image

Archive for the ‘North Market Place’ Category

LEAVE A COMMENT
Sunday, December 1, 2013

THANK YOU to All Who Are Making the Revitalization of Old North St. Louis Possible

Happy (slightly belated) Thanksgiving to all of the residents and friends of Old North! As we finish the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, we want to express our thanks to all of the people who work with or support Old North St. Louis Restoration Group in the pursuit of our mission to revitalize the physical and social dimensions of Old North in a manner that respects the community’s historic, cultural, and urban character.  We especially thank the following:

Members of ONSLRG’s Board of Directors, who take on responsibilities above and beyond most non-profit boards, including volunteering for numerous neighborhood cleanups, vacant building board-ups, garden work, setting up for and/or staffing a table at the North City Farmers’ Market (not to mention growing some of the food sold there), opening their homes for the annual Old North House & Community Tour, talking to the media, running meetings, lining up bands for fundraising events, designing flyers or preparing for layout program booklets, and inviting neighbors to attend many of ONSLRG’s programs and events.

ONSLRG Staff, who put in long hours and a lot of hard work on a wide variety of tasks that don’t quite fit into anyone’s job description and still manage to deal with whatever comes through the front doors on a daily basis.

Interns and Practicum Students, who make it possible for us to implement so much more than our full-time staff could have time to do, and bring great energy, creativity, and skill to work that sometimes may not be the most glamorous or exciting.

Volunteers - from high school and college students to international service organizations and corporate employees - these groups are too numerous to identify by name, and they come all year long to help with a multitude of work, including neighborhood clean-ups, beautification and tree-planting projects, work at North City Farmers’ Market, other special events, and so much more.  Thank you to all!

Partners and Collaborating Organizations bring additional resources and skills to the table to support ONSLRG’s comprehensive, neighborhood-wide revitalization strategy.  Again, this category includes too many groups to name them all here, but we especially thank our Crown Square development partners, Rise (formerly RHCDA); Equifax, for recruiting help from Rebuilding Together to design and build improvements to the Crown Square corner plaza at St. Louis Avenue & N. 14th Street; the City of St. Louis and Washington University for bringing the Sustainable Land Lab competition to Old North; the Episcopal Service Corps for making it possible for us to bring Eric on board as an intern and to launch a new “street team” community engagement initiative; multiple parties who have been involved with North City Farmers’ Market; St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for assistance with our launching of the Old North Neighborhood Ownership Model; Community Builders Network for helping us strengthen our relationship with other community development corporations around town; and so many others…

Donors and Investors

Although we get a lot of great work out of volunteers, interns, neighbors and partners, ONSLRG still needs funding to cover other organizational expenses and to have a full-time staff.  Funding comes from a diverse mix of sources, including many individuals, but we owe a special thanks to major donors, Equifax, Bank of America, Rise Collaborative Support Grant, U.S. Bank, Covidien, United Way’s small grant program, Burns & McDonnell, and all of our sponsors and contributors who supported the house tour, trivia night, benefit concert, and holiday market.  [We'll provide a full acknowledgment of all funders as part of our annual report at the end of the year.]

New Programs Still To Come:

We also need to acknowledge new programming still to come.  For instance, VerbQuake, a program initiated by M.K. Stallings, who had been an intern at ONSLRG long ago, received support from Incarnate Word Foundation’s Marketplace of Ideas grant program.  This poetry workshop series will get under way in 2014.

**  And, of course, the Current, Former, & Soon to Come Residents of Old North

None of ONSLRG’s work would be possible without the people who call Old North home.  This group includes many individuals who have been recognized in other categories above, especially our board, volunteers, and contributors, but it also includes many who contribute to the revitalization in a variety of other ways.  Some show up regularly for events, others offer words of encouragement, or shop at the farmers’ market or other neighborhood businesses.  All contribute in one way or another by just being a part of the community, adding life to the streets as they walk their dogs, take their children to the playground, mow their lawn, help a neighbor with home repairs, and watch out for each other.

We even have future residents of the neighborhood willing to speak up on behalf of Old North.  One such individual who is planning to buy a property to rehab and move into the neighborhood recently took the New York Times to task for an article that portrayed the entire north side of the City of St. Louis as if it were just one big neighborhood, rather than a collection of different neighborhoods with unique sets of circumstances in each.

No list of things to be grateful for would be complete without thanking Crown Candy Kitchen for 100 years of tasty treats and service to Old North - and for continuing to bring visitors, customers, and prospective residents and business owners to the community by the busload!

Thank you again to all!

LEAVE A COMMENT
Sunday, October 20, 2013

Community Development Rocks! 3 Reasons to Go to Benefit Concert for ONSLRG on Sat., Nov. 2

November 2 is right around the corner, so get your tickets now for the Community Development Rocks! benefit concert featuring the critically acclaimed band, Five Eight, and the locally loved band, Last to Show First to Go.  Proceeds from this benefit will help Old North St. Louis Restoration Group continue the good 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.

If you’re wondering why you should buy as many tickets as you can afford for the Nov. 2 concert, we offer a few reasons to think about:

(1) Great music

According to NPR’s All Songs Considered, Five Eight is one of the top five bands that should be way bigger than they are.  St. Louis fans of Five Eight - and many who are just getting to know them - are excited about the rare opportunity to see the indie rock veterans in the Gateway City.  The band has agreed to travel all the way from Athens, Georgia, to perform at this benefit for ONSLRG.

Although Last to Show First to Go is a local band - which means you may have seen them before and likely will get many other opportunities to see them - it’s worth pointing out to those unfamiliar with them how good they are.  Here’s one review by Annie-Rose Fondaw on KDHX:

“On first listen, Last to Show First to Go appears to have its roots down in the landscape of heartland rock ‘n’ roll. Lead singer Bredon Jones’ earnest, earthy vocals lie simply against a backdrop of acoustic guitar, drums and vocal harmonies, all bolstered by a double bass. Yet as each song unfolds, it’s clear that Last to Show First to Go has a flair for genre-bending. From Jay Lewis’ rippling cello arpeggios to Miriam Keller’s jazz-infused trumpet, the band embraces a wide variety of sounds and textures. And lo and behold, they pull it off. What could easily veer into a trite modernization of the down-home Americana genre instead becomes a singular, engaging sound.”

(2) A Really Cool Venue

Plush, located at 3224 Locust between Compton and Grand, has earned a reputation as one of the hippest, hottest, coolest (or whatever term you’d use for the highest level of a positive experience) venues for food, drink, and live music in St. Louis.  One recent review on Yelp described Plush as “as good at it gets,” while a review in the Riverfrtont Times last year was headlined, “Plush is the most ambitious drinking, dining and dance establishment St. Louis has seen in a decade.”  Get your tickets now to check out Plush in person on Saturday, Nov. 2.  And, if you can get there for dinner before the concert, be sure to mention that you’re there for the Community Development Rocks! concert to get a special deal on the meal.

The photo above is by Kate McDonald from St. Louis Magazine’s 2012 “A List” issue, which included Plush among their “Night Life” awards in the “Dinner and Dance” category.

(3) And, of course, a chance to support a Great Cause

When you support ONSLRG, you support the cause of urban core revitalization implemented in a manner that respects the community that lives there.  The best way to respect the community is to pursue their vision and to involve them in the process of making that vision a reality.  That’s what ONSLRG has been doing since it was created by residents of Old North in 1981.  Everything ONSLRG does is rooted in a desire expressed by community residents.  That’s why ONSLRG has taken on…

the preservation of historic properties - from small, single-family homes to to multi-family, rental buildings to large, institutional buildings, such as the Mullanphy Emigrant Home…

coordinating a farmers’ market in the heart of Old North since 2007 to bring healthy & affordable foods to the neighborhood…

Hosting theater, film, photography exhibits, and other arts programming…

Beautifying Old North through tree-planting, community gardens, supporting other green investments, and regular neighborhood-wide clean-up days

Improving neighborhood safety by establishing a police substation at Crown Square, hosting neighborhood watch trainings, and coordinating implementation of the City’s “Neighborhood Ownership Model”…

Bringing residents together regularly to plan, discuss, and review ideas or proposals for development in Old North…

Plus, all sorts of community-building social events, and so much more!

In addition to supporting ONSLRG by buying concert tickets, you can also buy raffle tickets at the concert or before!  ONSLRG’s tireless intern, Chris Umbertino, has lined up some phenomenal prizes for a raffle drawing that will take place at the concert.  See the flyer below for details.

Raffle tickets will be sold at the concert, but you can also purchase them in advance - either in person at the ONSLRG office or online. Just follow the link below for online contributions - and make a contribution along WITH a note in the comments/special instructions or other notes section to alert us that the purpose is for raffle tickets in your name.

We’d love to get as many people out to Plush on November 2 as we can get to support ONSLRG and to show our appreciation for the generosity of Five Eight, Last to Show First to Go, and Plush; and we’d love it if you could purchase a large pile of raffle tickets as a way of letting the prize donors know their contributions were worth it.  However, we also are willing to accept good, old-fashioned direct contributions straight to Old North St. Louis Restoration Group.  We can accept contributions in whatever form you’d like to send us:  cash (please not through the mail, though); checks (which can be dropped off at our office or sent by mail to 2700 N. 14th Street, St. Louis, MO 63106); or by credit or debit card - either in person at our office or online via PayPal by clicking HERE now or by clicking on the image below.

LEAVE A COMMENT
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.

LEAVE A COMMENT
Sunday, May 19, 2013

Scenes from a Day-Long Celebration of a Neighborhood Revitalization in Progress

Thank you to all of our volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and musicians who participated in some capacity at yesterday’s Old North House & Community Tour, and special thanks to the the business-owners, homeowners and tenants who opened their homes or businesses to let hundreds of visitors wander through over the course of the day.

By all measures, the day was a great success.

Mayor Slay met neighborhood residents while attending the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Sustainable Land Lab projects.

The day started with the formal kick-off of the Sustainable Land Lab projects (re-scheduled from the rained out date in April), including a presentation to the 3 runner up projects and the 5 teams that were selected to implement their proposals on 4 lots in the Crown Square area.

Pablo Moyano Fernandez and Old North residents Gloria & Tom Bratkowski represented Hybrid Urban Bioscapes project.

Pablo Moyano Fernandez and Old North residents Gloria & Tom Bratkowski represented Hybrid Urban Bioscapes project.

After the start of the tour, the celebration continued at the corner of N. 14th Street and St. Louis Avenue, where representatives from Old North St. Louis Restoration Group and RHCDA (co-owners / co-developers of the corner lot, which is part of the overall Crown Square redevelopment of the former 14th Street Pedestrian Mall) thanked Rebuilding Together St. Louis for coordinating the improvements to the corner plaza space, including the addition of tables with umbrellas, construction of the fence along the south and west sides of the space, new plantings, and the addition of a stage for public performances.  Also acknowledged were the many volunteers, including many from Scottrade and Equifax, financial support from Equifax and Regional Business Council, and contributed professional services from Sherwoods Forest, Kimberlin Construction, and IBEW-Local 1.

Neighbors from down the street came out to celebrate the first official event at the new & improved Crown Square corner plaza.

Dave Ervin, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together St. Louis, and RTSL’s Outreach Coordinator, Kuleya Bruce, acknowledged our appreciation and thanked all who helped them with the project before introducing local musician, Chris Ware for the first official performance on the stage.

Environmentally friendly shuttle service was provided by St. Louis 3 Wheel Taxi.

Volunteers, including Nolan (below), provided a variety of valuable services, including merchandise sales.

And the tour provided an opportunity to show off the diverse range of housing styles in Old North, from apartments to a loft-style conversion of a former warehouse (below).

And a number of number of historic houses…

The soon-to-come Chess Pocket Parkat 2713 N. 14th Street offered the opportunity to try out some chess moves throughout the day.

Another tour tradition is free ice cream, thanks to the generous donation from Crown Candy Kitchen.

Norah Ryan returned for the critical role of scooper and dispenser of ice cream.

The kickoff activities at the 5 Land Lab projects included:

The Sunflower+ project at 1318 Warren

Children from the neighborhood joined the Sunflower+ project coordinators in planting of sunflowers and other work at the project site.

The Mighty Mississippians at 1300-06 Montgomery

The Bistro Box at 1301-03 Montgomery

RR Farm, also at 1301-03 Montgomery

and Chess Pocket Park at 2713 N. 14th Street

LEAVE A COMMENT
Friday, May 17, 2013

One Last Invite to Join Us TOMORROW (Sat., May 18) for Old North House & Community Tour… AND Announcing Another Crown Square Commercial Tenant

We’re down to the last few hours before the big day, so we’ll issue one last invitation to all friends of Old North, former residents, current residents, fans of urban revitalization, advocates for sustainable development, historic preservationists, arts enthusiasts, and anyone who just happens to like Crown Candy Kitchen: please join us on Saturday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for our annual Old North House & Community Tour. The forecast shows beautiful weather for tomorrow.  Come on out to enjoy a pleasant stroll though the walkable, architecturally rich, historic neighborhood of Old North St. Louis.

The hour by hour forecast from the experts at Weather.com.

It'll be a gorgeous day in Old North on Saturday, according to the hour by hour forecast from the experts at Weather.com.

For those who are new to St. Louis or just aren’t familiar with how neighborhood house tours work, here’s what you can expect from the Old North House & Community Tour:

The Old North House & Community Tour is a self-guided tour, so you’ll be able to use our tour booklet to decide which stops to visit and in what order - or you can visit all of the sites on the tour in the order presented in the booklet.  And, you’ll be able to go at your own pace, whether that means enjoying the nice, summery weather as you walk leisurely between stops or as you catch a free ride from one of the roving, environmentally- friendly bicycle rickshaws from St. Louis 3Wheel Taxi.

For more on what will be featured on the tour, take a look at our posts from Thursday (click HERE) and Tuesday (click HERE).

Registration for the tour - where you can buy tickets, trade in your already-bought tickets for the tour booklet or pick up tickets you purchased online - will be at the new and improved Crown Square corner plaza at the southwest corner of St. Louis Avenue and N. 14th Street, pictured below.

The first official performances on the plaza’s stage will take place immediately following a brief dedication ceremony at 10:30 a.m.   Scheduled to perform are local musician, poet, and spoken-word artist, Chris Ware, and later by Old North’s own favorite steel drum musician, Jamaica Ray.

We also want to share the reminder that the public is invited to celebrate the official start of work at the 5 Sustainable Land Lab projects in Old North, with a ceremony scheduled for 9 a.m. at 1318 Warren (just east of 14th Street at the south end of Crown Square).  Mayor Slay will be on hand to congratulate the winners of the competition, and representatives from all 5 of the projects will be present to show off their sites and discuss their projects.

Although the “day-of” ticket prices of $12 should go into effect after midnight, the advance ticket price of $10 can still be obtained by purchasing online up until about 6 a.m.  So act now!

And, now for some other big news we’re thrilled to share…

=========<<<<<<<<<<<<<<=========>>>>>>>>>>===========

FIRECRACKER PRESS ANNOUNCES PLANS TO SET UP SHOP AT CROWN SQUARE

Earlier today, Firecracker Press issued the following press release:

The Firecracker Press is excited to announce, in addition to its location at 2838 Cherokee Street, the expansion of a second location at 2612 North 14th Street, in Crown Square. The expansion will take place over the Summer of 2013 with a Grand Opening to be announced later this year.

Founded in St. Louis in 2002, The Firecracker Press has become a cultural institution for printmaking. With a gang of antique printing presses (some dating back to the 1800s), a rich collection of St. Louis printing history, and a talented group of designers and printers, The Firecracker Press has made its mark regionally and nationally. Handmade, letterpress posters for music and art shows, custom business cards, stationery, wedding invitations, and books are just a few of the things that The Firecracker Press crafts. Using printing presses that are found and restored, The Firecracker Press prints from hand-set wood/lead type and uses hand-carved woodblocks to create imagery that’s rooted in history yet freshly modern. Its Southside, Cherokee Street location will remain while The Firecracker Press plans to expand a rotating list of events, classes and demonstrations at the new Crown Square location.

The Firecracker Press location in Old North will be in the former Sobel Department Store building at 2612-24 N. 14th Street.

Their announcement further describes their plans for the space in the heart of Old North, just across Montgomery from Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s office:

The new space, nearly 8000 sq. ft., will host a large collection of printing presses and tools, a retail storefront with a variety of posters and design-related home-goods, and a 100 person capacity venue for music, readings, and events. The Firecracker Press will continue to offer the same high quality, unique, independently minded services that have made them well-known. The expansion will also bring the opportunity to collaborate with other organizations including Old North Restoration Group and its affiliates, and with Studio STL, which will be sharing a portion of the space for its non-profit, children’s writing programs. The publishing arm of The Firecracker Press dovetails in exciting ways with the mission of Studio STL. An arts center for writers, thinkers, and makers will grow where The Firecracker Press and Studio STL overlap, with more to come.

For more details about The Firecracker Press and their plans for the space at Crown Square, click HERE to read the full news release.

The leasing of 2612-24 N. 14th Street follows the recent leasing of 2606-08 N. 14th to Blackmun Footcare, which opened just last month, and the leasing of 2601 N. 14th to Kennedy’s Pet Shop, which is now in the midst of interior build-out.  Both Blackmun Footcare and Kennedy’s Pet Shop will be open for tours on Saturday.

With just a few spaces left, anyone interested in leasing commercial space at Crown Square should contact leasing agent Susan Sauer of Duffe-Nuernberger Realty by phone at 314-571-7654 or by email at ssauer@ndconsulting.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT
Thursday, May 16, 2013

Old North House & Community Tour: 2 Days Away to Sat., May 18

We’re down to counting the hours now until our biggest event of the year - so any help you can offer in spreading the word about the Old North House & Community Tour would be greatly appreciated, and you still have time to let us know if you can volunteer to help out on the day of the tour.

If you still aren’t subscribed to receive our e-Newsletter, then you probably missed our most recent edition.  Click on the image below or click HERE to view the web version.  Once you’re there, be sure to click on the Facebook “Like” image and/or the Twitter “tweet” image to share via these social media tools.

We also have some updates on what else will be going on here on Saturday.

At 9:00 a.m., Mayor Slay and the organizers responsible for the Sustainable Land Lab competition will lead the official kick-off ceremonies marking the start of work at the 5 Land Lab projects in Old North.  This ceremony will start at 1318 Warren (as seen in the photo above, courtesy of Washington University’s Office of Sustainable Development), the site where the Sunflower + project is underway, and will then travel to the other 3 Land Lab lots.  Please join us for this celebration just prior to the start of the Old North House & Community Tour.

At 10 a.m., the House & Community Tour officially begins, with registration table at N. 14th & St. Louis Avenue (see photo below) opening to distribute tour booklets to those who’ve registered in advance or to sell tour tickets (at the day-of price of $12) and the environmentally-friendly, bicycle rickshaw shuttle service will start up for those who don’t want to walk between the stops.

At 10:30 a.m., we’ll celebrate the ceremonial, unveiling / ribbon-cutting of the recently improved Crown Square corner plaza, followed by performances on the new stage by local musician, poet, and spoken-word artist, Chris Ware, and later by Old North’s own favorite steel drum musician, Jamaica Ray.

The tour activities will continue until 4 p.m., featuring 20 stops, 4 of which are located in historically rehabbed buildings at Crown Square, including a residential apartment incorporating a portion of the mezzanine level of the former J.C. Penney building (originally built for the Peters Dry Goods & Clothing Co. in 1881), the recently-opened Blackmun Footcare in that same building, and the soon-to-open Kennedy’s Pet Shop at 2601 N. 14th (in the photo above).

Other stops include:

  • the 4 empty lots where 5 Sustainable Land Lab demonstration projects are being implemented;
  • 2 other businesses offering free treats to tour-goers, La Mancha Coffeehouse, which is offering free cups of coffee, and City Bar & Grill, which is offering free toasted ravioli;
  • 2 historically-rehabbed homes, which have won Landmarks Association “Most Enhanced” Awards in previous years (in addition to the Crown Square project, which also received one of these awards in 2010);
  • a “loft-style” conversion of a warehouse building into a living space and a separate sculpture studio;
  • a couple of historic houses that are still in the midst of major re-construction and rehabilitation after massive damage, from a fire at one and two-different storms at the other, that would have led to demolition in other neighborhoods;
  • the future home in Old North for the Episcopal Service Corps community later this year;
  • the Old North Grocery Co-op and 13th Street Community Garden;
  • the home of Northside Workshop, a community art space that opened last year; and
  • the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group office and Gallery, where a new photography exhibit will have its opening on Saturday; this exhibit, titled “Revitalizing,” features photos from 6 neighborhoods (including Old North), where UMSL’s PPRC Photography Project worked with community residents.

As noted in Tuesday’s post, another tradition of this event is the treat of some ice cream from Crown Candy Kitchen (celebrating 100 years of service to Old North).  All tour-goers will receive a coupon for a free ice cream cup, redeemable at the Old North Gallery.

If you haven’t already clicked on the link above, click below to get your tickets while you can still take advantage of the advance ticket price of $10.

And, if for whatever reason, you’re still not convinced that something special is going on in Old North St. Louis, take another look at the YouTube video we prepared before last year’s tour to highlight the dramatic transformations in progress throughout Old North.

We look forward to seeing you again in Old North on Saturday!

[One last appeal: if you've got some time available and are willing to help out, we still could use a few more volunteers.  Give us a call at the ONSLRG office at 314-241-5031 or send an email to Claire Wolff: claire@onsl.org]

1COMMENT
Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Old North House & Community Tour Countdown: 4 Days Away

With just 4 days to go until the Old North House & Community Tour on Saturday, May 18, now is the time to take advantage of the advance ticket price of $10.  Purchase your tickets online by clicking HERE or give the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group office a call at 314-241-5031.

In addition to the architecturally significant, historic buildings on the tour (a sampling of which can be seen in the collage above), this year’s event will show off the five Sustainable Land Lab projects being implemented on 4 empty lots within the Crown Square area.  Preceding the official start of the Old North House & Community Tour (which starts at 10 a,m.), Mayor Francis Slay and leaders behind the Sustainable Land Lab will mark the formal groundbreakings for the Land Lab projects with a ceremony at 9 a.m., starting with the Sunflower + project at 1316-24 Warren.  For more information on the Land Lab project and plans for this weekend, click HERE.  All 5 projects will have representatives at their sites to present their plans and answer questions starting at 10 a.m.

Bistro Box Sustainable Land Lab Project

RR Farm Sustainable Land Lab Project

Mighty Mississippians Sustainable Land Lab Project

Sunflower+ Sustainable Land Lab Project

Chess Pocket Park Sustainable Land Lab Project

Chess Pocket Park Sustainable Land Lab Project

Two of the stops on the tour will feature new businesses at Crown Square: Blackmun Footcare, at 2606 N. 14th Street, and Kennedy’s Pet shop across the street at 2601 N. 14th Street.  Dr. Annessa Blackmun celebrated the grand opening of her business several weeks ago, and Saturday will be the first chance for the community and other visitors to see the space where Seth Turner of Kennedy’s Pet Shop will be offering pet lovers with a variety of services, from dog-walking to pet treats and pet food delivery.

Other businesses that will be stops along the tour include La Mancha Coffeehouse, which will be offering a free cup of coffee to all tour-goers and will be showing off their soon-to-open expanded space at 2800 N. 14th; City Bar & Grill at North Market & Blair, which will be offering free toasted ravioli; and Old North Grocery Co-op at St. Louis Avenue & N. 13th Street.  As the aerial image of Crown Square below shows, the heart of Old North is buzzing with activity these days, especially with the opening of new businesses at Crown Square and the start-up of activities at the Land Lab lots.

The big day will also include the opening of a new exhibition in the Old North Gallery.

PPRC PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT: REVITALIZING

THE PPRC PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT IS A PROGRAM OF THE PUBLIC POLICY RESEARCH CENTER AT UMSL.

The goal of the PPRC Photography Project is to raise the visibility of community groups working to improve the quality of life in St. Louis.  We focus on groups working in four areas: social services, youth/older adult enrichment, historic preservations and community revitalization.  This exhibition includes photographs from five Photography Projects completed by community groups working on revitalization and/or historic preservation.

• Old North St. Louis Restoration Group—our 1st Photography Project!

• Lewis Place Historic Preservation, Inc.

• Granite City Downtown Revitalization

• JVL: A multi-generational group of JeffVanderLou residents

• Downtown Dutchtown Business Association

• Cherokee/Benton Park West Small Business Incubator

Each group polled its members to come up with volunteers to complete Photography Project training. (Training entails 9-13 sessions on digital photography, photo collage and autobiographical writing taught by a professional artist/photographer.)  At the end of training we mount two exhibitions of the photographs taken by community group members (one at UMSL and one in the community near the group’s location).  We also produce a professional quality brochure and opening announcement.  The Project Instructors for the groups in this exhibition were: Lois Ingrum, Ron Laboray, Chinyere Oteh and Lyndsey Scott.  I conducted the Old North St. Louis Project training.

Many thanks to Old North St. Louis Restoration Group for giving us the opportunity to show these works from the Photography Project Collection!  (Check out all 900+ works in the Collection at pprc.umsl.edu.

–Mel Watkin, Director

The registration area for the tour once again will take place at the corner of N. 14th Street and St. Louis Avenue, which means this will be the first official event to take place at our new and improved plaza area for Crown Square.  While you’re there to pick up your tour booklet and information from our sponsors, take a few moments to enjoy music on the new stage and have a seat at one of the new umbrella-shaded tables.

And don’t forget that this year’s tour will also celebrate Crown Candy Kitchen’s century of service to Old North!

And what better way to commemorate Crown Candy’s 100th anniversary than with a taste of their legendary ice cream?  All tour-goers will receive a coupon for a free cup of ice cream, courtesy of Crown Candy but redeemable at the Old North Gallery on the day of the tour.

So, while we’ve got you thinking of historic architecture, community revitalization, sustainability, art, and ice cream, now is the time to get your tickets for the big day!

Also, if you’ve got some time this Saturday, it’s not too late to sign up to volunteer to help with a variety of tasks.  All volunteers receive free passes for the tour and can attend the after-tour party.  Contact Claire Wolff at the ONSLRG office (by email: claire@onsl.org or by phone: 314-241-5031) to sign up to volunteer.

Thank you again to all of our sponsors who have made this year’s tour possible, especially PNC Bank for being our lead sponsor.

LEAVE A COMMENT
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Old North House & Community Tour: Saturday, May 18 (Just 17 Days Away!)

Call your relatives, email your colleagues, send Facebook messages to your friends, and Tweet your followers - and invite all of them to join you in Old North on Saturday, May 18 for the annual Old North House & Community Tour.

Tickets are available for $10 in advance and $12 on the day of the tour.  Advance tickets can be purchased at the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group office (2700 N. 14th Street) or online by clicking HERE.

In addition to the usual mix of historic homes (in varying stages of redevelopment), gardens, and new businesses in award-winning and architecturally significant buildings, this year’s tour will also feature the 5 Sustainable Land Lab demonstration projects being implemented on 4 lots in the Crown Square area, the recently improved corner plaza at N. 14th St. and St. Louis Ave., and a special spotlight on Crown Candy Kitchen in honor of the legendary Old North restaurant’s 100th anniversary.

The tour is made possible by financial support from our generous sponsors, including this year’s Tour Presenter

…and dozens of other tour sponsors, including Bank of America, BMO Harris, Commerce Bank, and U.S. Bank. Although the program booklet will be going to the printers soon, sponsorship opportunities are still available.  If you know of a business that wants to be affiliated with sustainable, comprehensive urban revitalization, please refer them to the ONSLRG office or download the sponsorship information by clicking HERE.

To help you get in the mood for the tour, we’ve dusted off the brief, rapid-pace video we prepared for last year’s tour, which highlighted some of transformations that have taken place in Old North in recent years. Take a look, and please feel free to “like” it and send the link on to others if you think it conveys the dynamic pace and positive changes that have taken place in Old North over the past few years.

Old North Transformations Tour Promo

Thank you to Old North resident Joe Eisenbraun for allowing us to use his music in this video.

If you’d like to pick up a pile of OId North House & Community Tour tickets to sell (or flyers or postcards to distribute), give us a call at the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group office at 314-241-5031.

1COMMENT
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!


LEAVE A COMMENT
Sunday, December 2, 2012

Old North Week in Review: Visit by Mayor Slay, Holiday Market, Welcome to New Neighbors, etc.

We’ve been too busy lately to post more regular updates on the blog, so this “week in review” will have to serve as an after-the-fact report on some of our recent highlights.

Mayor Slay Pays a Visit to Old North

On Thursday Mayor Francis Slay and his entourage of development officials (including St. Louis Development Corporation Executive Director Rodney Crim, Deputy Executive Director Otis Williams, and Director of Real Estate Laura Costello) stopped by the Old North Neighborhood Open Meeting to report on recent and upcoming developments of interest to residents of Old North.  Updates included status reports on the Mississippi River Bridge (scheduled for completion in Feb. 2014) and the Tucker Boulevard reconstruction (which should be open to traffic by summer 2013); neighborhood safety initiatives (such as efforts related to the Neighborhood Ownership Model); and the City’s Sustainability Plan.

Another Highly Successful Old North Holiday Market

On Saturday ONSLRG hosted our second annual Old North Holiday Market at the former Parks Drug Store building, with dozens of craft vendors, face-painting, holiday music (courtesy of Fresh Anointing Church and a group from Washington University), and a visit from Santa Claus.

Thanks to ONSRG’s community engagement specialist, Claire Wolff, our practicum students, Leslie Duling, Lindsey Forsythe, and Emily Sheffield-Wilson (& Molly Johnson, last year’s practicum student who was largely responsible for the great market last year and who came back to help with set-up this year), all of the other volunteers (including several ONSLRG board members, such as Graham and Ben, in the photo above), and all of our wonderful vendors for a great day!

Old North Featured as “Island of Revitalization” at State of Neighborhoods Forum

On Wednesday, Old North St. Louis was one of three neighborhoods represented on a panel of respondents at a forum addressing the “State of Neighborhoods” in St. Louis.  The forum, sponsored by the Community Partnership Project at UMSL, working in cooperation with University of Missouri Extension and co-sponsorship of the Des Lee Collaborative Vision, Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis, and the St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO), started with a presentation by UMSL Professor Todd Swanstrom, which compared St. Louis with several other cities on various trends that affect neighborhood conditions, outlined several factors that contribute to neighborhood revitalization, and identified Old North as one of about a dozen “islands of revitalization” in the St. Louis area.  ONSLRG executive director Sean Thomas was one of three neighborhood development organization representatives on the panel responding to Professor Swanstrom’s presentation.  For a more detailed report on the forum, click HERE for the article in the St. Louis Beacon.

Welcome to Harris Family, New Homeowners on North Market

Among the factors earning Old North a spot on the list of neighborhoods recognized for their revitalization was the 28% population gain over the past decade.  Despite the slowdown in the real estate market, that trend has continued over the past couple years.  One of the more recent examples is the Harris Family who moved into Old North just before Thanksgiving and now occupy a home on North Market, a parcel of land that had not had any residents in several decades.  Welcome to Old North! And thanks for helping us to continue growing the neighborhood’s population!

Rehab Lenders at Neighborhood Open Meeting

Meanwhile, we continue to seek ways to support existing homeowners and identify resources to help others come into the neighborhood as rehabbers.  At last week’s Old North Neighborhood Open Meeting, representatives from several lending institutions came out to share information about their loan products appropriate for covering purchase and/or rehab of historic homes in Old North.  For information about these resources or to get contact information for these individuals from Bank of America, First National Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wells-Fargo, contact Matt Fernandez, ONSLRG’s community development specialist at 314-241-5031, ext. 101 or Matt@ONSL.org.

Deadline Approaching for Sustainable Land Lab Competition

This past week also brought a number of visits to the neighborhood by individuals and teams looking at the six vacant lots in the Crown Square area that are part of the Sustainable Land Lab Competition.  The competition, co-sponsored by Washington University’s Office of Sustainable Development and the City of St. Louis, will culminate with the selection of teams who have the most compelling plans for sustainable re-use of four of the lots.  The deadline for the first round of submissions is Dec. 10.  The competition brief can be downloaded by clicking HERE.

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.

RSS

Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed (what's this?)