If you're like me and have to pinch yourself every time you see the glistening, newly renovated 14th Street Mall in Old North St. Louis, prepare yourself for a similar reaction.
Just as the old 14th Street Mall, once in ruins, is being miraculously and meticulously resurrected, so too is Dick Gregory Place in the Greater Ville. Work has begun on several of the 15 historic buildings on a street that Paul Hohmann of Vanishing St. Louis once declared to be "on the brink of devastation". That link contains several photographs of a gorgeous but suffering group of homes that seemed as if its ultimate fate could be nothing other than widespread collapse or demolition. Thanks to the work of the Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance and others, Dick Gregory will now shine as brightly as 14th Street. Two new homes will be added to the mix, as will the renovation of a mixed use building at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Aldine. In total, 40 units will be put (back) on the market.
Matt Fernandez, now Old North St. Louis Restoration Group's Community Development Specialist, provided Urban St. Louis forumers with the following two photos of the commencement of the work. Fernandez assures us the work will be high quality--they're the same contractors that worked to bring back North 14th Street in Old North. Check them out:
Seeing these wonderful North Side preservation successes gives me hope that other forlorn, forgotten neighborhoods and commercial districts of a completely under-appreciated part of our city can return to greatness as well.
UPDATE (3/5/10 @ 10:00am): Rick Bonasch, of RHCDA, dropped a comment on this post with a few corrections and clarifications. Thanks Rick! Check out his blog, St. Louis Rising.
Just for clarification, RHCDA is the development consultant. EM Harris Construction is the General Contractor.
Dick Gregory Associates, LP is the owner. General partners are affilates of Northside Community Housing, Inc and Greater Ville Neighborhood Preservation Commission, both based in the Ville.
The project includes historic rehab of 15 buildings listed on the National Register and 2 new two-unit buildings to be built on Aldine in the District. The new buildings will be at a scale to mesh with the historic buildings.
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