This past Thursday Old North St. Louis Restoration Group (ONSLRG) hosted our regular monthly Old North Neighborhood Open Meeting (sometimes referred to as our “Quality of Life” meeting). A great crowd of Old North residents and neighbors from nearby neighborhoods showed up for updates or reports on the following:
Virtual City Project
Andrew Hurley, Chair of the University of Missouri-St. Louis History Department, reported on the Virtual City project, an ongoing collaboration between UMSL and ONSLRG, which involves creation of an online image of Old North. The project displays views of the built environment of Old North and enables the viewer to virtually visit several blocks in Old North at various points in time. Individual buildings in the model were reconstructed based on information in fire insurance maps and other documentary evidence. Andrew discussed how this project is more than a resource for learning about the history of the neighborhood but also can be a tool that will help the community give input on future development in Old North. To take a look at how this has been used so far to re-create a limited section of the neighborhood - and to review some sample ideas for how the future could look, there are two different ways to access the project:
1. Web version (this does require a browser plug-in, but users will see instructions for installing it when the site comes onto the screen): http://vcities.umsl.edu/tours/OldNorth
2. Google Earth version (users will need to download Google Earth for this to work): http://18.104.22.168/resources/vcity/3Dmodels/oldnorth.kmz
ONSLRG’s Real Estate Committee will further discuss how the Virtual City project can help us plan for future development - and identify a focus area for further development - at a meeting on Monday, Sept. 23. If you’d like to be involved or contribute your ideas, contact Matt Fernandez (314-241-5031, ext. 101, or Matt@ONSL.org).
Family Roots International
Maurice Foxworth, President of Family Roots International shared information about his organization’s planting of cornfields and other crops on vast tracts of empty land in the St. Louis Place neighborhood, just west of Old North. Many neighbors from St. Louis Place came out to ask questions about the project.
Sustainable Land Lab Project
Phil Valko offered an update on progress with the Land Lab sites, all of which are within a block of the Old North Gallery where the meeting took place. The Sunflower+ Project on Warren succeeded in planting and growing a full crop of sunflowers; the Mighty Mississippians at the southwest corner of Montgomery & N. 13th Street have much to show for their efforts, as well. In addition to corn and other plants on the site, other activities, including yoga, have taken place there, and soon we’ll see the construction of a “mound”. The RRFarm project, across Montgomery from the Mighty Mississippians, had a good start but have since encountered delays due to the city permitting process for the greenhouse structure they’re constructing on the site. Sharing that same lot, the Bistro Box project has been working on securing funding and additional partners. Unfortunately, we have no news to report on the final Land Lab lot at 2713 N. 14th Street, which is supposed to be developed as the Chess Pocket Park.
Although not selected for implementation through the Sustainable Land Lab competition, another team led by Catalina Freixas and Pablo Moyano reached out to ONSLRG to pursue their project at another site in Old North. Their plan for production and installation of permeable pavers and benches, along with pollinating plants, will soon be taking shape at ONSLRG’s community garden space at the northwest corner of Blair and St. Louis Avenue.
To learn more about or to get involved with any of the projects and activities reported on at Thursday’s meeting, please contact the ONSLRG office by phone at 314-241-5031 or by email, info@ONSL.org.
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- Art in Old North, Community Gardens, Life in ONSL, ONSL amenities, Old North Gallery (formerly known as Crown Village Gallery), Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, Parks and green spaces, Public Meetings, Renovation, Uncategorized, Virtual City, real estate, sustainability
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