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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mill Creek Valley - Urban Renewal circa 1972



© 2005 St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri St. Louis

Here is the description, courtesy of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at UMSL:

St. Louis - Seventy-five new apartments have been erected just west of LaClede Town, foreground. The apartments are part of Operation Breakthrough and the LaClede Town Corporation is to be the rental agent. Compton Avenue is in the foreground and Laclede Avenue is at the left in this aerial view. 14 February 1972 by Paul Ockrassa.


Note that Laclede Town itself was torn down in the 1990s. The beneficiary? Greenspace for SLU, a SLU parking garage, an expansion of Harris Stowe, and a stadium for SLU--but no residential (not counting a nearby student dorm for Harris Stowe students). Further note that Mill Creek once had 20,000 residents and all types of land uses, like most urban neighborhoods originating from the late 19th century.

5 comments:

Michael R. Allen said...

It's quite something to see the intact Midtown street grid!

Matt M. said...

It's quite sad. I saw a photo on Urban St. Louis of an intact urban street filled with row houses not unlike some of Lafayette Square's. I believe it was on West Pine just east of Grand (prior to West Pine's "greentopping" just west of Compton). Unbelievable--the potential that was there!

john w. said...

I'd like to learn more about Laclede Town itself, but there's a surprising dearth of information, especially visual, that can be found on this project. The Missouri Digital Heritage website has some fantastic historic images of Mill Creek Valley, including one that shows the extent of the slum clearance swath of urban renewal destruction that encompasses so many square blocks of area.

Taye' Foster Bradshaw said...

It is nice to see a photo of LaClede Town. I lived there from 1971-1972. It was a cool, eclectic place. St. Louis needs more diversity like that!

john w. said...

I have a copy of the Nixon-era design proposal compendium for Operation Breakthrough that is fascinating. We'll be trying to schedule a City Affair topic on Laclede Town next year, and invite former residents to tell their story of the successful early years.

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