Photo Flood 6: Old North Saint Louis

oldnorth 10photograph by Mandi Gray

Old North Saint Louis is a neighborhood of distinction that is experiencing a rebirth. From arts advocacy groups, to restauranteurs and building developers, to a committed and close-knit community, Old North Saint Louis continues work to reclaim its former glory.

oldnorth01photograph by Jason Gray

oldnorth 09photograph by Jason Gray

oldnorth 15photograph by Mandi Gray

oldnorth 20photograph by Theresa Harter

oldnorth 08photograph by Wendi Fitzgerald

oldnorth 19photograph by Jason Gray

oldnorth 01photograph by Wendi Fitzgerald

Old North began as the village of North Saint Louis in 1816. It’s designers had ambitions to build a city that would rival in greatness the one directly to their south, the inland port of St. Louis. For many years, the dream flourished, and Old North Saint Louis prospered. Even after the city’s annexation of Old North in 1841, the neighborhood continued to draw many new residents with opportunities in shipping and manufacturing. However, in the 20th century, the area was dealt a series of crushing blows; from the dismantling of the streetcar system, to the construction of Interstate 70 (which cut the neighborhood off from the river), to a failed pedestrian mall, Old North suffered great declines, and the previous greatness was eventually difficult to see. Despite this, the area maintained loyalists and long-time residents who banded with dedicated outsiders to impart the dramatic changes now occurring.

oldnorth 07photograph by Wendi Fitzgerald

oldnorth 14photograph by Theresa Harter

oldnorth 12photograph by Jason Gray

oldnorth 04photograph by Wendi Fitzgerald

oldnorth 05photograph by Mandi Gray

Given that Old North Saint Louis is almost 200 years old, it is no surprise that its original planners had great flexibility for how to lay out the street grid. Unique names exist, which honor original residents, and there are many landmark buildings (there are three, separate National Historic Districts in Old North). Probably the most unique surviving features are the three, circular city-blocks near the neighborhood’s eastern border with I-70. These three plots are known as Clinton Place, Jackson Park, and Marion Place. Collectively, this municipal district was meant to represent mind, body and spirit, with one of the circles housing a school, another a park, and the last, a place of worship. Native American ceremonial mounds (those which contributed to St. Louis’ nickname of “Mound City”) were removed from these three blocks, and tales of indians still buried there prevail.

oldnorth 06photograph by Mandi Gray

oldnorth 17photograph by Jason Gray

oldnorth 11photograph by Jason Gray

oldnorth 16photograph by Jason Gray

oldnorth 13photograph by Mandi Gray

oldnorth 02photograph by Wendi Fitzgerald

oldnorth 18photograph by Jason Gray

The map:

This Flood in Old North St. Louis marked our six-month anniversary of Photo Flood Saint Louis, so we really wanted to head somewhere special after shooting. What better place for our end point then than Crown Candy Kitchen? Makers of specialty chocolates, candies and milkshakes galore for 100 years, this north side soda fountain deserves every bit of its popular reputation. We even had a Flooder with the guts to tackle their massive Heart-Stopping BLT, a nominee for Alan Richman’s “Best Sandwich in America”.

oldnorth 05photograph by Jason Gray

  1. Derrick Varner 11 years ago

    Awesome photos from the North City Flood. Looking forward to participating in future floods. Keep up the great work Jason!!

  2. Erica 11 years ago

    This is fantastic! I would love to participate. Keep up the good work.

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