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Spring Ave. Viaduct and Surrounding area

January 2, 2010

I have been interested in cities and their history for as long as I can remember.  I enjoyed reading about Heinrich Schliemann‘s discovery of Troy and was fascinated by remnants of the past whose use could be speculated about.  Rarely is there an account like the Iliad to explain a site.  It wasn’t until more recently that I started to really want to personally dig into St. Louis’ history.  I transfered to SLU in 2005 and started to explore the area just south of Campus.  The first place I visited was The Armory.  The Armory was accessible to me because of a pedestrian bridge in between the two directions of highway 40 at Spring Ave, and from this pedestrian bridge I was able to see the remains of the Spring Ave. Viaduct.

Looking North from Market and Spring

For some reason seeing this old viaduct in the tattered state it was in then was fascinating to me.  Immediately I began planning a trip to the more substantial chunk of bridge remaining.

Spring Ave @ Metrolink Tracks

Unfortunately the remains of the viaduct have been torn down, which is really a pity because I wanted to see it restored as a way for SLU students to safely get to the sadly inaccessible Grand Metrolink stop.  UrbanReviewSTL proposed something similar to this back in 2007.  Hopefully the Metrolink accessibility situation will be improved when the Grand Bridge is rebuilt.

Metrolink @ Spring

This whole area where Highway 40 rolls through midtown is very interesting and makes me very curious about what Market street here looked like before the highway was built.  Recent rehabs along Forest Park Parkway such as the University Heights Loft Apartments (which I enjoyed living in for a year), the Spring Street Lofts, Six Row Brewing Company, and the Aquinas Institute of Theology are bringing life to this area that could possibly extend down to the highway and hopefully continue south.  There was a big project being planned for the entire south side of Forest Park Parkway from Vandeventer all the way to Spring or even past it, replacing the Federal Mogul Plant (which seems to be abandoned despite having a 24 hour security guard) with a large shopping center.  Luckily it seems that this is not being planned anymore as I have not been able to find any links which mention it at this time.

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3 comments

  1. Take a look at the pictures on this site to get a look at what Market & Grand looked like in 1955.
    http://www.westernrailimages.com/Trolley-Street-Cars-Light-Rail/St-Louis-PSCO-Trolley-Line/7191392_mFAac#709722731_xSwxc

    My mother worked at the PPG shown in two of the photos. hey used to be able to walk up Grand to eat lunch at a greasy spoon. Advent of highway 40 ironically meant a ban on walking!


    • Wow thanks for the link! This was just the sort of thing I was looking for. Pretty crazy how much has changed in such a short amount of time. Hopefully we can make this area walkable again in the future.


  2. Enjoying reading your blog. Hard work always pays off.



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