What We Do

Celebrating ONSL’s History

Old North St. Louis is a neighborhood with a deep, rich history and ONSLRG has benefited greatly from outside partners, especially the University of Missouri-St. Louis, in collecting, documenting, and promoting these stories at our community history museum, history book, DVD, and history trail.

Community History Museum
It won’t take more than a few steps inside ONSLRG’s office before visitors will discover that Old North has been evolving over a long period of time to become the unique community it is today.   With arrow heads from the area’s original mound-building settlers, furniture manufactured in Old North decades ago, Garger’s Soda bottles, a menu from Crown Candy’s earlier days, signs from businesses that served previous generations along 14th Street, the artifacts and display boards in the Old North Community History Museum make it clear that ONSL isn’t just another pre-fabricated community. 

History Book:  From Village to Neighborhood
Co-authored by Miranda Rabus Rectenwald and Andrew Hurley, From Village to Neighborhood: A History of Old North St. Louis, was published in 2004 by Missouri Historical Society Press.  The book chronicles ONSL’s the people, developments and events that have shaped the community from its founding as the independent village of North St. Louis in 1816 through good times and bad up to the beginnings of the revitalization currently in progress.  The book can be picked up at the ONSLRG office or can be mailed to you for a nominal shipping and handling fee. 

History Trail
If you want to see some of the sites where significant events happened in the course of ONSL’s history, you can take a walk or bike ride through Old North by following a path outlined in the Old North St. Louis History Trail brochure. Researched, designed, and produced by ONSLRG’s History Committee, along with faculty, staff, and students from UMSL, the brochure is available at the ONSLRG office or online here.

DVD / Video: North Side Story
Featuring interviews with current and past residents of Old North along with historic and recent visuals of the neighborhood’s streets and landmarks, the DVD or videocassette of North Side Story allows you to follow the evolution of Old North from the comfort of your home, whether on your TV or your desktop computer or laptop’s DVD player.  The DVD or video cassette can be purchased at the ONSLRG office.

Virtual City Project

For the past couple years 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. This tour will enable you to visit several blocks in Old North and various points in its history. 


While it is fun to see what once was built in Old North, it is also good to look toward the future. So, 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. You can also send any constructive feedback that you may have to Matt Fernandez, our Community Development Specialist, at Matt (at) onsl.org.

To visit the Virtual City site, click HERE or on the link on the right side of this page.




If you think you might be interested in learning more about Old North St. Louis, please contact us.