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Archive for January, 2013

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Old North Neighborhood Open Meeting Thursday, Jan. 31 at 6:30 p.m.

Photo by missriverbridge photos
Photo by missriverbridge photos

Please join us this Thursday, January 31, for the Old North Neighborhood Open Meeting.  The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s gallery, 2700 N. 14th Street.

Speakers include:

  • A representative from MODOT to discuss how the new Mississippi River bridge and work on Interstate 70 will affect the neighborhood / traffic patterns;

    The new westbound I-70 exit at Madison opened this week.

    The new westbound I-70 exit at Madison opened this week.

  • A representative from the Heartland Conservancy to discuss the Mounds Heritage Trail;
  • Officer Wozniak of the 5th Police District to discuss the Neighborhood Ownership Model and other safety issues;
As the flyer says, “Everyone is welcome!”  Please help us spread the word, and invite your neighbors to join you.
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Six Churches in Old North Participate in MLK Day Gathering

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.

In the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commitment to service and community, members of ONSLRG and representatives from six churches serving Old North St. Louis gathered on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at ONSLRG’s gallery for a pot-luck supper to exchange information about the different congregations’ programming that address needs of the community.

Thank you to all who attended, including representatives from the following churches:

  • Fresh Anointing United Pentecostal Church
  • Greater Leonard Missionary Baptist Church
  • Holy Trinity Catholic Church
  • Hope Apostolic Church
  • Saints Cyril & Methodius Polish National Catholic Church
  • True Gospel Temple
We’ll gather information and materials shared at the gathering and will post that on this site later.
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ONSLRG’s Blog Among Finalists for RFT’s 2013 Web Awards

This very blog is among the four finalists for the Riverfront Times 2013 Web Awards in the category of “Best Neighborhood Blog,” as announced in the Jan. 11 edition of the Daily RFT.

Winners will be announced later tonight at the “exclusive awards ceremony” - and we’ll be sure to post the news here if we come home with the award.  In the meantime, thank you to any and all who nominated us, and thank you to the judges for selecting this blog to be recognized among some rather impressive other blogs.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mark Your Calendar for Multiple Ways to Visit, Celebrate, and Support Old North!

The next few weeks will be chock full of events that will provide opportunities to visit, learn more about, celebrate, support, Old North St. Louis (and positive neighborhood development in general).  Come on out to join us at one or move of the following:

Monday, January 21 - 5:30 p.m. - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Gathering

In the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commitment to service and community, ONSLRG will be hosting a gathering of churches serving Old North and providing a forum for an exchange of information about the great variety of programs coordinated by these churches, from food pantries to health screenings.  For more information, contact Claire Wolff, ONSLRG’s Community Engagement Specialist: claire@onsl.org.

Thursday, January 24th - 5:30 p.m. - inveSTL Event at ONSLRG Gallery

inveSTL is a charitable fund at the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation dedicated to supporting the development of great neighborhoods in the St. Louis region.   As part of their efforts to raise awareness about how individuals in the St. Louis area can join them in investing in St. Louis neighborhoods and highlight areas where such investment might help, inveSTL holds monthly “Know Your Neighborhoods” gatherings in different parts of town.  This month, inveSTL is bringing their event to Old North.  Please come on out on Thursday, Jan. 24 to learn more about this great initiative and show your support for Old North at the same time.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at investloldnorth.eventbrite.com.

Saturday, January 26 - 9 a.m. - Cleanup Day in 13th Street Community Garden-

The 13th Street Garden Group and other volunteers will be getting a head-start on prepping the garden for the spring planting season.  Tasks will include prepping the sweet potato bed, cleaning the greenhouse, and various other ground work.   If you’re interested in joining them, contact the ONSLRG office at 314-241-5031 or via email at info@ONSL.org.

Thursday, January 31 - 6:30 p.m. - Old North Neighborhood Open Meeting

In addition to the usual opportunity to get a variety of neighborhood updates and a chance to talk with officers from the 4th & 5th police districts, the January 31 Neighborhood Open Meeting will feature representatives from MoDOT who will report on the progress of construction work on I-70 and the Mississippi River Bridge.  Please join us and spread the word to your neighbors.

Friday, February 1 - Opening of Exhibit of Sustainable Land Lab Competition Design Proposals

The 15 teams selected for round two of the Sustainable Land Lab competition will be submitting concept boards and tentative implementation plans, which will be displayed at the ONSLRG Gallery for public viewing and comment.  Check back for exact details about the exhibit’s opening and viewing opportunities.  For more info about the competition, check out our December 18 post on the 15 teams vying for the chance to implement their creative ideas for sustainable re-uses of 4 empty lots in Old North.

The St. Louis Beacon covered the competition with two articles over the past week.  Click HERE for the first article, “The troubled past and possible futures of 1303 Montgomery St.” and HERE for the second article, “Vacant lots: when temporary change becomes transformational.”

Sunday, February 10 - 9 a.m. - Run for the Chocolate 5K

The St. Louis area’s sweetest 5k run and 1 mile walk returns for a second year with its route coming straight to the heart of Old North on the Sunday before Valentine’s Day.  All registrants will receive a super deluxe “Will Run for Chocolate” event shirt, along with pre-, post-, and mid-race chocolates.  T-shirts will be color-coded, so that you’ll be able to see whether your fellow runners are “on-the-market” (i.e., single) or “off-the-market” in case you’re still looking for a Valentine’s Day date.

Register online at www.runreg.com.  The event also could use some good neighborhood volunteers to help along the route, including passing out water and chocolates.  If that is more appealing than running in the race, contact the ONSLRG office at 314-241-5031 or info@ONSL.org, and we’ll put you in touch with the event organizers.

Monday, February 18 - 6 p.m. - ONSLRG Annual Meeting & Pot-Luck Supper

It’s a full month away, but it’s not too early to start planning your favorite dish.  Watch for more details, which will be posted here soon. In the meantime, please lock the date on your calendar and start telling your neighbors and any other friends of Old North to plan to join us on Monday, February 18!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

ONSLRG Launches “Brickstarter” Crowdfunding Campaign for 1316 North Market

by Matt Fernandez, Community Development Specialist

We’re working to save this great beauty owned by Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group from the never relenting effects of gravity, but we need your help!

Vacant since 1990, this building is already a survivor. Formerly owned by the City of St. Louis Land Reutilization Authority, ONSLRG bought this building along with eight other vacant and deteriorated buildings in 2009. Three of these properties have been sold and have been, or are in the process of being renovated, and five have been stabilized and secured by ONSLRG for future rehab. For more information on properties owned by ONSLRG, please contact us at info@onsl.org or 314-241-5031.

When acquired from LRA, this building was reserved for redevelopment and did not see immediate stabilization work, although it was secured properly and the grass and weeds are cut.  Unfortunately, financing did not work out due to the tightening of financial markets during the “Great Recession.”  The “Macho Action Group” of Old North St. Louis Restoration Group has done some work on the building, but much more work is needed.

While much of the history of this building is not known, early residents of the home were the Meinholtz family, St. Louis natives who owned or co-owned the property from around 1910 to the 1940’s. Herman C. Meinholtz was the son of German immigrants and was the Vice President and superintendent of Heine Safety Boiler Company.  Both Herman and his son Herbert attended Washington University and studied engineering.

As this 2005 photo shows, the building at 1316 North Market was surrounded by vacant lots that were barely maintained.

By 2007, new homes had been constructed on the 1300 block of North Market as part of the North Market Place new homes development that brought new families to this block of Old North for the first time in many years.

Renderings have been prepared of how the building could appear after a full renovation.

Today, the building sits as a still largely intact structure on the exterior, but the interior has suffered extreme water damage and needs to be fully rebuilt. Some areas of floor have completely collapsed to the basement. In addition, the brick walls have suffered varying degrees of damage from water and shifting, and will need to be rebuilt in some sections. While this may sound like a lot of work, this building is in no worse condition than many other buildings that have been completely rebuilt from the ground up as part of many projects in Old North St. Louis. For example, take a look at the Mullanphy Emigrant Home.

In the photo below, the Mullanphy Emigrant Home is severely storm-damaged and only held up by emergency shoring.

After major stabilization and rebuilding work that was funded by donations and volunteer labor, the walls are rebuilt and the building is sound again.

There are countless other examples of buildings rebuilt from the ground up all around Old North completed by ONSLRG and private individuals. A never give up attitude is contagious around here.

Rebuilding and preserving the building at 1316 North Market is important to help retain a sense of place on this block of North Market. Old North St. Louis has a history dating back to 1816. Incorporating the past along with new construction creates a sense of distinct place that keeps Old North a unique neighborhood that is proud of its urban past, and looks forward to a sustainable future.

With this post, we are launching a “Brickstarter” campaign. Donations of any type to Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group (cash, materials, dumpsters, labor) would be immensely helpful and are fully tax-deductible. We have already gathered donations of sand, masonry cement, a small amount of lumber, and use of scaffolding. In addition, Red Dot Studios has generously offered pro bono architecture services to design a stabilization and rebuilding program for attaining any necessary permits. However, we still need a lot of cash, materials, and labor. The total cost for a full renovation of this building could approach $400,000. However, substantially less is needed for a proper stabilization, and that is mostly for the cost of materials. Depending on the level of donations, different forms of stabilization can be achieved from a range of $5000- $50,000. $25,000 is the goal we are shooting for.  Of course, better forms of stabilization will cost more, but will make the eventual full renovation easier to complete.

Donations can be made online at onsl.org via paypal (Click the donate button below), by check (made payable to “Old North Rehab Properties LLC” and mailed to 2700 N. 14th Street, St. Louis, MO 63106), or by cash in person.  If you would like to make a donation of materials, please contact us at info@onsl.org or 314-241-5031. No offer is too small, and please share this with your friends!

Surrounded by new life, this red brick beauty deserves a second chance!


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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