Archive for the ‘Schools in Old North’ Category

Friday, February 19, 2016

Old North in the Spotlight as Fox 2’s “In Your Neighborhood” Spends the Morning with Us

Thank you to Fox 2 St. Louis for coming to Old North St. Louis this morning to tell the story - in many parts - about a lot of the great things going on in the neighborhood.

Since the website has a lot of the segments broken into different clips, we have collected as many as we can and posted them here all on one page.

Click HERE to see…

  • the introduction to Old North by the show’s co-hosts on the scene in Old North, Kevin Steincross & Margie Ellisor
  • more from inside Crown Candy Kitchen
  • and a bit about the Sunflower Project

Click HERE to see

  • a couple of different video clips of their conversation with Andy Karandzieff of Crown Candy Kitchen, talking about all of the chocolate, the legend of the Easter Monkey, the rebirth of the neighborhood, and a behind the scenes view of how the chocolate gets made and poured into the molds

Click HERE to see

  • an interview with Jamaica Ray
  • a visit to Headhunters Barber Shop, including a conversation with owner/barber, Archie Cole

Click HERE to see…

  • Police Chief Sam Dotson making the case that crime is down “almost 50%” in Old North due to the “turnaround driven by neighbors…”
  • a visit to the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group office with a few comments from Sean Thomas

Click HERE to see visits to and interviews with

  • 14th Street Artist Community
  • Cafe Hope

Click HERE to see visits to and interviews with

  • Kennedy’s Pet Shop
  • Blackmun Footcare

Click HERE to see visits to and interviews with…

  • UrbArts
  • Excelsior Tax Service

Click HERE to see…

  • a conversation with Steve Marx at Marx Hardware, a family-owned business that has been in Old North for five generations

Click HERE to see…

  • a visit to Confluence Academy

They don’t have video clips posted yet for their conversation with Tom & Gloria Bratkowski (being interviewed in the photo below), about Tom’s family’s roots in Old North that go back several generations and Gloria’s work with ONSLRG’s Greenspace Committee…

…or their visit with Veronica Holden at La Mancha Coffeehouse, or their report on Firecracker Press and Central Print, or the interviews with artists William Burton and Robert Ketchens, along with Darryl Reece (shown below), discussing the Jesse Owens mural at the Crown Square corner plaza on St. Louis Avenue and N. 14th Street, but we’ll put those on here when they get posted.


Thanks again to all of the anchors, reporters, producers, camera crews, and interns at Fox 2 for sharing the story of how vibrant and exciting life in Old North is these days.


Now that you’ve seen some of the characters of the neighborhood and some visuals of the businesses and streets of Old North, we invite you to come see even more on Saturday, May 7, when we host our Annual Old North House & Community Tour.

Click HERE to learn more about the tour and to get your tickets while they’re still available at the early bird price of just $10 each.

And, whether or not you can join us on May 7, we invite you to support the work of continuing the dynamic revitalization shown on the air today.  Tax-deductible contributions to Old North St. Louis Restoration Group make it possible for us to continue revitalizing the physical and social dimensions of Old North in a manner that respects the community’s historic, cultural, and urban character. Just click HERE or on the image below to make a one-time or recurring contribution today.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

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

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

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

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

Better Life Cleaning Products, (to find a retailer or to buy online, visit

Blackmun Footcare, 2608 N. 14th Street

Boss Metal Fabricators, 1125 Montgomery St.

Building Futures, 2617 N. 14th Street

Central Print, 2624 N. 14th Street

Crown Candy Kitchen, 1401 St. Louis Avenue

ExKuisite Designs by Kimberly, 2611 N. 14th Street

Firecracker Press, 2612 N. 14th Street

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

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

KRAV Boutique, 2717 N. 14th Street

La Mancha Coffeehouse, 2800 N. 14th Street

Marx Hardware, 2501 N. 14th Street

Northside Workshop, 1306 St. Louis Avenue

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

Perpetua Iron Works, 2803 Blair

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

St. Louis ArtWorks, 2707 N. 14th Street

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

Zuka Arts Guild, 2701 N. 14th Street

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

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

For more about the Amazon Smile Foundation, click HERE.

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But wait, there’s more!

According to

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Nov. 9 Edition of ONSLRG eNewsletter Is Out

The Nov. 9 edition of the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group e-Newsletter has been sent out to all of our subscribers.  If you didn’t get it in your email, click HERE to view the web-version.

This edition includes brief updates on :

  • the Missouri Immigrant & Refugee Advocates’ 3rd annual art exhibit at the ONSLRG Gallery (showing now through Dec. 2);
  • Great Rivers Greenway’s open house at ONSLRG to show off plans for Branch Street improvements and the Trestle conversion to an elevated hiking and biking trail;
  • information presented at the Oct. 25 Old North Neighborhood Open Meeting, including presentations on a proposed dog park for Old North and a sustainability-focused charter school;
  • ONSLRG’s Winter Craft Market, scheduled for Dec. 1;
  • Halloween in Old North;
  • Plans for a makeover of the Crown Square corner plaza at N. 14th and St. Louis Avenue;
  • the Sustainable Land Lab Competition for creative uses of vacant lots in Old North;
  • Links to the draft of the City’s Sustainability Plan for public comment;
  • Recent volunteer support, including students from the Episcopal Church of the Ascension;
  • and various upcoming events and programs related to neighborhood issues.
Whether you got this e-Newsletter in the mail or via the link right here, please forward to others who care about Old North and/or print out a copy to share with your neighbors who aren’t Internet-connected.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thursday Evening: Old North Neighborhood Open Meeting & Therapy Boutique Fall Fashion Premiere

On Thursday evening (Oct. 25), you’ll have two opportunities to support Old North - first, by supporting one of our Crown Square businesses, then by attending a neighborhood meeting to learn more about some new and exciting plans for the community.

On the agenda for the meeting will be:

  • Plans for an Old North dog park;
  • The leaders of a new charter school, Advantage Prep Academy , will be on hand to to discuss their plans and interest in opening in Old North;
  • Officer Walker of the 5th District will be here to discuss neighborhood safety issues;
  • Trick-or-Treating in Old North; and
  • 14th Street Artist Community- a new gallery and program space in Crown Square

Please spread the word to your neighbors.  In fact, don’t just tell your neighbors, bring them along!  The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and will take place at ONSLRG’s gallery, 2700 N. 14th Street.  Refreshments will be provided.

Therapy Boutique’s Fall Fashion Premiere, Thursday, Oct. 25, 5- 8 p.m.

Give yourself some extra time to get to the meeting so that you can stop in at Therapy, the fashion boutique at 2717 N. 14th Street.

Here’s the announcement sent out by Therapy for this event:


Be the first to see our NEW “Fall Premiere” NOT TO MENTION 15% OFF the Entire Store!

While you’re here don’t forget to unwind and relax with a cold glass of wine and appetizers to complement your visit…

Come Out and Enjoy Yourself: Thursday, 10/25/2012 @ 5:00p.m to until 8:00pm

Therapy Boutique, 2717 N. 14th St. St. Louis, MO, 63106 (314) 241- SHOP (7467)

“Where Shopping Relieves Tension, Stress, and All That Other Mess!”

R.S.V.P via email:  or Text 314 378-7900

Mark Your Calendars and Don’t Forget!!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

2 Days Away: Old North Home Grown Fest & House Tour Will Feature Music, Dance, Arts, Crafts, & Food

We’re just two days away from the Old North Saint Louis Home Grown Festival & House Tour, scheduled for this Saturday, May 14 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.  Our last post provided a preview of the really cool range of housing, businesses and architectural styles that will be part of this year’s house & community tour.  Now, we’d like to highlight the Home Grown Festival side of the big day in Old North.

Since Old North is a community that embraces the arts and the creative talents of artisans and crafters, our Home Grown Festival will put the spotlight on some of the great talent right here in Old North and the broader St. Louis community.  Among the artists who will have installations in commercial spaces at Crown Square are:

Juan William Chavez, who not only was selected by Missouri Arts Council as their Individual Artist winner of the 2011 Missouri Arts Award, will be establishing a new arts center in Old North at 1306 St. Louis Avenue.

Dail Chambers of YeYo Arts Collective - Just this past week, the St. Louis Beacon published a profile of Dail and her work.

and an exhibit of work from students representing Ames Visual & Performing Arts Magnet School and Holy Trinity Catholic School as curated by Old North resident Claire Wolff.

The craft area of the Home Grown Fest will include booths for:

Gail Havens (decorative gourds); Allison L. Norfleet Bruenger (mixed media jewelry); Gloria Bratkowski (Art from the Attic); Susan Tschetter (rug hooking); Katherin Accettura; Alicia Christopher (decorative containers); Janet Sanders of Perpetua Iron (metal sculptor); Julie Longyear (candles and skin care); Connie Cole (caricature artist); Caryn Patterson of Pattercraft; Sun Ministries (wood furniture); Rae Calliach (fortune telling); Rebecca Wilson (photography); Andrea Berry (weaving).

Music and other entertainment, coordinated by Kathryn Bentley, will include (exact schedule subject to change):

10:15- presentation by Michael Allen, Preservation Research Office, in the Old North Gallery;

10:30 – 11:00-Zumba with David Foote, on the main stage;

11:00 – 12:00 - Grand Center Arts Academy; FRONT AND CENTER Show Choir, on the main stage;

12:00 – 12:20 - Wingmann Park Rededication Event (at Wingmann Park);

12:30 – 1:15 - Onion in a Pot, bluegrass band, on the main stage; Spoken Word, in the Old North Gallery;

1:30 – 2:15 - CLUB CHIPS with “Madame Wright”, on the main stage;

2:15- 2:45 - Barry Moton, on the main stage;

2:45 – 3:00 - Hassie Davis, on the main stage;

3:00 - presentation by Michael Allen, Preservation Research Office, in the Old North Gallery.

In addition to a complimentary ice cream cup, thanks to the generosity of Crown Candy Kitchen (for the first 250 or so House Tour ticket-holders), we’ll have other food vendors at this year’s event:

Mangia Mobile has made plans to bring their food truck to 14th Street.

The Sweet Divine will have their Sweet Shop Truck at Crown Square.

As always, food and beverages can be be purchased at Old North’s restaurants at or near the intersection of St. Louis Avenue & N. 14th Streets:  Crown Candy Kitchen, La Mancha Coffeehouse, and Mandina’s Sports Bar.

Trailnet will be bringing even more activity, in the form of another Environmental Justice Bike Ride, co-sponsored by Forks and Feet Forward (ONSLRG’s healthy and active lifestyle partnership with Trailnet and the community), Grace Hill, and the EPA.  The ride will begin and end at the Crown Square plaza area across from Crown Candy.  Registration for the ride begins at 11:00am and the ride departs at 11:30am.  The ride will last approximately 2 hours.

For more information about the Old North Home Grown Festival & House Tour, give the Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group a call at 314-241-5031 or send an email to  Additional information and a link to purchase tickets online can be found at the page for the house tour: Click HERE to visit the House Tour page of the ONSL website.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Old North Flickr Set Features Highlights from 2010

The collection of Old North photos on Flickr now includes a set dedicated to highlights from the activities and events of 2010.  Check it out by clicking here.

Some of these photos will be included in the slideshow of 2010 highlights that will happen at the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s Annual Meeting & Pot-Luck Supper, which will start at 6 p.m. on Monday evening.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Huge Year for Old North in 2010 - Part 2

Our year-end inventory of the major events and developments in Old North during 2010 started on Friday with Part 1.  We now continue the review of what made 2010 such an eventful year with an even longer list in Part 2…


Although the North City Farmers’ Market had to move around a bit due to the street work along 14th Street and at the St. Louis Avenue plaza area, the 4th season of the market was still a great success.  In fact, this year friends of the North City Farmers’ Market showed the intensity of their support by logging enough votes in American Farmland Trust’s annual competition to get the North City Farmers’ Market into the top 20 list of ”America’s Favorite Farmers’ Markets” (among other markets of similar size)!  In addition to that national exposure, the market got some major air-time on July 31 when the KMOX Radio program “Mike Miller’s Garden Hotline” broadcast live from the market (as seen in the final photo below).

Special thanks go out to all of the volunteers who came out week after week to help with setting up tables and tents, staffing some of the food and information stands, taking down everything at the end of the market, and countless other chores; and to Sarah Pritchard, market master; Lucas Hudson, project coordinator at the beginning of the season until leaving to pursue a career in law enforcement; Veronica Holden, who took over as project coordinator for the rest of the season; and Ivy Tominack (seen in the 3rd photo below), who joined the team this year as nutrition education coordinator; and, of course, Missouri Foundation for Health for providing the financial support that has made it possible for us to host the past four seasons of the North City Farmers’ Market.


The Old North Gallery (sometimes referred to here as the “Crown Village Gallery”) in the space adjacent to ONSLRG’s office at 2700 N. 14th Street buzzed with arts events all year long.  ONSLRG partnered with Cinema St. Louis to bring monthly film screenings to the community, often with Q & A sessions with the films’ producers or directors (shown in the 1st photo below), and special screenings for students from Ames School and Confluence Academy (in the 2nd photo below); and Metro Theater Company to bring live performances of Delilah’s Wish.  In July, the monthly story-telling gathering called “Moth-Up” took place at our gallery.

At other times throughout the year, visitors from throughout the St. Louis area came to view exhibits at the gallery, including the professionally-curated Visionary Arts of Haiti exhibit brought to us by Missouri Immigrant & Refugee Advocates; and a display of works by local artists Chris Ruess and Nick Riggio at the rehabbed Crown Square commercial space that once housed Sobel’s Dept. Store; events hosted by the Mayor’s Vanguard Cabinet Subcommittee on Arts and Entertainment, or the Metropolis Wine Club; the graduation celebration for the Pulitzer Foundation’s Hyde Park youth arts program (the Pulitzer is also responsible for bringing the “waving hand” images that are posted at various locations throughout the neighborhood); and for Juan Chavez’s snow cone project during the Crown Square completion street party.  Watch for more art projects from Juan in the coming year.


In 2010, the Old North gallery space became the most popular spot in the neighborhood for meetings, parties, educational workshops, and other community gatherings.  Among the many events in the gallery this year were ONSLRG’s Annual Meeting & Pot-Luck Supper; a finance & budgeting workshop with presenters from Bank of America; Quality of Life meetings, including presentations about neighborhood safety and MODOT’s plans for the Mississippi River Bridge and re-building the St. Louis Avenue and Madison Street overpasses; a workshop on weatherization techniques and resources; several training sessions for the Minority Contractors Initiative; a meeting of the Covidien Community Advisory Panel; the annual breakfast meeting for the Workers Rights Board; planning meetings for the Old North Grocery Co-op; an 80th birthday party; and the October of the St. Louis Beacon’s monthly “Beacon & Eggs” gatherings.


Depending on how you define a community garden and who you ask, Old North is home to anywhere from 9 to 11 community gardens.  In any case, the gardens throughout Old North benefited from countless hours of volunteer labor from neighborhood residents and various outside groups, including service clubs from several colleges and other volunteers brought in by Operation Brightside to help with significant improvements to Wingmann Park.  The annual Brightside Blitz clean-up day in the spring brought even more help for these gardens, as well as for clean-ups at vacant lots, alleys, and streets throughout the neighborhood.  This year’s effort included extra help from Maryville University students with the planting of trees from Forest ReLeaf.


The community garden that saw the most activity throughout the year was the 13th Street Garden, which grows fruits and vegetables for the North City Farmers’ Market and the Old North Grocery Co-op.  Under the watchful eye of garden coordinator Veronica Holden, the garden also became home to some of Old North’s most popular new residents, the inhabitants of the 13th Street Garden Chicken Coop.  Another highlight of the year was the selection of the 13th Street Garden by Gateway Greening for designation as one of their Hub Gardens, which means additional support and investments from Gateway Greening and expanded use as a demonstration and learning space for gardeners throughout St. Louis.


If attracting and retaining residents is important for a neighborhood on the way to becoming sustainable, it’s also key to attract and support businesses that make the community more walkable and economically viable. New businesses opening up on N. 14th Street included Therapy Boutique at 2717 (shown in the first two photos below), Norah Ryan’s law office (with Norah shown below, getting interviewed by Matt Sepic of St. Louis Public Radio - and the story still can be found on St. Louis Public Radio’s website by clicking HERE ), which moved from Clayton to 2708 N. 14th, and Poor Souls Society Art Gallery, which opened in December.


The Annual Old North St. Louis House & Community Tour in May is traditionally the biggest event of the year for ONSLRG.  This year’s tour on May 8 featured two current Landmarks Association “Most Enhanced Award”-winning projects and two Most Enhanced Award-winning homes from previous years, although the work in progress in the street along 14th Street caused a few challenges.

(Be sure to check back later for details about plans for a bigger and better tour this year, scheduled for Saturday, May 14, including the addition of a HomeGrown Street Festival on 14th Street to put the spotlight on all of the great locally produced foods and other goods from around St. Louis.)

Other groups paying a visit to the ONSLRG office for presentations and tours this year included another delegation of community development professionals from Russia (in the first photo below), members of the Retail Design Institute, attendees from a national conference for Metropolitan Planning Organizations, representatives from Federal Reserve Bank branches around the country, UM-Extension’s Community Development Academy, and classes from various programs at SLU, Washington University, UM-St. Louis, Mizzou, and Webster University.  We also welcomed several visits from former residents who came back to the progress in their old neighborhood.


In 2010 we hosted several steering committee and community planning meetings for the Bikeable/Walkable Old North Master Plan, spear-headed by Trailnet and their planning consultants, and in October, the last of the year’s Open Streets came through Old North, with Crown Square serving as one of the major activity hubs.


Andrew Hurley, chair of the UM-St. Louis History Dept., has put Old North in the spotlight with his new book, Beyond Preservation: Using Public History to Revitalize Inner Cities, which was published in May by Temple University Press.  The book is available for purchase through a major online retailer, but you might want to start by checking with one of our local, independent booksellers, such as Left Bank Books, just a mile south of Old North in Downtown St. Louis.


A lot of outsiders take note of the highly visible physical transformation that has taken place with many of the neighborhood’s historically rehabbed properties, but the real evidence of the Old North’s revitalization is in the incredibly active people who call Old North home.  Among the events initiated and coordinated by Old North residents this year included a lively and well-attended National Night Out celebration on N. 19th Street in August and a great Halloween party and trick-or-treating event in October.

One of the year’s best demonstrations of neighbors supporting each other was the successful campaign to mobilize enough votes to help Graham & Viveca Lane win the KSHE-95 Great Green Yard Giveaway contest. The Lanes may have won the contest, but the whole community benefits from the investments that have brought major improvements to the corner of 13th and North Market.

Thanks again to all who helped make all of the above happen.  Stay tuned for much more to come, and plan to join us on Monday, January 31st for Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s Annual Meeting and Pot-Luck Supper where we’ll provide a preview of some of our plans for 2011.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Reprieve for Ames School

This has already been reported elsewhere, but it bears repeating here.  The future of Old North’s Ames Visual & Performing Arts Magnet School appears to be safe, as long as St. Louis Public Schools Special Administrative Board goes along with the recommendations of Superintendent Kelvin Adams.  Adams released his proposed school closing list last week and his list did not include Ames, which would have been on the chopping block had he gone along with the recommendations of the consultants from MGT of America.  The Special Administrative Board will vote on the Superintendent’s recommendations at their meeting on March 12.

Ames Visual & Performing Arts Magnet School, 2900 Hadley
Ames Visual & Performing Arts Magnet School, 2900 Hadley
Ames is also a polling place for ONSL residents on election days, such as today's city primary election.

Ames is also a polling place for ONSL residents on election days, such as today's primary election for mayoral and aldermanic candidates.


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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