Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

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Pedestrian Walkways of Northampton

November 29, 2017

This past weekend, while enjoying the wonderful weather that St. Louis had been graced with, I stumbled upon a mid-block pedestrian pathway between Hereford and Lawn in the Northampton neighborhood (AKA North Hampton, AKA Northhampton).

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Turning down the walkway and following it through the neighborhood is a delightful experience.  It provides a truly unique perspective on the area.  Each block has its own character and this cut through lets you see them back to back, witnessing the changes from single family to two-family to four-family to apartment block.

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Marked crosswalks provide an added level of comfort to the already safe-feeling path.  The streets this walkway crosses through are narrow and calm for the most part.

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Adding even more interest to this particular walkway is the curvature of the streets as they approach Kingshighway from the West.

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The backside of a block can sometimes be even more interesting than the front.

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Discovering this walkway and experiencing it on foot had me searching google for more information as soon as I got home.  That’s when I came across the St. Louis Urban Connections Project.  Take a look – this mapping project shows pedestrian walkways all over St. Louis.   In addition to the “Lawn Walk” (which is the one I’ve described and shown above), it highlights another in the Northampton Neighborhood, and a similar pair in Princeton Heights (all new to me).

Northampton Walkways

I’ll follow this post up with another showing the pedestrian walkways of Princeton Heights.  If you’re in the area, seek out these interesting neighborhood tours.  Check my Northampton Flickr page for more scenes from this portion of the city.

Update 12/3/2017: After linking to this post on Twitter, the resulting conversation taught me a few new things about the Northampton neighborhood (or North Hampton, which is apparently the preferred name).  Within it are two strong neighborhood organizations, Kingshighway Hills and Tilles Park that essentially split the city-defined neighborhood along Macklind Avenue (although Tilles Park extends into the Lindenwood Park neighborhood up to Watson).

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North Sarah Redevelopment – Phase 3

March 28, 2017

The North Sarah Redevelopment has continued to grow, and its most recent phase appears to be nearing completion.  The project was an early topic for this blog, and has now inspired a follow-up.

To provide a bit of background: McCormack Barron Salazar broke ground on phase 1 of the North Sarah Redevelopment Project in 2011 centered around Sarah and CD Banks.  They completed phase 2 on Vandeventer in 2013.  The current phase included a re-working of Turner Park, and extends new construction west to Whittier.

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Looking Northeast towards the corner of Sarah and CD Banks

The new Turner Park is attractive, and retains two structures from the previously existing park.  A new landscaped walking path with benches and gardens wraps the park that was previously dominated by a softball field.  Gone is the chain link fence that once lined its perimeter, and the addition of a playground appears to be quite popular.

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Turner Park looking South from Sarah and CD Banks

Unfortunately, three historic homes have been demolished as part of this phase, in addition to the few that were previous casualties of the project.  The most recent set were documented by VanishingSTL back in July of 2014.  Since the development includes dwellings for as few as four families, working around existing building stock should have been a great problem.

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Finney Avenue looking east towards Sarah

A stroll through more in-tact nearby blocks of the neighborhood presents an argument for preservation.  The home pictured below is directly across the street from the three residences referenced by vanishingstl in the link above.

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A few blocks to the west (and just a block east of Ranken Tech) is a great collection of commercial/industrial buildings that are awaiting a new use.  Enright Avenue immediately to the south has few “missing teeth” (at least west of Sarah), and showcases the very best of St. Louis residential architecture.  Buildings along this corridor are in various states of repair, but the success of North Sarah along with a steady stream of infill/rehabs on Delmar and to the immediate south elicits optimism.

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Enright Avenue in the Vandeventer Neighborhood

North Sarah feels nice to visit.  At least one of the live/work spaces includes a useful and interesting retail store.  Turner Park looks great.  Hundreds of new residents have moved in within the last five or so years.  The North City Food Hub is set to open this summer in the never-really-occupied anchor retail space at Sarah and CD Banks.

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Looking North on Sarah

This project has done a lot of good things, and in terms of form and materials it sets a great example for urban development in “less-desirable” (i.e., North of Delmar) portions of the city.  The problem is that it’s repetitive in a way that’s visually boring.  It’s a poor match for the smaller scale, incremental development that makes up much of the surrounding area.  It’s too big because it has to be in our “economy of scale” age.

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It’s the little things.

I don’t have the answers here, but we must find a way to attract investment from a variety of developers that can tackle one to five lots rather than 50 to 500.  The North Sarah project has done a good job in its three phases, but whatever phase 4 is it needs to try something different.  It’s the little things that make a neighborhood great.

Further Reading:

Slyvester Brown’s STL American Column on the North City Food Hub: http://www.stlamerican.com/business/business_opinion/a-new-model-for-developing-north-st-louis/article_519f6618-a6ca-11e6-ae49-334af5ff88f0.html

 

 

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St. Louisans Enjoying the Independence Day Weekend

July 6, 2013

I spent a lot of time wandering around the city this weekend, and it seemed like everyone was in a good mood.  The weather was relatively nice, there was no drought to discourage fireworks, the spirit was festive.  See some of the people I ran into this weekend in the photographs below:

Tower Grove East, South St. Louis Summer

Pool Party! – Tower Grove East

Tower Grove East South St. Louis Summer Swimming

Break from the Pool – Tower Grove East

Cherokee Street South St. Louis Summer

Phone Convo on the Stoop – Cherokee Street

Tower Grove East, South St. Louis Summer Grand Am

Beautiful evening for a drive – Tower Grove East

Grand Center St. Louis Summer

Outside of Powell Hall – Grand Center

South Indian Poetry Grand Center First Friday

Performing outside of the Sheldon – Grand Center

Sheldon Concert Hall Grand Center First Friday

Watching and Listening – Grand Center

Greater Ville Martin Luther King Blvd North St. Louis Summer

Enjoying the Afternoon – MLK and Marcus

Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd North St. Louis Summer

Taking a break – The Greater Ville

Grand Center St. Louis Summer

Peace – Grand Center

Carr Square North St. Louis Summer Ice Cream

Very Energetic Ice Cream Van Passenger – Carr Square

Benton Park West South St. Louis Cool Kid on Sidewalk

Very Cool Kid – Benton Park West

Fair St. Louis Downtown Riverfront Jefferson Expansion National Park Arch

Pepsi Challenge – Downtown Riverfront

Not everyone had a perfect weekend, but it was about as close as you can get.

No Trespassing Beware of Dogs South St. Louis Benton Park West

Hiding Out – Benton Park West

Happy Independence Day (Weekend)!

Fair St. Louis Downtown Fireworks Fourth of July

Downtown Fireworks