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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gate District Hodgepodge

The Gate District, while sometimes maligned by the urbanist set for its decidedly suburban new construction, has plenty of surprises befitting of the most urban of neighborhoods. I am not sure if I have ever witnessed a neighborhood so randomly interspersed with new homes, vacant lots, and historic ones as the Gate District.

Check out this block of Caroline Street in the Gate District.

From the scene below, and with more judicious cropping, one might assume the block is characterized by smallish classic red brick homes with some nice, if faded brick sidewalks to match.

The next lot to the west, though, is vacant and lacks any sidewalk.

Moving to the west just one more lot and we have one of those "suburban" intruders, with its tidy new concrete sidewalk.

In just three urban lots, we have urban, rural, and suburban settings. We have historic buildings, new construction, and no construction.

Say what you will about the Gate District, but it's full of interesting bits and pieces. If you're unfamiliar with the area, check out Floral Row, Diner's Delight, the SLU Medical Campus Urban Prairie, the Barr Block of historic Second Empire rowhouses, the Christian coffee shop in a rehabilitated circa 1867 Lutheran Church, the Theresa School, and much, much more.

I don't hear it referenced very often, but the Gate District is the product of the planning of superstar New Urbanist Andres Duany. Read more on that here.


Chris said...

Sadly, looking at the renderings, Duany's vision was not fully realized--a poignant reminder that even the best new-urbanists' designs alone cannot assure a great neighborhood. It could have so much more potential, but people must insist upon high standards.

Brian said...

Such a goofy, and largely unattractive, area. It's one part of the city I avoid at all costs. At least most of Lafayette is still intact - that street needs thoughtful urban infill on its many vacant lots. The green townhomes are a good start. I'd like to see more commercial buildings added as well

STLgasm said...

It's a f**kin' mess!

Matt M. said...

^^^ True it's goofy and messy in its totality...but it's so St. Louis at the same time. Treasures are all over the neighborhood...often right next to trash.

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