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Archive for the ‘North Market Place’ Category

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Mark Your Calendars: Trivia Night, Brightside Clean-up, Young Artists Showcase & House Tour

The usual spring burst of activities in Old North St. Louis is upon us. We invite one and all to join us here in Old North for all of the following events that sustain and celebrate the best of neighborhood-driven community revitalization:

Saturday, April 11 - Trivia Night to Benefit North City Farmers’ Market and 13th Street Community Garden

As the poster above notes, individual tickets are available for $20 each, or if you can get a team together, tables of 8 can be reserved at $160.  Since space is limited, we strongly encourage advance purchase. This fun-filled event supports the continued operation of ONSLRG’s North City Farmers’ Market and the 13th Street Community Garden, which has provides fresh, very locally grown foods for the market. Click HERE to register for and purchase your table today!

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Also on Saturday, April 11 - Neighborhood-Wide “Brightside” Clean-Up

Residents and outside volunteers are invited to gather at the 13th Street Community Garden (just south of St. Louis Avenue, along the 2700 block of N. 13th Street) at 9:30 a.m. Courtesy of Brightside St. Louis, we’ll have trash bags available for use with litter pick-ups, and we’ll have extra support from St. Louis University students who will be participating in the university’s “showers of service” here in Old North. We look forward to seeing a lot of neighbors out that day as we clear away some of the debris and detritus that accumulated on the vacant lots and alleys of the neighborhood over the winter months. Anyone with questions or willing to help with supervising volunteers should contact Matt Fernandez (Matt@ONSL.org or by phone at the ONSLRG office: 314-241-5031, ext. 101) or Gloria Bratkowski.

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Sunday, April 12-Saturday, April 25: St. Louis Artist Guild’s Young Artists Showcase

The 125-year-old St. Louis Artists’ Guild will bring their 41st annual Young Artists Showcase to Old North St. Louis this year. The exhibit, which features artwork created by 15-19 year-old high school students residing within 150 miles of the St. Louis Artists’ Guild, provides talented young artists with cash awards and scholarships, as well as the opportunity to compete in a professionally juried show. The opening for the exhibit will take place at our Old North St. Louis Restoration Group Gallery at

2700 N. 14th Street on Sunday, April 12 from 1-3 p.m. For more information about the exhibit, click HERE.

ONSLRG is able to make our gallery available for exhibits, such as this one, and bring other arts programming to the heart of Old North thanks to generous support of the Regional Arts Commission.

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Saturday, May 9 - Annual Old North House & Community Tour AND the Spring Fling Vintage Street Market at Crown Square

Start spreading the news:  this year’s Old North House & Community Tour will be bigger and better than ever!

we’re joining forces with the Spring Fling vintage street market so that attendees of our tour will have even more to see and do in Old North and so that the visitors to the very successful street market will be able to see more of the neighborhood while they’re in Old North.

To get your tour tickets now at the early bird price of just $10 each (the price for advance tickets will go up to $12 on April 18, and day-of tickets will be $15), click HERE to purchase online.

If you know of any businesses (or generous individuals) who would like to join us as a sponsor for this year’s tour, click HERE to learn more about the great benefits of sponsorship.

If you’d like to be a part of this year’s event as a volunteer (or if you know of volunteer groups that would be willing to send a crew to help us), click HERE for all of the volunteer info.

To keep posted on all of the developments and updates for this year’s big event, click HERE to visit the Old North House & Community Tour Facebook event page - and once there, be sure to click on the “Join” button so that all of your Facebook friends will be able to see that you’re planning to go.

And, for more info on the Spring Fling in the City vintage street market, visit their Facebook event page by clicking HERE.

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For questions about any of the above upcoming events, please feel free to stop by the ONSLRG office at 2700 N. 14th Street (63106, in the heart of Old North’s Crown Square; give us a call at 314-241-5031; or send an email to info@ONSL.org.

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Celebrating Another Year of Progress & Preparing for More Revitalization in 2015: a full recap of ONSLRG’s Annual Meeting & Pot-Luck Supper

Despite the snowy conditions and the frigid temperatures, a good crowd of dedicated Old North St. Louis residents and friends braved the elements this past Monday evening to attend Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s 2015 Annual meeting & Pot-Luck Supper. Since some of those who had planned to join us couldn’t do so because of the weather, we offer the following highlights from the evening.

ONSLRG President Tino Ochoa welcomed the crowd

ONSLRG Board President Tino Ochoa opened the meeting with a warm greeting and invited all in attendance to help themselves to the great buffet of foods prepared by neighbors for the pot-luck supper.

The meeting portion of the evening included a mix of PowerPoint slides illustrating the memorable moments and developments that took place during 2014 -along with plans for 2015- and reports from ONSLRG Board members, staff, committee chairs, and residents involved with a range of community initiatives in Old North. But first, a quick review of ONSLRG’s mission, as a reminder what all of these activities are designed to advance…

…and an acknowledgment that ONSLRG can’t accomplish any of its goals without a committed base of neighborhood residents who put in an incredible amount of their own time on personal initiatives and organizational projects designed to make Old North an even better place. Because the Annual Meeting is also an opportunity to put the spotlight on the people of Old North, we presented several “Good Neighbor” Awards. Among residents receiving awards were:

  • Charlotte Harris & Laura Hobson for their regular door-to-door flyering for ONSLRG events and delivery of our quarterly newspaper;
  • Veronica Holden for running a homework help program at La Mancha Coffeehouse, and for further investing in Old North with the recent expansion at La Mancha; and
  • Gina Sheridan for so many different contributions to the vitality of Old North, including regular participation in the Old North Walking Club, leadership of the Old North Girl Scout troop, opening her home (along with her husband, Travis) for numerous visitors & tours, serving as Old North’s own head librarian for our new Little Free Library, and for representing Old North so well, whether talking to a reporter, telling a delegation from Detroit why she loves Old North, or even when entertaining a standing room only crowd at a book-signing party for her recently-published book, I Work at a Public Library.

GREEN SPACE COMMITTEE

First up: Green Space Committee, chaired by Gloria Bratkowski, who reported on the activities at Old North’s seven community gardens, especially the food production (& chickens) at the 13th Street Garden - and the many neighborhood clean-ups that took place throughout the year. Gloria also asked all in attendance to mark their calendars for our 2015 neighborhood-wide Brightside clean-up day scheduled for Saturday, April 11

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REAL ESTATE COMMITTEE

The Real Estate Committee report included updates on the BrickStarter campaign…

…the work of our Macho Action Group, which gathers on a quasi-monthly basis to board-up and secure vacant buildings, along with other community improvements involving physical labor;

…and ongoing assistance to prospective residents & businesses with information about Old North, and through monthly updates to our Available Properties List;

In 2014 we also coordinated the purchase of 1227 St. Louis Avenue for a future development…

… and the exciting news that CDA funding has been approved for resuming construction of new, for-sale homes within the North Market redevelopment area:

We were also thrilled that Landmarks Association once again selected a project from Old North for one of their prestigious “Most Enhanced” Historic Preservation Awards

CROWN SQUARE

Although not a responsibility of our Real Estate Committee, it’s still worth noting some of the other real estate related progress realized within the past year, including new activity at some of the Crown Square commercial spaces…

…and with the Sustainable Land Lab lots, including ongoing activities at the Sunflower+ Project on Warren and the Mighty Mississippians space on Montgomery, and especially with the official opening of the Chess Pocket Park at 2713 N.14th Street…

And, speaking of Crown Square, 2014 saw another very successful Rise Up Street Festival, brought to Old North by our Crown Square development partners, Rise Community Development. This year’s event included a “live” painting of the “Rise Up as One” mural on the south side of 2717 N. 14th Street.

REVITALIZING THE SOCIAL DIMENSION OF OLD NORTH…SOCIAL OUTREACH COMMITTEE

Even with all of the development on the physical side of things, the most activity in 2014 seemed to fall within the realm of the “social dimension” part of our mission, and that happened on many levels:

COMMUNITY ARTS INITIATIVES

A steady stream of arts initiatives, sometimes in conjunction with ONSLRG’s Old North Equality Project, served as vehicles for building community, deepening understanding, and bridging differences…

2015 promises to be another arts-rich year with upcoming exhibits planned for the Old North Gallery which will feature the work of Sylvester Jacobs (more photography), Edna Patterson-Petty in September, the St. Louis Artist Guild young artists showcase in April, and a special exhibit in May that will show off the great variety of art produced by Old North residents.  We’re also excited that later this year Old North will play host to performances of Shakespeare in the Streets, brought to us by Shakespeare Festival St. Louis.

Because we have so much going on in our own gallery and more and more arts programming and initiatives with other individuals and organizations in Old North, in 2015 we will facilitate new efforts to bring the arts community together and to foster greater collaboration and support for the programming and events of the different groups. Old North resident James Anderson has agreed to lead our new arts collaborations committee.

As we completed 2014, we also said farewell to Claire Wolff, ONSLRG’s Community Engagement Specialist, who was responsible for overseeing much of the work of the Social Outreach Committee and was integrally involved with most of the progress achieved in recent years…

NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY & NEIGHBORHOOD OWNERSHIP MODEL

Vela Hermann of the Old North Neighborhood Ownership Model leadership team (in the photo above) reported on the continuing work of making & keeping Old North a safe place for all residents and visitors.  And we were very happy to report that significant progress has been made in recent years in bringing down Old North’s already relatively low crime rate…

HEALTH INITIATIVES

Next up - a discussion about various health initiatives, with some comments from Old North resident and neighborhood podiatrist, Dr. Annessa Blackmun, who reviewed some of the progress over the past year and plans to expand on some of these successful initiatives through the launching of a new Health Ambassadors Committee.

Paulette Sankofa (above) announced plans for a health conference for women next month…

Among the community health initiatives coordinated by ONSLRG in the past year were the launch of the Old North Walking Club…

…and another full, 20-week season of the North City Farmers’ Market in the heart of Old North, along the 2700 block of N. 14th Street.

We also conveyed a reminder that opening day for the market’s 9th season is not that far off…

MARKETING COMMITTEE

Next up, Travis Sheridan, chair of our Marketing Committee, reported on the great media coverage we received in the past year, from St. Louis Magazine to the Post-Dispatch; from St. Louis Public Radio to Channel 4. We even got several mentions and photos of Old North in Kaid Benfield’s book, People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities.

We also hosted a steady stream of visitors to Old North, from near and far, as well as presentations by our staff for university classes and other groups who come to see what makes Old North distinctive…

and a few of our events that we host to show off the neighborhood’s revitalization and to recruit new neighbors and/or customers for neighborhood businesses. The biggest event of the year is always the annual Old North House & Community Tour, and we had a great one in 2014…

The 2015 House & Community Tour will be bigger and better than ever due to our hosting the big event with the very successful “Spring Fling” vintage street festival that takes place on 14th Street, scheduled for Saturday, May 9

Because ONSLRG needs resources to carry out this dizzying array of community building work, Doug Rasmussen reported on the past year’s fundraising efforts, including the Southeast by Old North benefit concert this past September…

And Doug made a pitch to support our work at two upcoming events:

  • The annual Old North House & Community Tour (which, as noted earlier, is scheduled for Saturday, May 9), with sponsorships being recruited now and tickets already available for purchase on our website by clicking HERE; and
  • our annual Trivia Night, scheduled for Sat., April 11th, which supports North City Farmers’ Market and the 13th Street Community Garden; tickets for that are also available for purchase online by clicking HERE or on the image below.

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Because the comprehensive, neighborhood-wide revitalization of Old North’s physical and social dimensions is a bigger task than any one organization could ever accomplish, a key feature of ONSLRG’s work involves finding the right partners who can bring capacity and resources to the table while still respecting the vision and leadership of the people of the community. Identifying and recruiting partners for this collaborative approach to community building, and ensuring that the work of all partners complements and supports each others’ efforts, is time consuming and labor-intensive. While that’s what ONSLRG has been doing for much of the past 34 years, in 2015 we will be setting up quarterly convenings to bring all parties together for the sake of exchanging information about the broad range of initiatives and to explore new ways of collaborating to achieve a collective and more sustainable impact. Watch for details about the first meeting in March and let us know if you would like to be involved.

ONSLRG benefits greatly from the hard work of volunteers, interns, practicum students, and professional staff. The review of the past year wouldn’t be complete without recognizing our current staff, Community Development Specialist Matt Fernandez and Executive Director Sean Thomas, as well as Charlotte Harris, who is with us thanks to the AARP Senior Service Corps, and Community Health Initiatives Coordinator Jessica Payne, with us courtesy of Mission St. Louis and AmericorpsVISTA, and our two current interns, Brendan Ziebarth, from Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design, and Dan Sachs, from the University of Missouri-St. Louis social work program.

And, of course, we wouldn’t be able to function without a strong board of directors, which includes a diverse mix of people who care about Old North and are willing to put a lot of their time, energy, and creativity into helping ONSLRG serve as a vehicle for the community’s ongoing revitalization. Before the end of the evening, we collected and tabulated the ballots for 5 Board members who will serve in the 2015-’17 terms. Congratulations and welcome to the ONSLRG Board of Directors to Marlon WhartonPaulette Sankofa, and M. K. Stallings; and welcome to another term to re-elected Board members Dave Eisenbraun and Graham Lane.

Pictured above, from left to right, are some of the new and continuing members of our Board: Marlon Wharton, Annessa Blackmun, Gloria Bratkowski, Dave Eisenbraun, Paulette Sankofa, Graham Lane, Doug Rasmussen, Travis Sheridan, and Tino Ochoa.

Not pictured: Christina Blash, Ken Franklin, Terry Harris, Grace Kincaid, Nevels Nevels, Ben Sever, and M. K. Stallings.

Thank you and farewell to outgoing Board members Linda Quinn, Bryan Reckamp, and Rev. Jonathan Stratton.

Before the conclusion of the program, we extended one more invitation to those in attendance to sign up to be a part of ONSLRG’s work by participating as a member of one or more of our committees. We were very pleased that several people took us up on the offer - but there’s still room for more! If you’d like to help ONSLRG with our comprehensive, neighborhood-wide revitalization strategy, please send us an email (info@ONSL.org) or give us a call (314-241-5031) to let us know you’d like to join one of our committees.

Whether or not you can contribute your time, we invite all to support this work by becoming a member of ONSLRG or by making a financial contribution today. We even offer an option for scheduled, monthly donations so that you could spread your support throughout the year. Click on the image below to make a secure, online contribution.

Finally, we thank all who helped with making Monday evening’s gathering such a successful and enjoyable event, especially Matt Fernandez for clearing the snow to create a safe path to the front door; Rise Community Development for use of the space at the former Parks Drug Store building; Dan, Brendan, Jessica, Matt, James Anderson & Fernando for hauling tables and chairs and setting up the space; Marie Oberkirsch of Central Print for sharing chairs; and Tom & Gloria Bratkowski for handling the sign-in and committee tables, and various other set up chores; and all neighbors and friends who prepared and brought food to share with all!

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Winter 2014 Edition of Old North Community News Is Out

If you live in Old North, you can watch for the latest edition of Old North Community News to show up on your doorstep any day now. If you’re outside Old North and won’t get a chance to pick up a copy from the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group office or any the retail establishments throughout the neighborhood, you can read all the latest news by clicking on the photo below.

As you’ll see, the cover story shares ONSLRG’s plans for new houses on the 1300 block of Monroe Street.  Thanks to the approval of development gap funding from the City of St. Louis Community Development Administration, construction of 3 new homes could get started as early as spring 2015.

Since we’d like to get as many prospective buyers as possible pre-qualified for financing before construction gets under way, please help us in posting or distributing the flyer below. Click on the flyer to download a PDF version for printing or posting online.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mourning the Passing of Tom Tschetter, former ONSLRG Board Member, Expert Contractor & Rehabbing Guru

We were saddened to learn yesterday that former Old North St. Louis Restoration Group Board Member and Real Estate Committee chair, Tom Tschetter, has died.   All of us at ONSLRG extend our condolences to Tom’s wife, Susan.  Visitation is scheduled for Friday, December 12, starting at 9:00 a.m. at Grace & Peace Fellowship, 5574 Delmar Blvd, 63112, with the service at 10:00 a.m.

For many years Tom and Susan graciously opened their beautifully and painstakingly restored home on North Market Street for the Old North St. Louis House Tour - and it was always a "must-see" stop on the tour.

As ONSLRG's Real Estate Committee Chair, Tom was one of the select few who participated in a celebration on the evening when construction finally got underway (beginning with excavation for the foundation) for new homes at North Market Place in the spring of 2004.

As ONSLRG's Real Estate Committee Chair, Tom was one of the select few who participated in a celebration on the evening of the day when construction finally got under way (beginning with excavation for the foundations) for new homes at North Market Place in the spring of 2004.

As an expert carpenter and rehabbing guru, Tom was responsible for, directly involved with, or lent a hand in some way with numerous rehabs throughout Old North, including many Landmarks Association “Most Enhanced Award”-winning projects.  We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Tom for his mentoring of and assistance to countless rehabbers over many years, his service as an ONSLRG Board member and Real Estate Committee Chair, and so many other contributions as a volunteer, friend and neighbor.

In March of 2012, Tom and Susan, and their award-winning home, were featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch homes section, and as they always did, they took advantage of the opportunity to share their love for Old North.  Click HERE to see that blog post and for the link to the Post-Dispatch article and more photos of their home.

Tom, in the brown jacket and cap, was among neighborhood residents who volunteered their time on a bitter cold, January morning to board up vacant buildings so that they could survive the winter and later experience full historic rehabs.

Tom, in the brown jacket and cap, was among neighborhood residents who volunteered their time on a bitter cold, January morning to board up vacant buildings so that they could survive the winter and later experience full historic rehabs.

Tom will be sorely missed and appreciated for many years to come for the role he played in the revitalization of Old North.  If you ever find yourself driving through Old North admiring the phenomenal historic preservation that has taken place at so many homes, think of Tom.  No matter whose home you stop at, there’s a good chance Tom was involved in one way or another, whether as a contractor, volunteer, advisor, or friend.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Supporting Community Development in Old North on Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, & Giving Tuesday

Today is Small Business Saturday… please support the small businesses of Old North, including the retailers at Crown Square!

As a mixed-use community, Old North is home to many small and medium-sized businesses that employ residents of the community, attract visitors to the neighborhood, and provide valuable goods and services to residents of Old North and other neighborhoods.  The following is a list of some of the businesses and nonprofit organizations in Old North that may have items available for your purchase…

14th Street Artist Community, 2607 N. 14th Street

Better Life Cleaning Products, (to find a retailer or to buy online, visit CleanHappens.com)

Blackmun Footcare, 2608 N. 14th Street

Boss Metal Fabricators, 1125 Montgomery St.

Building Futures, 2617 N. 14th Street

Central Print, 2624 N. 14th Street

Crown Candy Kitchen, 1401 St. Louis Avenue

ExKuisite Designs by Kimberly, 2611 N. 14th Street

Firecracker Press, 2612 N. 14th Street

Headhunters Barber & Beauty Shop, 2613 N. 14th Street

Kennedy’s Pet Shop, 2701 N. 14th Street

KRAV Boutique, 2717 N. 14th Street

La Mancha Coffeehouse, 2800 N. 14th Street

Marx Hardware, 2501 N. 14th Street

Northside Workshop, 1306 St. Louis Avenue

Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, 2700 N. 14th Street

Perpetua Iron Works, 2803 Blair

The Racq Salon & Spa, 2605 N. 14th Street

St. Louis ArtWorks, 2707 N. 14th Street

UrbArts (Urban Artists Alliance for Child Development), 2600 N. 14th Street

Zuka Arts Guild, 2701 N. 14th Street

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CYBER MONDAY

This Monday is Cyber Monday, which traditionally has been one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.  So if you’re shopping online on Monday (or any day of the year, for that matter), consider buying some Old North merchandise by clicking HERE.  ONSLRG t-shirts, mugs, and stickers make great presents!

If you want to purchase any merchandise available on Amazon, consider supporting Old North St. Louis Restoration Group by making the purchase via Amazon Smile (Smile.Amazon.com) and select Old North St. Louis Restoration Group as the non-profit to benefit from your purchase.  AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support ONSLRG every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization (which, we hope, is Old North St. Louis Restoration Group). On your first visit to AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), before you begin shopping you need to select a charitable organization - just type in “Old North St. Louis Restoration” in the search box, which will then bring up Old North St. Louis Restoration Group - and then you just click on the “select” button to designate ONSLRG as the charitable organization of your choice to receive donations from eligible purchases. Then the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The site will remember your selection, and every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation.

For more about the Amazon Smile Foundation, click HERE.

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But wait, there’s more!

According to GivingTuesday.org:

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.

We’d greatly appreciate any support you could offer for ONSLRG on this Giving Tuesday.  One option for you is to click HERE or on the image below to make a financial contribution to help us continue our work of revitalizing the physical and social dimensions of the Old North neighborhood in a manner that respects the community’s historic, cultural, and urban character.

Or, you can click HERE to learn about ways you can volunteer some of your time with us.

We’d also like to know if you have any other creative ideas for helping ONSLRG continue the great progress we’ve made.  Feel free to comment here by clicking on the LEAVE A COMMENT link at the top left side of this post, or send us an email (to info@ONSL.org) to let us know your idea.  As always, feel free to share this with others who might have an interest in supporting ONSLRG by clicking the envelope image with “EMAIL” under it, also at the top left side of this post.

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Old North Walking Club Ends 2014 Season with a “Walk to the Trestle”

On Sept. 28, Old North St. Louis Restoration Group celebrated the conclusion of the inaugural season of the Old North Walking Club with a Walk to the Trestle.  The Trestle is a 1.5 mile abandoned railroad alignment purchased by Great Rivers Greenway and planned for future development as a “Rails to Trails” paved and landscaped bike and walking path.

The Trestle will connect the Riverfront Trail to the southeastern corner of Old North, as the Trestle touches down near the intersection of Howard and Hadley.

As it crosses over Interstate 70, the Trestle offers phenomenal views of downtown St. Louis, the Mississippi River, the North Broadway commercial corridor, Produce Row, the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge, and Old North.

The Old North Walking Club and a few new friends met at the ONSLRG office on N. 14th Street and made the 0.8 mile trek to The Trestle, where the participants could enjoy spectacular views and and refreshing and delicious treats at a picnic on the Trestle.  A total of 55 people took part on the walk and picnic.

At the Hadley Street “trailhead” of the Trestle, Todd Antoine of Great Rivers Greenway met the group to provide a brief orientation on what The Trestle’s neighbors would be able to see.

On the Trestle, Todd showed how The Trestle fits into the broader plans for a regional, connected greenway.

Other display boards showed renderings of what the Trestle will look like when completed.

After looking at the plans and renderings of what will be coming to the Trestle, the Old North residents and friends got to go explore what the Trestle looks like today, while taking in the incredible views.

The tour of the Trestle concluded with a one-of-a-kind picnic with neighbors…

After the fun on the Trestle, the group enjoyed a leisurely walk back to the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group office, past many of the neighborhood’s amenities, including Jackson Park (above) and the tree-lined streets of architecturally significant homes (below).

Thank you to Great Rivers Greenway for providing financial support to make it possible for Old North St. Louis Restoration Group to host the Old North Walking Club this past summer.  For more about GRG, click HERE.

With this support, the Old North Walking Club went out for 28 separate group walks with 60 different individuals participating.  The walks averaged 9.42 people participating per week on walks.   If we add up every individual’s walking time and distance, our walking club collectively walked 456 miles (equivalent to walking from St. Louis to Detroit) and for 283 hours (almost 12 days straight of walking!)

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Monday, May 19, 2014

THANK YOU! to All Who Made Our 2014 Old North St. Louis House & Community Tour a Great Success

On Saturday, May 17, we celebrated all that is good about community - and we had a great time sharing the vibrancy of Old North with a few hundred of our closest friends, families, colleagues, and a lot of other visitors we didn’t know before Saturday.

If you couldn’t join us on Saturday, please take a look at some of the images from throughout the day that we’ve posted to our album on the Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group Facebook page.  You can see full size images by clicking HERE or on any of the images below.

To take a look at all of these photos in full-size, click HERE.

Thank you again to all who made Saturday such a great experience!  We especially want to thank all of our staff and board members, including Travis Sheridan as leader of the planning committee, who put in a great deal of time Saturday and long before the big day; all of our volunteers; and all of the people who opened their homes, businesses, or community gardens to our visitors.  Thank you also to PNC Bank, our lead sponsor, as Tour Presenter, and other Tour Sponsors, Commerce Bank, Duffe Nuernberger Realty/ND&S Management, Equifax, Husch Blackwell LLP, Raven Development/American Bank, and U.S.Bank.
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Landmarks Award Will Celebrate Phenomenal Transformation of 1303 North Market - Yet Another Cool Site to See at Old North House & Community Tour

We are happy to share the great news that Landmarks Association of St. Louis has selected 1303 North Market as a winner of one of their 2014 Most Enhanced Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation!  Congratulations to the Lane Family for the many years of hard work, creativity, and determination to make that transformation possible.  As Landmarks Association’s Executive Director, Andrew Weil, put it: “It is an awesome project.”

As cool as the garden space along the eastern side of the building is, the interior of the former abandoned warehouse building demonstrates what can happen when creative people have the freedom to take something others considered unusable and re-shape it to suit their style and needs. The before and after shots below are just a sample of what the Lanes have been able to accomplish at 1303 North Market.

The award from Landmarks will be presented to the Lanes on May 22, but YOU can get first-hand views of this home THIS SATURDAY, May 17 when 1303 North Market will be one of the 17 sites on this year’s Old North House & Community Tour.

For tickets to the Landmarks reception and award ceremony at the Sun Theater on Thursday, May 22, click HERE to purchase them online.  The reception includes food and drinks and lasts from 6:00 until 7:00 with the Award ceremony to follow.

On the topic of Landmarks “Most Enhanced Award”-winning properties, another home that received this award a couple years ago will also be open for this year’s tour.  The two-family residential building at 1408 Wright Street has been on the tour before, but this year the home features a completely different style that represents the building’s new occupants who moved into Old North last year.

Across the street from 1408 Wright is another product of Graham Lane’s creative hands that will also be on display at the Old North House & Community Tour this Saturday: the neighborhood’s first Little Free Library, which was installed today in Wingmann Park.  Graham converted an old safe into the box which will hold the books that will be free to take and return on an honor system.  Old North’s resident metal-smith, Janet Sanders, will soon complete fabrication of a new door for the box so that the library can be fully stocked by Old North’s resident librarian, Gina Sheridan, in time for its grand opening on Saturday.

Old North’s Little Free Library is part of an international movement to bring books and other reading materials to communities that don’t have full-fledged libraries.  As described on the LittleFreeLibrary.org website, a little free library is “a ‘take a book, return a book’ gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share.”

But wait, there’s more…

In addition to getting a chance to visit the Little Free Library and all of the award-winning homes, gardens, businesses on the tour, visitors with tickets to the tour will be able to stop by La Mancha Coffeehouse at 2800 N. 14th Street for a free cup of coffee before heading down to the ONSLRG Gallery for a free cup of Crown Candy ice cream.

To take advantage of the advance ticket price of only $10 for a home & community tour unlike any other in St. Louis, get your tickets now by clicking HERE.  Tickets will also be available at the ONSLRG office between now and Saturday.  Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the tour for $12.

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Monday, May 12, 2014

5 Days to Go: Still Time to Buy Tickets & Recruit Others to Join You at Old North House & Community Tour

We’re down to the final 5 days, so time is running out to get your tickets at the advance ticket price of only $10 for the Old North House & Community Tour, scheduled for Saturday, May 17 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  Click HERE to purchase your tickets online now.

This year’s tour features a chance to get inside views of an eclectic mix of homes, businesses, and gardens, some of which are shown below, as well as in our previous post.

Although each of the 17 stops on the tour would be worth a visit on their own, the Old North House & Community Tour showcases more than distinctive but scattered places.   Our tour allows visitors an opportunity to see how all of these pieces fit together to create a vibrant community in the midst of dynamic, positive transformation.

While you’re in the neighborhood for the Old North House & Community Tour, be sure to visit the two stl250 cakes in Old North, in honor of our city’s 250th birthday.  Above: the stl250 cake in front of Crown Candy Kitchen. By the way, it’s worth noting that, once again, Crown Candy will be donating ice cream to ONSLRG to distribute to ticket-holding attendees of the tour.

The second stl250 cake can be found in front of the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group office.

Speaking of public art, Jamaica Ray’s mannequins will most likely be hanging out somewhere in the vicinity of St. Louis Avenue and N. 14th Street, while Jamaica Ray himself will probably be playing his steel drums somewhere nearby or riding his bike along N. 14th Street (see below).

Among the other sites to admire along the street: the recently completed pocket park / garden at 2709 N. 14th Street (above), made possible with funding support from Equifax Foundation, design work by St. Louis ArtWorks apprentices, volunteer labor from Scottrade and Equifax employees, and oversight by Rebuilding Together St. Louis.

And, as with every visit to Old North, a leisurely stroll along the streets of the neighborhood provides multiple occasions to pause and appreciate the rich architectural character of the building stock that gives Old North an authentic sense of place.

However, if you’d rather catch a ride along the tour route or from one tour stop to the next, we’ll provide a couple of different, environmentally friendly shuttle options: golf cart shuttles and pedicabs from St. Louis 3-Wheel Taxi (see below).

So now it’s just a matter of getting your tickets - and rounding up as many friends as you can to join you in Old North this coming Saturday, May 17.  Click HERE or on the image below to buy your tickets online.

If you’d like to purchase advance tickets in person, stop by the ONSLRG office at 2700 N. 14th Street between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. the rest of this week.  For more information or to volunteer to help with the tour, give us a call at 314-241-5031 or send an email to info@onsl.org.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What Distinguishes the Old North House & Community Tour from Other House Tours?

Diversity. Old North is a community that welcomes in people from all walks of life - different ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds, household formats and sizes, income levels, occupancy status and professions, religions, worldviews… and the list could go on and on.  That diversity is also reflected in the selection of what we will feature on Saturday, May 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group hosts our annual Old North House & Community Tour.  Some neighborhood house tours only show off the “nicest” and most elegantly furnished and decorated homes.  In Old North, we have our share of meticulously and lovingly restored historic houses (including a large and growing collection of Landmarks Association “Most Enhanced” Award-winning buildings), but we’re also not afraid to admit that the neighborhood is a work in progress - and we embrace the fact that there isn’t just one house style that works for everybody.

With the aid of a tour booklet, Old North’s House & Community Tour is a go-at-your-own-pace, self-guided tour, which provides an opportunity for visitors, friends of the community, and residents of Old North to get up-close and inside views of the award-winning revitalization in progress.

The tour will feature about a dozen & a half stops, including beautifully-restored, historic homes; a recently built home with universal design components; houses in the midst of multi-year rehabs; adaptive re-uses of formerly obsolete structures (including one which now has state-of-the art energy-efficiency and sustainability technology); and apartments in buildings that once had been severely dilapidated, crumbling into the street, and abandoned (such as the one in the photo above).

Because the architecture and building stock represent only part of what makes Old North an attractive and desirable community, several non-residential spaces will also be stops on the tour: community gardens, including one with a soon-to-be-unveiled, “little free library”; neighborhood businesses, and much more.

To see more of Old North - and to get inside views of some of these buildings, please plan to join us on Saturday, May 17.  And get your tickets now!

Advance tickets are available at the ONSLRG office, 2700 N. 14th Street, or online by clicking HERE or on the image above.  Tickets on the day of the tour will be sold at $12 each at the registration tent.

Check back often between now and May 17 for updates and more info about other stops and activities at the 2014 Old North House & Community Tour.

P.S. - if you’d like to help out with the tour, we still could use more volunteers - and we still have sponsorship opportunities.  Call the ONSLRG office at 314-241-5031 or send an email to info@ONSL.org to request more information or click HERE for the tour information page on this website.

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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