Built St. Louis > > The North Side > > Old North St. Louis

Intimate Spaces
Though no longer as intact as Soulard, Old North still holds a great number of architectural charms -- intimate back yards, the course texture of long-weathered red brick, mousehole passageways, front door niches, odd and peculiar interior spaces... all the delights of a time when houses were built to be compact, sturdy and economical. A home tour in the spring of 2004 gave me the chance to document a few of them, as well as to chat with some of the area's homeowners. The latter proved to be a diverse, progressive, welcoming and intelligent group of people.

I was especially struck by the energy of the neighborhood -- a sense that things were happening there, that this was a place to be! Indeed, a year later, construction began on a hundred units of scattered-site housing around North Market Street, both new buildings and -- amazingly -- rehabs, including reconstruction of some houses that seemed utterly beyond recovery. Meanwhile, a slow grassroots revival that has been ongoing for twenty years continues to build steam.







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