Archive for the ‘Forks & Feet Forward Old North!’ Category

Friday, December 30, 2011

Part 3 of Highlights of Old North’s Event-Filled Year in 2011

On Wednesday and Thursday we reviewed Old North’s population gains, the new businesses that have set up shop in the heart of the community, and some of the events that took place in Old North this year.  (Click HERE to see Part 1 and HERE for Part 2) Now, we take a look back at even more events and high profile developments that took place in 2011…


The first ever Open/Closed conference in March held its opening and closing events with standing room only crowds at ONSLRG’s gallery in March, including a presentation by Juan William Chavez on bee colonies at the former Pruitt-Igoe site and a screening of The Pruitt-Igoe Myth.

On September 29, the founding meeting of the Community Builders Network of Metropolitan St. Louis took place at ONSLRG’s gallery, with a convening of executive directors from community development corporations and key partners from throughout the St. Louis area.

The first-ever Old North Holiday Market took place on Dec. 17, thanks to great planning and coordination by our practicum student Molly Johnson.


Missouri Immigrant & Refugee Advocates held their second annual exhibit at ONSLRG’s gallery from November 18 through December 11, this time featuring the work of two artists, including former Old North resident, Seitu James Smith (shown in the photo above).

Also for the second year in a row, Cinema St. Louis hosted several film screenings for students from schools in Old North (including Ames Visual & Performing Arts Magnet School, shown above) as part of their St. Louis International Film Festival.

In February the St. Louis Rescue & Restore Coalition held their exhibit, “Freedom from, Freedom to” at the ONSLRG Gallery to raise awareness about human trafficking and the fact that slavery still exists in our world.

Starting with an opening reception on September 1, the ONSLRG Gallery hosted the ReBuild Foundation’s “(en)Visioning Hyde Park” exhibit of photographs taken by young participants in their summer photography program.


Work finally got underway at the historic building at 1306 St. Louis Avenue, where a partnership between Ken Kranzberg and ONSLRG is rehabbing the long-abandoned building to accommodate Northside Workshop, a new community art center established by award-winning artist Juan William Chavez.  Watch for an opening in the spring of 2012.

Another art-themed public investment happened at the intersection of Warren and N. 14th Streets with the painting of a street mural by Lucas Rouggly and volunteers recruited through his Love the Lou organization.

Completion of Jackson Park Improvements & Ribbon-cutting Celebration… thanks especially to Miranda Gilstrap and Trailnet.

(Other green space work, including Wingmann Park improvements and 13th Street Community Garden work, will be in the next post.)

Habitat for Humanity continued their home-building in Old North with 12 homes under construction along N. 13th Street and along the 1200 and 1300 blocks of Clinton.

Due to time restrictions, that will have to do for today’s post.  But there still is much more to come.

And, as mentioned in the past two posts…THANK YOU to all who have supported the many components of our comprehensive, neighborhood-wide revitalization strategy.  To help us continue that work throughout the coming year, please click HERE to make a secure, online tax-deductible contribution.

We invite you to check back tomorrow for the final segment of the Old North Year in Review.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Join us Saturday for Open Streets in Old North

Our previous post provided some basic information about Open Streets in Old North, scheduled for tomorrow (Sat., Oct. 8) from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Now, we’re happy to share some sneak preview images and more details about the activities that will be happening up and down N. 14th Street.

In addition to the second-to-last North City Farmers’ Market day of the season, featuring a great variety of fresh fruits and vegetables (including okra, collards, herbs, squash, lettuce, and corn), visitors will enjoy…

- live music provided by Bill Forness & the Tennessee Two

- an appearance by the ever-popular Bubble Bus, courtesy of Tekno Bubbles

Check out for more images of the "totally awesome and amazingly cool" Bubble Bus

Check out for more images of the "totally awesome and amazingly cool" Bubble Bus

- bike alley, including bike tune-ups/repairs and helmet fittings and giveaways, along with the smoothie-producing bike-blender, courtesy of Trailnet

- basketball in the street, with free-throw contests and 3-on-3, 2-on-2, or maybe even 1-on-1 pick-up games…

- yoga and other physical fitness-oriented activities, such as a soccer activity area and obstacle course (thanks to the YMCA of Greater St. Louis) along with another activity area hosted by Old North St. Louis Restoration Group (with soccer balls and equipment that ONSLRG is borrowing from America Scores), in addition to some other equipment ONSLRG has purchased through a mini-grant from Washington University)…

- Tai chi demonstrations by the St. Louis Taoist Association…

Photo courtesy of Bob Crowe of St. Louis Daily Photo Blog (

Photo courtesy of Bob Crowe of St. Louis Daily Photo Blog (

- “(en)Visioning Hyde Park” exhibit at the Old North Gallery (made possible with support from the Missouri Arts Council), featuring photography by young students who worked with ReBuild Foundation this past summer…

- Frisbee activities and good, old-fashioned 4-square games (thanks to playground balls on loan from Confluence Academy’s school in Old North) in the street in front of La Mancha Coffeehouse, where you can find Veronica Holden, “best barrista in St. Louis” (as designated by the most recent Best of St. Louis issue of Riverfront Times) …

…a bounce house of some sort

- and, a chance to take in the sights of award-winning, historically-rehabbed and architecturally-significant buildings at Crown Square while shopping at some of the neighborhood’s cool, new retail establishments, such as Therapy Boutique, Closet Repeats, the Racq Salon & Spa, along with a sneak preview of the coming soon Rambles Gift Gallery & Boutique, and other establishments, such as Head Hunters Barber Shop, Poor Souls Society Art Gallery, and Crown Candy Kitchen.

… and much, much more!

For more information - and to register your plans to ATTEND - visit the facebook page for Open Streets in Old North by clicking HERE.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jackson Park Ribbon-Cutting & Re-dedication Picnic

Assisted by neighborhood children, 5th Ward Alderwoman April Ford Griffin cut the ribbon at Jackson Park's new pavilion on Saturday. Joining her for the ceremony were Tino Ochoa, ONSLRG's Board President; Jennifer Allen, Active Living Manager at Trailnet; Sal Martinez, Executive Director of Community Renewal & Development; and Sean Thomas, ONSLRG's Executive Director.

Assisted by neighborhood children, 5th Ward Alderwoman April Ford Griffin cut the ribbon at Jackson Park's new pavilion on Saturday. Joining her for the ceremony were Tino Ochoa, ONSLRG's Board President; Jennifer Allen, Active Living Manager at Trailnet; Sal Martinez, Executive Director at Community Renewal & Development; and Sean Thomas, ONSLRG's Executive Director.

Community residents and representatives of Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group, Trailnet, and Community Renewal & Development joined Alderwoman April Ford Griffin on Saturday in a celebratory picnic in Jackson Park.  The second-oldest public park in the City of St. Louis, Jackson Park benefited from significant investments over the past couple years, including a new pavilion, new playground, and many new trees and other plantings.

Free refreshments for the crowd included watermelon donated by Lee Farms (above) and smoothies made with the bicycle blender from La Mancha Coffeehouse, with Trailnet picking up the tab for complimentary samples from the Wanderlust Pizza and the Seoul Taco trucks.

Other than the ceremonies and the refreshments, the afternoon provided a great opportunity for neighbors to come together to enjoy some fun and games in the park.

Thanks to all who assisted with the festivities, including Miranda Gilstrap, ONSLRG’s practicum student from Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work, Veronica Holden and Cassandra Howard of the North City Farmers’ Market for staffing the market table, Poor Souls Society, Community Renewal & Development, Lee Farms, the City of St. Louis Parks & Recreation Division, several board members and staff from ONSLRG, Trailnet, and Forks & Feet Forward Old North (the healthy living partnership of ONSLRG and Trailnet).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Join us Sat., Aug. 20 for a Picnic and Ribbon-Cutting in Jackson Park

On Saturday, August 20, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., neighbors and friends of Old North will gather in Jackson Park (North Market & Hadley) to celebrate the completion of a couple years’ worth of improvements to the park.

As noted in previous posts, including in June of 2009 shortly after much of the work got started, the improvements at Jackson Park were made possible because 5th Ward Alderwoman April Ford Griffin was able to secure city funds for the project.  ONSLRG held community meetings in April of 2008 to solicit input from neighbors and presented the city with a revised plan for the park to reflect the neighbors’ requests and recommendations.  Because of her initiative on this project, Alderwoman April Ford Griffin will take the first snip of the official ribbon-cutting after a few introductory comments.

A few weeks ago, dedicated volunteers recruited by Forks & Feet Forward Old North! (a collaborative effort by ONSLRG and Trailnet) and ONSLRG’s Green Space Committee spent a good part of their Saturday enhancing the beauty of the park with new plantings.   Special thanks for planning the planting day and the ribbon-cutting go to Miranda Gilstrap, a Washington University practicum student working with ONSLRG, and Morgan Clennin, an intern with Trailnet.

Feel free to spread the word to all residents and friends of Old North by printing and distributing the PDF version of the flyer for the event.


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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