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Archive for June, 2013

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

But wait there’s more… Here’s What’s Happening In Old North Today

== North City Farmers’ Market ==

…with musical entertainment this week by Spirits of the New Northside Drum Corps.

Some of our friends, including Laura Winter and Becky Weidhaas, captured a bit of the sights and sounds on video and shared on Facebook (…but apparently those embedded links don’t show up on this site, so if you’re friends of theirs on Facebook, just scroll through their timelines to find the cool videos).

And, we had yoga on one of the lots adjacent to the market.

== And even more Yoga over at Mighty Mississippians’ Sustainable Land Lab Site ==

The Sustainable Land Lab site at 1300-06 Montgomery is being developed by the Mighty Mississippians project.  Among their activities they’ve planned or recruited for the site: periodic yoga sessions.

The photo above courtesy of the Facebook page of Outdoor Yoga (in and around) St. Louis, as shared by the Mighty Mississippians on their Facebook page.

Meanwhile, work continues at two of the other Sustainable Land Lab projects, including RRFarm’s project at 1303 Montgomery, as seen below…

and at 1318-24 Warren, where the Sunflower+ Project has some actual sunflowers blooming (as seen in the really cool photo they’ve posted to their Facebook page, shown below):

== Grand Opening of Kennedy’s Pet Shop at Crown Square ==

With a party continuing until 5 p.m., Seth Turner and his staff and friends are celebrating the grand opening of Kennedy’s Pet Shop at 2601 N. 14th Street.

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Later today, although outside of Old North, be sure to stop by the grand opening celebration for the St. Louis Art Museum’s expansion to enjoy the musical talents of Old North’s own Jamaica Ray, who will be performing at 5 p.m.

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Thank You to Jane Smith for 13 years of Dedication and Service to Old North!

Today marks the end of an era in Old North - it was the last full day on the job for Jane Smith, Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s Office Manager. After 13 years at our front desk and at the helm of ONSLRG’s phone system, Jane has retired.  But she won’t be leaving us completely.  Jane graciously has agreed to come in for a limited number of hours to help with some of our bookkeeping and financial management tasks.

Jane staffing one of the tables at the very first North City Farmers' Market on June 2, 2007, when that stretch of N. 14th Street was still a pedestrian mall lined with boarded-up, vacant buildings.

Jane staffing one of the tables at the very first day of the first North City Farmers' Market on June 2, 2007, when that stretch of N. 14th Street was still a pedestrian mall lined with vacant, boarded-up buildings.

Over the years Jane’s duties have evolved and expanded, but she has always tackled work that goes well beyond her official job description.  As the first person visitors would see when they came through the front doors of our office, as the first voice they would hear when callers contacted us by phone, or as the fielder of all emails sent to info@onsl.org, Jane dealt with an extremely broad range of issues and responded to an eclectic array of characters and personalities.  And, through it all, Jane’s low-key and even-keeled style helped set the tone for the organization.

Jane behind the front desk at the old office.

Jane behind the front desk at the old office.

Coming to us after many years of work with the State of MIssouri, first as a caseworker with the Department of Social Services, then as a supervisor in the Department of Child Support Enforcement, Jane was prepared for just about anything that came through our front doors, whether the situation called for kindness and sensitivity or a firm, no-nonsense poker-face.  As a resident of the neighborhood for 30+ years, Jane also was ideally suited to greet visitors to the office, whether they were out-of-town tourists or former residents returning to see how the old neighborhood had changed or neighbors needing help with a personal crisis.

After ONSLRG moved down the street from 2800 N. 14th Street to 2700 N. 14th Street, where her new desk offered a view of the beautifully restored historic buildings up and down N. 14th Street, Jane was able to spend the whole work day looking out at the product of ONSLRG’s efforts and then go home to another product of ONSLRG’s work.

Jane and her husband, Bruce, in front of their new home at North Market Place in 2006.

As a home-buyer of one of the new houses developed through ONSLRG’s partnership with Regional Housing & Community Development Alliance, Jane was able to make a statement about her commitment to the community and her faith in its future.  In a 2004 Post-Dispatch story about the North Market Place development, Jane explained why she and her husband, Bruce, were ready to trade in their old home for a new one in Old North:

“We love it here,” Smith said. “There’s an astonishing collection of diverse people here. . . . But I’m not 30 years old anymore, and we’re not especially handy.”

And, she further explained that even with Old North’s rich history, she had great confidence in what was still to come:

“The story of this neighborhood is still being written,” she said. “I want to stay around for the next chapter.”

On behalf of the staff, Board, and friends of Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, we thank you, Jane, for being such an important part of many chapters of the Old North St. Louis story.

Jane with State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed earlier this month.
Jane with State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed earlier this month.

Jane working the information booth at the 2008 Old North House & Community Tour.

Jane working the information booth at the 2008 Old North House & Community Tour.

Jane with Johnnie Owens at the re-dedication of the Hebert Garden as the Johnnie Owens Garden

Jane with Johnnie Owens at the re-dedication of the Hebert Garden as the Johnnie Owens Garden

If you would like to share your appreciation - or offer any of your stories about Jane’s time with us, please click on “LEAVE A COMMENT” on the left side at the top of this post.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Another New Crown Square Business: Kennedy’s Pet Shop Grand Opening Sat., June 29

Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group is pleased to welcome Kennedy’s Pet Shop to Old North! The new Crown Square business at 2601 N. 14th Street is not only open for business, it’s open 7 days a week with hours that should accommodate just about any pet’s busy schedule… and the pets have already started arriving!

Stop by any time to extend your greeting and to thank Seth Turner for bringing his business to Old North. But if you want to enjoy some snacks beyond the usual dog biscuits, this coming Saturday, June 29, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., they’ll be offering refreshments for people, too, as part of the Kennedy’s Pet Shop grand opening celebration.

According to their press release announcing the grand opening,

Kennedy’s Pet Shop, LLC is a full service grooming, walking and retail store for pet products.  We serve both pets and pet lovers. We want to help you and your loving pet live a longer life by keeping a smile on your face. Today’s pets are not just animals, they are men and women’s best friends,” said Owner, Seth Turner Jr. “There may be a list of reasons that may stop you from attending to your pet’s wants and needs and that’s where KPS comes to the rescue. Those who work long hours will come home to a happy and calm pet and disabled pet owners will be able to rest easily knowing that they are helped with their love one.”

About Kennedy’s Pet Shop

Kennedy’s Pet Shop, LLC is a five year old pet service company, started by 25-year-old entrepreneur and pet lover Seth Turner Jr.  The company started as a pet-walking and sitting service and is now opening its first retail location at the revitalized Crown Square business district (formerly the 14th Street Mall).

Services Offered:

  • Local Pet Food Delivery
  • Delicious pet dishes and treats (some homemade)
  • Dog Walks for 30 or 45 minutes
  • House Checks
  • Cat Visits
  • Grooming
In addition to being thrilled to have another business setting up shop in Old North, we’re also happy to have another opportunity to show off what is possible when abandoned and deteriorated but historic properties get redeveloped for new uses.  The photos below show the transformation from the before conditions in 2006 to the after conditions.

Just a few years ago, the building at 2601 N. 14th Street was an eyesore, crumbling into the street, and most observers had concluded that it was beyond worth saving.  Now, thanks in part to historic preservation tax credits and a determined community (among many factors), the property houses 5 occupied apartments and 2 retail businesses.

Come on out on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to see for yourself the positive benefits of this historic preservation.

For more information, including a coupon for first-time customers, visit their website at www.KennedkysPetShop.com or by clicking HERE.

If you’d like to show your support and help Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group continue working on the revitalization of Old North St. Louis through historic preservation, business recruitment, residential development, and other community-building, please make a tax-deductible contribution today by clicking HERE or on the image below.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Economic Case for Stabilization Over Demolition

A common question we get here at ONSLRG is why do we try so hard to save a building that is in poor condition like 1316 North Market, and the many others that have been successfully rebuilt in Old North. There is certainly historic and architectural value in the buildings of Old North that are over 100 years old, and they very much contribute to the urban character of Old North. That is not a point to be taken lightly in a neighborhood like Old North St. Louis. Renovating existing buildings is also more environmentally sustainable due to embodied energy, waste reduction, and efficient designs. On top of that, there is also a simple economic argument to be made for stabilizing and preserving a building like 1316 N Market.

Demolition of 1316 North Market is estimated to cost around $30,000. This is because of very close adjacent buildings, and the very deteriorated framing inside the masonry walls. Compare this to an average cost of about $8-12,000 for an average house in Old North and nearby neighborhoods.

A solid stabilization of 1316 North Market, which includes rebuilding the floor framing and addressing masonry issues, is projected to cost $20-25,000. Stabilization of this type delivers a building that is in a condition that full redevelopment financing with the aid of historic tax credits can be secured. Even with an average demolition cost, stabilization of this building is not much more than demolition. Most buildings don’t need as extensive of a stabilization as 1316 North Market, so the numbers work out easier on most buildings. 1316 North Market after a full renovation will not only maintain the rich historic tradition of Old North St. Louis, it will also generate more tax revenue than a vacant lot or new construction will.

Rendering of possible look of 1316 North Market after renovation

Which of those two options makes the most sense to you? If you agree that stabilization is the way to go, please consider making a tax deductible donation to the Brickstarter crowdfunding campaign for 1316 North Market. We are going to stabilize 1316 N Market, but we need your help to do it. Become a partner today! All contributions go directly to purchasing construction materials for building stabilization that is now underway, and donations are greatly appreciated!

For more information on the Brickstarter for 1316 North Market, visit our page for the project or contact Matt Fernandez in the ONSLRG office, 314-241-5031, ext. 101, or by email: matt@onsl.org.


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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Scenes from Opening Day for North City Farmers’ Market’s 7th Season

Although Friday night’s storms and early Saturday morning rain threatened to put a damper on the opening day celebration for North City Farmers’ Market’s 2013 season, we still managed to enjoy a great day INSIDE Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s Gallery at 2700 N. 14th Street.

For more photos, check out the album on the North City Farmers’ Market Facebook page by clicking HERE.

Come back EVERY Saturday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  If it’s clear outside, the market will be in the street, along the 2700 block of N. 14th Street (across from Crown Candy); if it’s raining, we’ll be back in the gallery at 2700 N. 14th Street.

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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