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I took some pictures as I was walking around the Debaliviere Place neighborhood of St. Louis. Debaliviere Place is located directly above Forest Park and is directly west of Central West End.
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EvilGentleman: 22nd May 2007 - 01:26 GMT
Condos, old and new. The great city of St. Louis deserves better than this graphic example of the full variety of sameness that gentrification produces.
colavitos ghost: 22nd May 2007 - 15:48 GMT
EG, i don't get what you're talking about.
i've never been to st. louis, but this seems like a totally reasonable middle class neighborhood.
blind hate toward condos simply doesn't make sense.
Brad: 22nd May 2007 - 17:55 GMT
These condos and apartments look like they have been there for a while. The area around Forest Park and Washington University is pretty nice, and has a lot of buildings with character. Personally, I'd much rather see a bunch of look-alike buildings than a bunch of burned out and boarded up buildings.
EvilGentleman: 22nd May 2007 - 19:23 GMT
cg: I guess I have an inherent dislike of sameness. Contrasts and variety are so much better. It might have something to do with most of my childhood being spent in military housing, where each base had about 8 to 10 different house designs, and that was it.
I have actually seen condo developments that have made my mouth water, but these were not it. And every time I have been to St. Louis, I have seen much better places to live. But then again, most of my posts seem to come from the less wealthy parts of Montreal, so who am I to be casting stones? :-S
Brad: Good point. Better to be in bland housing than a decrepit ruin. But I still feel that the developers could have tried a little harder to make the condo developments more asymmetrical and alive. But that is just my personal opinion, nothing more.
maybetoday: 23rd May 2007 - 02:33 GMT
All but one of the buildings pictured were built between 1915 and 1920. One building was built in 1930. There hasn't really been any new construction here for quite a while. The only new construction I can think of are some homes on Delmar (northern edge of neighborhood) and a horrible late-80's suburban strip mall on Debaliviere (there's talk about tearing this down and putting a more pedestrian-orienteded building in its place).
I only got these seven pictures on about four or five blocks of the area. About half of the neighborhood is made up of this type of 1910's-1920's mid-rise apartment buildings. The other half is comprised of older mansions. This area and Central West End were historically the wealthiest part of St. Louis when they were built.
CE: 23rd May 2007 - 05:14 GMT
EvilGentleman: 23rd May 2007 - 10:56 GMT
I guess I stand corrected, albeit with a bit of egg on my face. Would you believe that new condos in Montreal often look exactly like the lighter coloured buildings in this post? Especially the second last photo, I saw one of those under construction yesterday. I guess I have a lot to learn. CE, you're an urban planning student. Help me out, man!
CE: 23rd May 2007 - 12:27 GMT
I agree that the buildings are a bit banal and utilitarian but also quite stately looking. Nonetheless, they look better than 95% of most new construction. I would agree that the two buildings in the second to last photo look pretty new. Just based on the simple detailing and trim and the evenness of the brick but it might also be a major reno.
What I don't like is the lack of street presence these buildings give. The road is a wide boulevard, somewhat unforgiving and alienating to pedestrians and the setback and large scale on most of these buildings doesn't help. They would be much more inviting if they were closer to the sidewalk without the front yards, however, since these buildings were probably built for the upper classes, it's doubtful they wanted to seem to inviting-much like the section of Sherbrooke I mentioned.
JCB: 2nd Nov 2007 - 04:25 GMT
I lived in this area 50 years ago. My father owned one of these buildings. He was chased out in the late 1960s by the street crime and inability to find stable tenants. He took a tremendous loss. It affected him and he left St. Louis forever. So did I when I graduated WU. This was once a vibrant neighborhood, then a decrepit slum and now it's a blessing and a miracle to see it recovered.
STL052: 17th Feb 2009 - 04:01 GMT
This is a great neighborhood. It is quiet and safe and while the buildings MAY look old on the outside, inside they are all redone and really modern with great new amenities. I like at Metropolis DP and I love it! www.metropolisdp.com
Another bonus to this neighborhood is that it is so close to the metrolink, Forest Park and is also has an up and coming business community. While it may be a historic neighborhood, it's still very modern and new.
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