So I'll share some photos of what I saw on a June 11, 2017 scooter ride.
The reason I chose to head south for my next ride was the fact that the Southern Funeral Home building was being razed.
I knew I had to get there fast or it'd be gone in full.
This is one of the buildings I loved when I lived in Holly Hills. It was such a curious spectacle at the southern payoff of one of St. Louis longest streets. Here are some photos I took back in July, 2011:
So I rambled on toward the southern terminus of Grand Boulevard through Soulard, Benton Park, Marine Villa, Mount Pleasant, Carondelet and finally Holly Hills.
Here's what caught my eye:
You know, to the casual passerby, the following building may look like another eyesore. To me, it's a great place, as the interior has 30,000 square feet of skateboard/BMX/scooter ramps. It's totally city, totally cool, a great place for kids. The city is full of hidden gems and this is one of them.
Went up Gravois to Russell to see how construction is going on the mixed use building that was one of my favorite development announcements of 2016. The old crappy gray cinder block building is long gone and the foundation excavated with concrete being poured for the underground parking! This one is really going to make a big difference at this important entrance to Soulard.
Headed south on Broadway and came across another construction site. Some demolition was taking place at 7th and Barton in Soulard. This is the site of the former Victor Iron Works. Sadly, some really cool single story buildings are being razed to make way for a five-story, 118 apartment building.
We need more density & more people and the iron works was a tough property. So it goes. I'll chalk this one up to compromise and a plus for Soulard. Here's the site in it's final days as a former industrial use:
A school of flounders were discovered, including a deep fried one:
Riding along I-55, you really get a first hand account of just how badly the Interstates tore apart and divided the city. And in it's wake is a mix of mid-Century homes: some pretty cool atomic ranches, small brick 60's homes that are prevalent in the burbs, and late 20th Century apartment complexes, many completely surrounded by fencing to form a compound feel.
One of the last Native American mounds exists in the wake of I-55, now fenced off with no trespassing warnings from the Osage Nation. This is called Sugarloaf Mound:
Always have to stop for a shot of interesting vehicles:
The houses along the river in the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood are gems.
I'd love to hang under this carport patio complete with string lights. South City living:
1000 tiny tuck point repairs:
A block north of Cletus:
When the suburbs call, City Hall always pick up the phone...a setback for Broadway:
Then headed to Carondelet proper and observed homes that remind me of Southern estates:
This corner building is perfect:
Ghost signs and other cool old signs aplenty:
You can find me in the club, bottle full of bub:
A mural for one of my favorite St. Louisan's, I blogged about her back in 2010:
You know, the tiny house trend could and should be alive and kicking in this part of town:
I swung through my old stomping grounds to check out the strange suburban experiment of "Boulevard Heights" to see if any more construction had occurred. It hadn't, but I read that there are $6.5M plans for 48 condos. There are some decent looking town homes, but my optimism over the new building is not there based on the photo in the PD article.
I'll hope for the best of course.
I always thought it odd that this is where former Mayor Francis Slay chose to live: one of the farthest south, least diverse, most decidedly suburban subdivisions in the entire city.
But the real reason I came this way was to get photos of the Southern Funeral Home demo and the Shoppers Cleaners rehab:
I stopped by Club Paladora on my way home to see if the Busch beer is still served ice cold or if anything has changed since I moved from this part of town nearly seven years ago...nope.
Old-school South City is alive and kicking.
This scooter ride left me with a feeling that people are politically disenfranchised and Trump has a lot of support in the deep southern neighborhoods of St. Louis...basically frustrated working class folks speaking out that things seem to be getting worse in their neck of the woods.
The Isaiah referenced in the back glass of that SUV is likely Isaiah M. Hammett who was shot and killed by SWAT officers after he opened fire on them with an AK. They were serving him a warrant for illegal drug and gun sales.
The juxtaposition of the anti-police rhetoric and the Jesus Freak, "I've read the book God wins", Faith Church and 101.9 Boost stickers caught my eye.
Carondelet is a mystery to me. I love the place, but just can't seem to figure it out. And that's why it's always fun to go there.