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The 10th Street Mall in LaSalle Park

June 21, 2011

A few weeks ago I had the day off and needed to take my car to the shop, so for the first time in a while I was able to do some St. Louis Exploring.  For lack of a better idea, I simply took the bus downtown and starting walking toward Soulard, knowing that I didn’t really have a good grasp of what lay in between.  The dead zones between our “destination neighborhoods” are one of the biggest problems St. Louis has to tackle.

LaSalle Park

Crossing under Highway 40 on Broadway I entered LaSalle Park, a hidden gem nestled between Soulard, Layfayette Square and Downtown.  The neighborhood is cut off from the rest of the city by highways, and the damaged street grid leaves its few surviving blocks particularly isolated.   A Pedestrian Mall replaces Tenth Street from Hickory to Park Avenue, effectively separating the renovated historic homes to the east, from the mess of urban renewal to the west.

Tenth Street Mall in LaSalle Park

Dead-end streets north of Park on Ninth Street have been turned into cul-de-sacs, but they are shady, quiet, relatively dense, and feel great to walk down.  Large bushes visually separate the cul-de-sacs from the pedestrian mall, but the sidewalks merge into it.  The mall itself is both devoid of life and overgrown.

10th Street Pedestrian Mall from Park

In many ways, the Tenth Street Mall reflects St. Louis urban planning in general.  It has preservation on one side and auto-centric modern development  on the other.  It has glaring successes and failures.  It is cool and attractive but also lacks maintenance and use.  For many, however, it seems that LaSalle Park has the best of both worlds.  It is in the middle the city, but feels suburban in many ways.  It’s both old and new.  It has a totally random pedestrian mall running through part of it; and apparently that’s what people like because LaSalle Park is one of a small handful of St. Louis City neighborhoods to have gained population in 2010.  If you haven’t been, go check it out – the experience is quite pleasant.

More photos of LaSalle Park can be found here.

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3 comments

  1. I have long held views similar to yours. There are many quaint near southside neighborhoods that have no connectivity for tourists or outsiders. I believe a commercial area could be developed on the east side of Tucker between the historic Catholic church heading toward Choueau. This would require taking out the Boys Club and two churches, but the historic areas would be preserved. the Boys Club could take over the public school on the west side of Tucker. Metro needs to provide a tourist bus for the numerous southside spots.


  2. I stumbled across this post just today, almost a year after your venture through our neighborhood. Thanks for pausing on your way through – my family has been here for 13 years and love the place. We agree with you, in that the pedestrian mall has been neglected and underutlized. To this end, the neighborhood association successfully convinced the city to come in and trim everything back and is now working to schedule neighborhood activities around the artery of the walkway. The blend of historic and modern neighborhood will be a continuing challenge.


    • Awesome! How lucky you are to live in such a beautiful neighborhood!



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