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Archive for the ‘North Market Place’ Category

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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.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Annual Old North House & Community Tour - Saturday, May 17

Get your tickets now! Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group’s Annual Old North House & Community Tour is rapidly approaching.   The big day which celebrates and shows off the comprehensive, neighborhood-wide sustainable revitalization of Old North will take place on Saturday, May 17th from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Advance tickets at $10 per person can be purchased online (on the “Buy Stuff” page of ONSL.org) by clicking HERE or they can be purchased in person at the ONSLRG office, 2700 N. 14th Street during regular business hours up until the day before the tour.  Tickets on the day of the tour will be available for $12 at the registration tent on the corner of St. Louis Avenue & N. 14th Street.

Proceeds from the tour help support the continued work of the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group throughout the year.  We have a lot more work to do.  With your support we will achieve our goal of becoming a sustainable, urban, neighborhood neighborhood of choice on the edge of Downtown.   In the days ahead, we’ll be posting more updates about the tour and previews of the various homes, businesses, gardens, and other sights that will be on the tour.  Until then, you can get a feel for the tour and enjoy some images of past tours by clicking HERE.

Although time is running out, there is still time to support the tour as a sponsor.  Click HERE for sponsorship benefits and details. The tour is made possible by the generous support of many sponsors, including PNC Bank, our lead sponsor and “Tour Presenter” once again this year.  We also thank other sponsors, such as Commerce Bank, Duffe-Nuernberger Realty / ND&S Management, Equifax, Husch Blackwell, and U.S.Bank.  A full list of sponsors will appear in future posts here.

If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please feel free to contact ONSLRG staff at the office, in person or by phone at 314-241-5031, or by email:  info@ONSL.org.

Special thanks go out to Firecracker Press at 2612 N. 14th Street for designing and producing the really cool poster for this year’s tour, which also will be available for purchase through ONSLRG or Firecracker Press.

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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!

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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.

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Friday, June 28, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

Jane behind the front desk at the old office.

Jane behind the front desk at the old office.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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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…

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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.

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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