Archive for August, 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Highlights from Thursday’s Neighborhood Meeting

This past Thursday Old North St. Louis Restoration Group (ONSLRG) hosted our regular monthly Old North Neighborhood Open Meeting (sometimes referred to as our “Quality of Life” meeting).  A great crowd of Old North residents and neighbors from nearby neighborhoods showed up for updates or reports on the following:

Virtual City Project

Andrew Hurley, Chair of the University of Missouri-St. Louis History Department, reported on the Virtual City project, an ongoing collaboration between UMSL and ONSLRG, which involves creation of an online image of Old North.  The project displays views of the built environment of Old North and enables the viewer to virtually visit several blocks in Old North at various points in time. Individual buildings in the model were reconstructed based on information in fire insurance maps and other documentary evidence.  Andrew discussed how this project is more than a resource for learning about the history of the neighborhood but also can be a tool that will help the community give input on future development in Old North.  To take a look at how this has been used so far to re-create a limited section of the neighborhood - and to review some sample ideas for how the future could look, there are two different ways to access the project:

1. Web version (this does require a browser plug-in,  but users will see instructions for installing it when the site comes onto the screen):

2. Google Earth version (users will need to download Google Earth for this to work):

ONSLRG’s Real Estate Committee will further discuss how the Virtual City project can help us plan for future development - and identify a focus area for further development - at a meeting on Monday, Sept. 23.  If you’d like to be involved or contribute your ideas, contact Matt Fernandez (314-241-5031, ext. 101, or

Financing & Mortgage Options from Stifel Bank
Cheryl Walker, Community Development Assistant Loan Officer from Stifel Bank, presented information about the bank’s mortgage process and loan programs available for current Old North residents and others wanting to buy homes in Old North.
Neighborhood Safety Updates
Officer Quianna Dickerson discussed neighborhood safety issues throughout the 5th District and passed out the stats for the number of crimes reported, by neighborhood, from January through July of this year.  It’s worth noting that the Total Crime Index for Old North in 2013 is 40% lower than the same 7-month period last year.

Family Roots International

Maurice Foxworth, President of Family Roots International shared information about his organization’s planting of cornfields and other crops on vast tracts of empty land in the St. Louis Place neighborhood, just west of Old North.  Many neighbors from St. Louis Place came out to ask questions about the project.

Sustainable Land Lab Project

Phil Valko offered an update on progress with the Land Lab sites, all of which are within a block of the Old North Gallery where the meeting took place.  The Sunflower+ Project on Warren succeeded in planting and growing a full crop of sunflowers; the Mighty Mississippians at the southwest corner of Montgomery & N. 13th Street have much to show for their efforts, as well.  In addition to corn and other plants on the site, other activities, including yoga, have taken place there, and soon we’ll see the construction of a “mound”.  The RRFarm project, across Montgomery from the Mighty Mississippians, had a good start but have since encountered delays due to the city permitting process for the greenhouse structure they’re constructing on the site.  Sharing that same lot, the Bistro Box project has been working on securing funding and additional partners.  Unfortunately, we have no news to report on the final Land Lab lot at 2713 N. 14th Street, which is supposed to be developed as the Chess Pocket Park.

Although not selected for implementation through the Sustainable Land Lab competition, another team led by Catalina Freixas and Pablo Moyano reached out to ONSLRG to pursue their project at another site in Old North.  Their plan for production and installation of permeable pavers and benches, along with pollinating plants, will soon be taking shape at ONSLRG’s community garden space at the northwest corner of Blair and St. Louis Avenue.

To learn more about or to get involved with any of the projects and activities reported on at Thursday’s meeting, please contact the ONSLRG office by phone at 314-241-5031 or by email,

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mark Your Calendar: Fri., Sept. 20 - RHCDA’s Pop-Up Street Party at Crown Square

On Friday, September 20th, the Regional Housing & Community Development Alliance (RHCDA), our co-developers of Crown Square and partners on other projects within Old North, will hold what they’re calling a “First Annual Pop-Up Street Party” on N. 14th Street at Crown Square.

Come on out to join us for a fun celebration in the heart of Old North, with great music, food, entertainment, and much more.

Details of the event are listed on the flyer above.  For more information, contact RHCDA’s Larry Perlmutter at 314-333-7008 or by email at  This event is free and open to the public - so help spread the word to other friends of Old North, fans of neighborhood revitalization, and supporters of good times in the city.  No reservations are required, but if you’ve got a Facebook account, be sure to visit RHCDA’s Facebook page for this event (click HERE), and click on “join” to let them know you plan to be there.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Scenes from Old North’s National Night Out Celebration

This past Tuesday provided us with unseasonably comfortable temperatures, which made it a perfect evening for a gathering at Old North’s 13th Street Community Garden for our annual National Night Out Celebration.  Highlights of the evening included:

A cookout around a small bonfire…

a bounce-house…


a chance to explore a firetruck from Hook & Ladder Station 1…

snow cones…

tours of the chicken coop…

and a lot of great neighbors enjoying each other’s company!

Thank you to all who made it such an enjoyable evening, especially Sara Stagg for fantastic planning & coordination; Clear Sound Entertainment for the bounce house & snow cones; St. Louis Fire Department Hook & Ladder 1; Jessica Neal for face-painting; Luz Maria Evans-Cox for the bonfire management, firewood, cups, plates, utensils; Claire Wolff for the marshmallows; Carole Gates for the lawn games; John Thro for firewood; Veronica Holden for hot dogs and buns; Gloria Bratkowski for hot dogs and buns; Natasha Ramey for the condiments; Melody Geyer for set-up; Thom Fletcher for cups, plates, utensils, sidewalk chalk, and beach balls; and all other members of the 13th Street Garden Committee not mentioned above.

To support our ongoing efforts to revitalize the physical and social dimensions of Old North in a manner that respects the community’s historic, cultural, and urban character, please make a tax-deductible contribution today by clicking HERE or on the image below.


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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