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

The Industrial Southern Edge
The southernmost reaches of Old North St. Louis contain a mix of commercial buildings, scattered surviving houses, and industrial buildings both old and new. As the area shades off into downtown, there are also oddities like a railroad tunnel (long abandoned) and the ancient sign of the Cass Avenue Bank.

September 2008: View looking northward toward Old North, along 13th Street. At center is the city's endangered Greyhound bus station. Just beyond it is the site of the demolished Brecht Butcher Supply warehouse.

Above: the Brecht Butcher Supply Company building, now demolished - 2003.

May 2003: The decending approach to the rail tunnel.

Site reader Kenneth McGreevy provides more information about the tunnel:
"This was part of the Illinois Terminal's improved entry to downtown St. Louis. The elevated rail structure from McKinley Bridge came to ground at approximately Hadley & Howard Streets and then went underground near O'Fallon Street. The tunnel was part of a late '20s and early '30s improvement project which was intended to terminate in two new facilities. Separate new freight and passenger terminals were planned and the freight terminal was completed beneath the Midwest Terminal Building built at 710 N. 12 St. (now 710 N. Tucker Blvd. ) By late 1932 plans for the construction of an adjacent passenger station and office tower fronting on Lucas Street were abandoned and the Midwest Terminal Building was renamed Central Terminal in 1933 and a portion of the basement terminal was used as the new passenger terminal. In more recent times it's been called the Globe Democrat building. Judging by Google satellite mapping this structure still exists.

"In your photo the structure bridging the tracks between two poles is one of the catenary support towers. The Illinois Terminal was a large electric interurban system connecting Peoria, Champaigne-Urbana, Decatur, Alton & St. Louis among others. It converted to diesel freight only service in the '50s except for the local Granite City - St. Louis service which lasted until 1958. Diesel powered freight service continued over the McKinley bridge until the late '70s.

"There are more of the catenary towers in your photos of the rail approaches to the McKinley bridge."

May 2003: The Cass Avenue Bank's ancient sign, overrun with plant growth.

May 2003: Adjacent to the Cass Bank sign stands a rare surviving house from the area's more residential era, at 1410 N. 13th Street.

September 2008: Battered but still standing, the house at 1410 retains an increasingly rare cast iron balcony.

May 2006: 14th Street at Florrissant. The foreground house is owned by Paul McKee.

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