Archive for August, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

Feast Magazine Casts Spotlight on North City Farmers’ Market

Check out the September issue of Feast Magazine and flip to page 23 for an upbeat review of the North City Farmers’ Market.   Special mentions include three of the vendors, referred to as “must-stop stands”: Old North Grocery Co-op, Freddie Lee’s Ghetto Sauce, and 13th Street Community Garden.  Also mentioned in the article:  the great team of neighborhood volunteers who staff some of the tables and other neighborhood food destinations that are here to serve visitors to the market, Crown Candy Kitchen and La Mancha Coffeehouse.

The full text of the article is available for viewing online.  Click HERE to go to the online version of the Feast article.

To find a location where you can pick up a hard copy of this month’s issue, click HERE for a list of all locations where Feast is distributed.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Support North City Farmers’ Market in America’s Favorite Farmers Markets Contest

North City Farmers’ Market once again is entered in American Farmland Trust’s “America’s Favorite Farmers’ Markets” contest.  You can vote by clicking HERE to get taken to the contest page, where you’ll need to type in “North City Famers’ Market” or just the ZIP code “63106″.

When you see North City Farmers’ Market listed, click on that link.  You’ll be asked to identify yourself and your reason why you think it deserves to be counted among America’s favorite markets.  Any answer will work — but be sure to click on the button to cast your vote.  They’ll also give you an opportunity to make a contribution to support American Farmland Trust, which you are free to do, but it is not required for casting your vote.

Local Food and Local Farms

If you have a good reason for voting that you’d like to share with us here, please click on the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link at the top left side of this post.  And if you’d like to pass this post along to someone else you think might want to vote for North City Farmers’ Market in this contest, click on the envelope symbol at the top left side of this post.

However, if you need a few reminders of what others have found appealing about North City Farmers’ Market, consider the following characteristics of Old North’s weekly market in the heart of Crown Square:

Healthy and Fresh Fruits & Vegetables (& Other Tasty Foods)

Live Music

Healthy Cooking Demonstrations & Free Samples

Children’s Activities

Weekly Opportunities to Build Relationships with Neighbors

Wonderful Volunteers

Free Blood Pressure Checks & Healthy Lifestyle Information

Great Neighborhood Setting in the Heart of a Diverse, Historic Community

Variety of “Other” Vendors Selling Non-Food Items

A Component of a Healthy & Sustainable Lifestyle

For all of the above reasons, please take a moment to support this great Old North St. Louis amenity by voting for it in the America’s Favorite Farmers’ Markets Contest.  And come on out every Saturday to let the vendors and volunteers know that you appreciate their presence, their hard work, and their contribution to the quality of life in Old North.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Neighborhood Development Blog Takes Note of Projects in Old North

Several project currently under way in Old North St. Louis have caught the attention of the St. Louis Neighborhood Development Blog, which bills itself as a “catalog of St. Louis developments, large and small.”  In the past couple weeks, three buildings in different parts of Old North have benefited from the blog’s spotlight.  All three of these buildings had been condemned for occupancy - or even threatened with demolition - at various points in the past.

Most recently, the blog featured the rehab of 1418 Hebert (below) by James Cox & Luz-Maria Evans Cox.  James & Luz-Maria previously had transformed the property next door at 1416 (including the alley house) into a Landmarks Association “Most Enhanced” Award-winning historic rehab.

After 1418 Hebert was nearly destroyed by fire in 2005, the City’s building division condemned the building for demolition.  Many neighbors and the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group (ONSLRG) contacted the building division and the alderwoman to advocate for removal of the demolition order while a buyer could be recruited to preserve and develop the building.  The building eventually ended up in the hands of investors who could not secure financing, and the building’s survival became less and less likely as exposure to the elements took its toll.  Thankfully James and Luz-Maria stepped forward to rescue the building and are now in the midst of another prize-worthy transformation.

Last week, the rehab of 1306 St. Louis Avenue (below) received the attention of the neighborhood development blog.

This building was one of 8 historic Land Reutilization Authority (LRA) properties acquired by ONSLRG in 2009 for the sake of stabilizing them for future redevelopment.

With a front wall bowing out toward the street, 1306 St. Louis Avenue was in danger of collapse when ONSLRG invested the funds necessary to provide the structural support and other stabilization work to ensure its longer term prospects.  After a sale to STL North LLC and funding from the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, ONSLRG managed the redevelopment of the building for its new life as the home of Northside Workshop, a non-profit art space founded by award-winning artist, Juan William Chavez.

The house at 1227 North Market (below) made it onto the blog two weeks ago.  This particular house (another property acquired from LRA by ONSLRG) was not in great shape when Matt Fernandez purchased the long-vacant building, but it got a lot worse before Matt and his friends and family brought it back from the brink of extinction.

The dramatic recovery can only be fully appreciated when viewed alongside images shortly after the front wall collapsed (see below) following the second of two devastating storms that hit the building.

Old North is home to several other historic properties ready for development.  If you’d like to explore the possibilities of creating your own, unique space with the character and integrity that comes with a 140-year old architecturally significant marvel, click HERE for a PDF listing of rehab-ready buildings available from ONSLRG, or contact Matt at the ONSLRG office (; 314-241-5031, ext. 102).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Recent Events at Old North St. Louis Restoration Group Gallery

Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s Gallery at 2700 N. 14th Street in the heart of Crown Square has been a busy place lately.  Just within the past week, the following events took place at our gallery:

Pruitt-Igoe Now Exhibit

The walls of the Old North Gallery are covered with 31 poster-boards depicting a diverse range of creative ideas for redeveloping the former Pruitt-Igoe public housing site, a large, overgrown tract of land a short distance to the south and west of Old North.  Each display board represents a finalist in the Pruitt-Igoe Nowdesign competition, which put out a call to the creative community worldwide to  re-imagine the 57 acres on which the Pruitt and Igoe housing projects once were located.

The opening reception for the exhibit on July 25 included some of the artists, architects, designers, planners, and other creative teams who submitted ideas, concepts and designs through this competition. Among the finalists was Annie White, who had worked with ONSLRG as an intern last summer. The Third Prize winning proposal was submitted by Social Agency Lab, which partnered with ReBuild Foundation of Hyde Park to incorporate creative ideas of students living in the area, some of whom attended the reception with their families.  For more information on the competition, visit the Pruitt-Igoe Now site.

The crowd at the July 25 opening reception listening to Bob Hansman of Washington University's School of Architecture describe the selection process.

The crowd at the July 25 opening reception listening to Bob Hansman of Washington University's School of Architecture describe the selection process.

The exhibit will remain at our gallery through Aug. 31 and can be viewed during ONSLRG’s regular business hours (9-5, M-F) or on Saturday mornings during the hours of the North City Farmers’ Market (9 a.m.-noon).

Old North St. Louis Quality of Life Meeting

The next evening a different crowd gathered at the Old North Gallery for the monthly Old North Quality of Life meeting on July 26.  At this meeting, neighborhood residents received updates from Lt. Donnell Moore of the 4th District (who reported that they have very few problems in Old North), 5th District Commander, Capt. Mary Edwards-Fears, and Liaison Officer Lori Wozniak.  Vela Hermann reported on opportunities for residents to join the others who have already signed up to help with various components of the Old North Neighborhood Ownership Plan, including citizen patrols.  Also on the topic of neighborhood safety, Beth Moser, Gateway Greening’s Americorps Summer Associate helping with the 13th Street Garden volunteers, reported on the National Night Out celebration planned for Tuesday, Aug. 7 at the 13th Street Community Garden (including a bonfire for roasting hot dogs & marshmallows).  And Juan Chavez discussed programming at the new Northside Workshop space at 1306 St. Louis Avenue, including this week’s class with the World Chess Hall of Fame and the Chess
Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.

Old North Grocery Co-op Annual Meeting

Members of the Old North Grocery Co-op assembled on Saturday, July 28 for the co-op’s 2nd Annual Members’ Meeting.  In addition to updates on the steady improvements at the store - and a challenge to the members to shop more at the store and to recruit more neighbors to shop there, the meeting included election of 2 new co-op board members, Keith Marquard and David Holden, and acknowledgments and expressions of appreciation to former manager Sarah Kate Buckles and outgoing / retired board members, Matt Fernandez, Stefene Russell, and Sean Thomas.

Co-Manager Jill Whitmann updates members on recent improvements at the store.

Co-Manager Jill Whitmann updates members on recent improvements at the store.

“Jumpstart Your Business” Program, Featuring Author Susan S. Elliott, Presented by Regions Bank

On Monday morning (July 30), Regions Bank presented an information session focused on resources for small businesses.  With sponsorship support from St. Louis American, the program featured presentations by Bob Newman of the SBA, Tim Hill of Regions, Galen Gondolfi of Justine Petersen, and keynote speaker, Susan Elliott, founder, chairman and former President/CEO of SSE.

After the session, Susan Elliott signed copies of her book, Across the Divide: Navigating the Digital Revolution as a Woman, Entrepreneur and CEO.

If you’d like to support ONSLRG’s commitment to making this space available for events that bring programming to the neighborhood or activities that enrich the quality of life in Old North, a financial contribution of any amount would help ONSLRG cover the costs of rent, utilities, clean-up, equipment and furnishing tables, chairs, table cloths, etc.  You can make a contribution online by clicking HERE or in person at the ONSLRG office or by mailing a check to:  ONSLRG, 2700 N. 14th Street, St. Louis, MO  63106.

And, if you have an event or exhibit you’d like to bring to the Old North Gallery, please contact the ONSLRG office by phone at 314-241-5031 or email:


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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