how to make an offer on any of the properties owned by ONSLRG, to get more information about the home-buying process in Old North, or to learn more about any of the properties on the list.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Street Mural Graces Intersection of N. 14th & Warren

Under the leadership of Lucas Rouggly, staff from LOVEtheLOU organized the painting of a street mural at the intersection of N. 14th Street and Warren Street this past weekend. The costs related to the project were covered by Pursuit Communities.  The colorful image of a fleur-de-lis fills the intersection just south of the recently redeveloped buildings at Crown Square.

The wording around the edges, written by Lucas Rouggly, reads:  ”My city is a Mother and I am her child.  Her greatness is not found in the size of her monument but in the lives she harbors underneath.  Her children are like a colorful mural, and they define her.  When they come together, she is pleased.  I love my Mother and I will look after her.”

Design credits go to artists Dexter Silvers and Elysia King.

This intersection mural is the first of seven that the group has planned, leading from Old North to the loft district downtown.  Come on by to take a look!


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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