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Archive for the ‘real estate’ Category

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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.

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

And the Winners of the Land Lab Competition Are…

From the official press release put out by the City of St. Louis and Washington University:

The City of St. Louis is poised to lead the way in innovative solutions to the national urban issue of vacant land, thanks to a unique partnership between the city and Washington University.

Four of the City’s vacant lots will be the new home for five demonstration projects that test new ways to think of vacant space. From a franchise-model urban farm co-existing next to an intimate bistro built out of re-used shipping containers, to a sunflower lab piloting efficiency of plant-based soil remediation, Old North St. Louis will be the first home to what will truly be a Sustainable Land Lab.

Winners of the inaugural Sustainable Land Lab Competition are:

Bistro Box and Our Farm: The Bistro Box concept is a small business incubator that transforms surplus cargo containers into a compact restaurant and culinary destination. Our Farm is a scalable urban agriculture network that proposes to transform blighted lots into cost efficient models of sustainability. **This is a hybrid of two finalist teams sharing a single lot due to the synergy between the two projects**

Chess Pocket Park: An outdoor community chess venue for residents with a permanent location supporting our primary community asset – people.

Mighty Mississippians: A modern agricultural and sustainable living model, the premises for this approach are rooted in regional history, the Mississippians and their ancestors, as well as modern permaculture practices. Using concepts of permaculture, the site will demonstrate the interdependent relationships that work efficiently and sustainably in nature and that worked for previous civilizations, from the soil to the birds, to humans.

Sunflower+ Project: Proposes turning previously developed urban lots into a community asset through the planting of sunflowers. With a goal of eventually spurring redevelopment of these vacant parcels, the project will serve as an appropriate, scalable and productive transitional solution.The sunflowers will improve soil quality, remove soil contaminants, and eventually produce a marketable set of products from flowers to seeds to biodiesel.

Each winning project will receive a two-year land lease and $5,000 seed money to start their project.

In the inaugural year of this city-wide competition, the pilot sites will be hosted in Old North St. Louis.

“The Sustainable Land Lab Competition is exploring innovative ideas for a national issue,” says Phil Valko, director of sustainability at the university.

“From urban to suburban to rural communities, vacant land is an American epidemic. This competition is adding to the dialogue and the body of problem solving,” he says. “The aspect that makes it especially unique is that the winners will actually win access to land and money to build their idea. The partnership between the city and Washington University in St. Louis is of great benefit to both. It leverages the university’s role as a thought-leader and research institution to channel creative thinking to a major challenge the city faces.”

The competition timing aligns well with the release of the first City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan.

“Advancing tangible and measureable sustainability has been an important goal of this project,” says Catherine Werner, sustainability director for the City of St. Louis. “Part of the challenge was for the teams to specifically address how their projects will help achieve the city’s sustainability goals. It’s very exciting to now have the opportunity to watch as creative sustainability ideas become reality.”

“I am thrilled that we have been able to partner with Washington University on this project,” says St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. “There was an overwhelming amount of interest and support from the community and the result was a high level of energy and an impressive array of final project ideas. It was difficult to select just a few winning projects. I look forward to celebrating and learning from the winning projects and using ideas from all the projects involved to address vacant land use in the city.”

The winning teams will present their ideas during a public forum at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Bridge, 1004 Locust St. in St. Louis.

Forty-eight teams applied in the first of a three-round competition. The final round consisted of eight ideas representing 10 of the original teams.

All of the submissions can be found online at sustainablecities.wustl.edu/land-labs-competition/submissions/.

The competition brief, which outlines the goals and context for this initiative, can be found online at sustainablecities.wustl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/SustainableLandLab_CompetitionBrief_110212.pdf.

The Sustainable Land Lab is a partnership between Washington University and the City of St. Louis, with support from Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, Equifax and the Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance.

It is the ongoing legacy of Washington University’s three-day Sustainable Cities Conference, held Nov. 1-3, 2012. The Sustainable Land Lab is designed to be a living laboratory of two-year demonstration projects, which will showcase innovative ideas and integrated strategies for transforming one of the region’s greatest challenges — vacant land — into an asset that can advance sustainability.

Please join us this evening in celebrating the completion of the selection process.

The official groundbreaking and start of work on these projects will take place on Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. The locations are marked on the map below.

Images of the projects (below) were part of the groups’ final concept boards submitted for Round 3.

Selected for Lot 1 at 2711 N. 14th Street:  Chess Pocket Park

Selected for Lot 4 at 1318-24 Warren:  Sunflower + Project

Selected for Lot 5 at 1300-06 Montgomery:  Mighty Mississippians

Selected for Lot 6 at 1303 Motgomery: Bistro Box and Our Farm

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Scenes from Land Lab Exhibit and Open Mic for Arts in Old North

Thank you to all of the residents and friends of Old North who came out to the Old North Gallery on Thursday evening to view the Sustainable Land Lab exhibit and afterwards to speak up for the arts in Old North.  As noted in our post from earlier on Thursday, the evening offered a convergence of art, sustainability, and community in the form of two, back-to-back events: a reception for the viewing of concept boards in the Sustainable Land Lab Competition, and an “open mic” session designed to allow residents and other community stakeholders an opportunity to express their thoughts on the presence of arts in Old North and their ideas for how additional support for the arts can help further the neighborhood’s revitalization.

Sustainable Land Lab Competition Exhibit Reception

St. Louis Beacon - Kresge Arts St. Louis Open Mic Event

Attendees were greeted with the upbeat steel drum music of Jamaica Ray.

A standing-room-only crowd was on hand to share their perspectives and listen to each others' thoughts on the role of arts in Old North.

A standing-room-only crowd was on hand to share their perspectives and listen to each others' thoughts on the role of arts in Old North.

William Burton Jr. of the 14th Street Artist Community discussed the capacity of the arts to bring different groups of people together.

William Burton Jr. of the 14th Street Artist Community discussed the capacity of the arts to bring different groups of people together.

Dave Eisenbraun shared his experience of raising three sons in Old North and how pleased he is that his son & daughter-in-law are raising his granddaughter in the neighborhood.

Dave Eisenbraun shared his experience of raising three sons in Old North and how pleased he is that his son & daughter-in-law are raising his granddaughter in the neighborhood.

ONSLRG's community engagement specialist, Claire Wolff, described how arts have been a key part of many of the group's initiatives, including music and children's activities at the North City Farmers' Market.

ONSLRG's community engagement specialist, Claire Wolff, described how arts have been a key part of many of the group's initiatives, including music and children's activities at the North City Farmers' Market.

Former ONSLRG intern M.K. Stallings talked about the power of poetry and how much the neighborhood has changed for the better over the past 10 years.

Former ONSLRG intern M.K. Stallings talked about the power of poetry and how much the neighborhood has changed for the better over the past 10 years.

Terry Harris, with his daughter Mhari at his side, shared why he and his family recently moved into Old North and what he appreciates about the arts programming for children that Old North already offers.

Terry Harris, with his daughter Mhari at his side, shared why he and his family recently moved into the neighborhood and what he appreciates about the arts programming for children that Old North already offers.

We had many more who took their turn at the microphone and offered their testimonials about Old North, but due to space limitations, we can’t acknowledge or show you all of them.  However, please check out the St. Louis Beacon’s report on the event, which includes a brief summary and a video of selections from the meeting.  Click HERE for their report, “Old North residents celebrate rebirth, discuss what can be.”

If you couldn’t make it to the event but still want your voice to be heard, you can express your thoughts, ideas, hopes or other observations online, through Wednesday, March 27, by clicking HERE.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mark Your Calendar for Multiple Ways to Visit, Celebrate, and Support Old North!

The next few weeks will be chock full of events that will provide opportunities to visit, learn more about, celebrate, support, Old North St. Louis (and positive neighborhood development in general).  Come on out to join us at one or move of the following:

Monday, January 21 - 5:30 p.m. - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Gathering

In the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commitment to service and community, ONSLRG will be hosting a gathering of churches serving Old North and providing a forum for an exchange of information about the great variety of programs coordinated by these churches, from food pantries to health screenings.  For more information, contact Claire Wolff, ONSLRG’s Community Engagement Specialist: claire@onsl.org.

Thursday, January 24th - 5:30 p.m. - inveSTL Event at ONSLRG Gallery

inveSTL is a charitable fund at the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation dedicated to supporting the development of great neighborhoods in the St. Louis region.   As part of their efforts to raise awareness about how individuals in the St. Louis area can join them in investing in St. Louis neighborhoods and highlight areas where such investment might help, inveSTL holds monthly “Know Your Neighborhoods” gatherings in different parts of town.  This month, inveSTL is bringing their event to Old North.  Please come on out on Thursday, Jan. 24 to learn more about this great initiative and show your support for Old North at the same time.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at investloldnorth.eventbrite.com.

Saturday, January 26 - 9 a.m. - Cleanup Day in 13th Street Community Garden-

The 13th Street Garden Group and other volunteers will be getting a head-start on prepping the garden for the spring planting season.  Tasks will include prepping the sweet potato bed, cleaning the greenhouse, and various other ground work.   If you’re interested in joining them, contact the ONSLRG office at 314-241-5031 or via email at info@ONSL.org.

Thursday, January 31 - 6:30 p.m. - Old North Neighborhood Open Meeting

In addition to the usual opportunity to get a variety of neighborhood updates and a chance to talk with officers from the 4th & 5th police districts, the January 31 Neighborhood Open Meeting will feature representatives from MoDOT who will report on the progress of construction work on I-70 and the Mississippi River Bridge.  Please join us and spread the word to your neighbors.

Friday, February 1 - Opening of Exhibit of Sustainable Land Lab Competition Design Proposals

The 15 teams selected for round two of the Sustainable Land Lab competition will be submitting concept boards and tentative implementation plans, which will be displayed at the ONSLRG Gallery for public viewing and comment.  Check back for exact details about the exhibit’s opening and viewing opportunities.  For more info about the competition, check out our December 18 post on the 15 teams vying for the chance to implement their creative ideas for sustainable re-uses of 4 empty lots in Old North.

The St. Louis Beacon covered the competition with two articles over the past week.  Click HERE for the first article, “The troubled past and possible futures of 1303 Montgomery St.” and HERE for the second article, “Vacant lots: when temporary change becomes transformational.”

Sunday, February 10 - 9 a.m. - Run for the Chocolate 5K

The St. Louis area’s sweetest 5k run and 1 mile walk returns for a second year with its route coming straight to the heart of Old North on the Sunday before Valentine’s Day.  All registrants will receive a super deluxe “Will Run for Chocolate” event shirt, along with pre-, post-, and mid-race chocolates.  T-shirts will be color-coded, so that you’ll be able to see whether your fellow runners are “on-the-market” (i.e., single) or “off-the-market” in case you’re still looking for a Valentine’s Day date.

Register online at www.runreg.com.  The event also could use some good neighborhood volunteers to help along the route, including passing out water and chocolates.  If that is more appealing than running in the race, contact the ONSLRG office at 314-241-5031 or info@ONSL.org, and we’ll put you in touch with the event organizers.

Monday, February 18 - 6 p.m. - ONSLRG Annual Meeting & Pot-Luck Supper

It’s a full month away, but it’s not too early to start planning your favorite dish.  Watch for more details, which will be posted here soon. In the meantime, please lock the date on your calendar and start telling your neighbors and any other friends of Old North to plan to join us on Monday, February 18!

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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!


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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Neighborhood Development Blog Takes Note of Projects in Old North

Several project currently under way in Old North St. Louis have caught the attention of the St. Louis Neighborhood Development Blog, which bills itself as a “catalog of St. Louis developments, large and small.”  In the past couple weeks, three buildings in different parts of Old North have benefited from the blog’s spotlight.  All three of these buildings had been condemned for occupancy - or even threatened with demolition - at various points in the past.

Most recently, the blog featured the rehab of 1418 Hebert (below) by James Cox & Luz-Maria Evans Cox.  James & Luz-Maria previously had transformed the property next door at 1416 (including the alley house) into a Landmarks Association “Most Enhanced” Award-winning historic rehab.

After 1418 Hebert was nearly destroyed by fire in 2005, the City’s building division condemned the building for demolition.  Many neighbors and the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group (ONSLRG) contacted the building division and the alderwoman to advocate for removal of the demolition order while a buyer could be recruited to preserve and develop the building.  The building eventually ended up in the hands of investors who could not secure financing, and the building’s survival became less and less likely as exposure to the elements took its toll.  Thankfully James and Luz-Maria stepped forward to rescue the building and are now in the midst of another prize-worthy transformation.

Last week, the rehab of 1306 St. Louis Avenue (below) received the attention of the neighborhood development blog.

This building was one of 8 historic Land Reutilization Authority (LRA) properties acquired by ONSLRG in 2009 for the sake of stabilizing them for future redevelopment.

With a front wall bowing out toward the street, 1306 St. Louis Avenue was in danger of collapse when ONSLRG invested the funds necessary to provide the structural support and other stabilization work to ensure its longer term prospects.  After a sale to STL North LLC and funding from the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, ONSLRG managed the redevelopment of the building for its new life as the home of Northside Workshop, a non-profit art space founded by award-winning artist, Juan William Chavez.

The house at 1227 North Market (below) made it onto the blog two weeks ago.  This particular house (another property acquired from LRA by ONSLRG) was not in great shape when Matt Fernandez purchased the long-vacant building, but it got a lot worse before Matt and his friends and family brought it back from the brink of extinction.

The dramatic recovery can only be fully appreciated when viewed alongside images shortly after the front wall collapsed (see below) following the second of two devastating storms that hit the building.

Old North is home to several other historic properties ready for development.  If you’d like to explore the possibilities of creating your own, unique space with the character and integrity that comes with a 140-year old architecturally significant marvel, click HERE for a PDF listing of rehab-ready buildings available from ONSLRG, or contact Matt at the ONSLRG office (matt@onsl.org; 314-241-5031, ext. 102).

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Send This YouTube Link to Encourage Others To Come See Old North This Saturday

We’ve put together a brief, rapid-pace video of recent transformations in Old North as a way of enticing those who haven’t seen the neighborhood (or haven’t seen it in a while) to come on out to the Old North House & Community Tour this Saturday, May 19.  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.

Thank you to Old North resident Joe Eisenbraun for allowing us to use his music in this video. For more about Joe and links to more of his music, check out our post from January 20, 2012.

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.  Or if you’d just like to buy some tickets online via our secure PayPal account, click HERE.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tschetters’ Home Featured in Sunday’s Post-Dispatch

Thank you to Susan and Tom Tschetter for allowing your home to be featured in Sunday’s Home section of the Post-Dispatch and for sharing your upbeat perspective on living in Old North St. Louis.  The article can be found on page H3 of the March 11, 2012, edition of the Post or click HERE to read the online version at stltoday.com/lifestyles.

In addition to showing the world that Old North is a neighborhood of historically significant homes with cool, one-of-a-kind features, the story also makes a plug for the enriching, community aspect of life in Old North.  After describing the great character and architectural details of the Tschetters’ 1879 home, reporter Amy Bertrand notes that “it’s the people of the neighborhood that mean the most to the Tschetters,” and then offers a quote from Susan: “It’s the ambience… We love it here.”

To see more photos from the Tschetters’ home, click here for the STL Today photo page, but we can also provide a few of our own from just a couple weeks ago, when Susan and Tom opened their home for the most recent of the many groups of visitors who’ve come to be impressed by their home and other developments in Old North.

On February 25, “Urban Walkers Group” came to see the revitalization in progress throughout the neighborhood, and made a stop at the Tschetters’ home along with other sites in Old North.

Friends of Old North and others who would like to see more of the fascinating homes in ONSL will get a chance on Saturday, May 19 when ONSLRG puts on the annual Old North House & Community Tour.  For more details and to purchase tickets, visit the tour page now: http://onsl.org/house-and-community-tour/.

Of course we also have opportunities to enjoy the ambience of the neighborhood as an owner of one of these historic gems, which can be rehabbed to reflect your own personality and style at a fraction of what it would cost elsewhere.  We recently received a visit from a current New Yorker who just closed on the purchase of a house in Old North.  Among her reasons for buying in Old North: “This house was an amazing value, and the mortgage rates are at historic lows; so, from a long-term investment standpoint, it makes perfect sense.”

To learn more about homebuying opportunities in Old North, visit ONSL.org’s real estate page at http://onsl.org/real-estate/.  And even if you’re not up for the rehab process or owning an old home, among the positive features of Old North is that we have new homes, as well.  Check out the website for 1319 North Market, which is one of the best deals in town for new or recently constructed homes.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Year Brings More Media & Outside Attention for Old North

The new year is barely two weeks old, but Old North has already received a good deal of attention in 2012 from a range of outside sources, including some publications with national readerships.

The latest moment in the spotlight came when HUD’s Best Practices website posted a feature on Old North’s Crown Square on Friday.  The Crown Square redevelopment earned its place as the latest in a series of reports on “best practice” developments around the country because the project resulted from a strong partnership between Old North St. Louis Restoration Group and Regional Housing & Community Development Alliance (with support from the City of St. Louis), a genuine community-based planning process, and a commitment to affordable and mixed-income housing, historic preservation, and various other sustainable development principles.  Click HERE or on the image below to read the full report.

On January 5, Builder Magazine posted a story on their website about the desirability of walkable neighborhoods and used Old North St. Louis as their featured example of a community that has benefited from improvements to its walkability.  The article cited Old North’s comprehensive approach to redevelopment and offered several photos from Old North, including a community garden, the North City Farmers’ Market, historically sensitive new homes at North Market Place, and the streetscape at Crown Square, to illustrate the elements that have made Old North not just more livable for current residents but also more attractive to prospective residents.  Click HERE or on the image below to read the full article.

Eleven Music Magazine’s January issue has hit the streets with Old North as its “Neighborhood of the Month”, which is nice recognition, especially for the Crown Square redevelopment of the former 14th Street Pedestrian Mall.  (Although the piece includes a mis-quote about the age of the neighborhood - indicating that the neighborhood was a separate village from St. Louis from 1860 - 1940, rather than the real dates of 1816-1841, we’ll forgive that because of the overall positive tone of the piece and the fact that the actual quote may have been difficult to hear during the interview, which was recorded at Old North’s La Mancha Coffeehouse, with the sound of an espresso machine and various diners’ chatter in the background.)  Click HERE or on the image below to read the article.

Visitors to hotels throughout the St. Louis area are picking up this month’s issue of Where Magazine-St. Louis, in which they’ll read about 6 new independent retailers “worth your time,” including Old North’s newest Crown Square establishment, Rambles Gift Gallery & Boutique.

Where Magazine is available at concierge desks and in-room at medium-to-high end hotels and other select businesses, but it’s also available online to provide travelers (and locals) with “the most complete guide to the city’s top restaurants, shops, shows, exhibits, and tours.”  The online version (seen below) also features a photo of the interior at Rambles.  Click HERE or on the image below to see and read the online version of the review of Rambles.

Thank you to all of these publications for sharing our story with the rest of the world!

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Virtual Old North St. Louis

For the past year or so ONSLRG has been working with University of Missouri St. Louis staff to create a virtual version of Old North St. Louis utilizing the Virtual City Program. The result is a model of what the built environment of Old North St. Louis may have looked like throughout time.

To use Virtual City, you will need to have Google Earth installed on your computer. Currently, only Crown Square and the 2700 Block of N 13th St. has been created. More of the neighborhood will be added over time, and the existing modeling will be refined.

The current model of the neighborhood can be found here. When you open the file, give it some time to load for best results. Click on the files in temporary places to load buildings. There is a time-line in the upper left corner that moves through time, and you will see buildings appear and disappear. Most of the structures at this point are modeled to show mass, scale, and siting. Generic building fronts from the neighborhood are pasted onto the structure. Over time this will be refined to show more detail. For more information about a building, you can click on the little dog in front of each building with more details.

While it is fun to see what once was built in Old North, it is also good to look toward the future. Since the time line extends nearly two decades into the future, we thought it would be a good idea to utilize Virtual City to develop some future development ideas. For now, we have developed three alternatives for future development for a plot of land that ONSLRG owns at the Northwest corner of Montgomery and 13th St. By no means are we committed to any one design, this exercise is meant to create discussion and ideas for a possible future project that at this point has no funding for any alternative. We would like to ask for constructive feedback on these potential ideas. What do you like about the current designs?  What would you like to see designed differently?  And let us know why you are making the suggestions you are offering.  Feel free to post your comments here by clicking on the “Leave a Comment” link at the top left side of this post.  You can also send any constructive feedback that you may have to Matt Fernandez, our Community Development Specialist, at Matt (at) onsl.org.  To see each alternative, click the link below each preview image displayed below.  You may also come by the ONSLRG office anytime and we will show you the Virtual City on one of our computers.

Contemporary loft development.

Contemporary loft development.

Click the following link to view the Contemporary loft development alternative on the Virtual City program.

Mixed-use development with traditional design.

Mixed-use development with traditional design.

Click the following link to view the Traditional design alternative.

Green homes development.

Green homes development.

Click the following link to view the Green homes alternative.

Stay tuned as this program gets filled with more images and as we flesh out the instructions for access and use.  In the meantime, enjoy the stroll down some of the streets of Old North as they may have looked at various stages in history.

Images currently loaded onto a view of Montgomery Street looking east from N. 14th Street in 1955.

Images currently loaded onto a view of Montgomery Street looking east from N. 14th Street in 1955.

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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