Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Micro-Neighborhood

This afternoon, feeling restless and wanting to take advantage of the cooler temperature, I decided to take a bike ride. I've been curious lately about a particular little wedge of the city, the one bordered by Arsenal, South Broadway, and I-55:

I took Pestalozzi all the way from Tower Grove Park to the brewery (always an interesting stretch) and then rode south. Here were a few highlights from this little niche that is hidden in plain sight:

The most notable institution in the area is St. Agatha, a Polish Catholic Church which is still in operation. Here's the school/parish hall building:

This is the church and what I assume is the rectory:

7th and 9th Streets have some nice row houses:

This house on 7th Street has a beautifully landscaped side entrance and some great decks:

Down near the end of 9th Street is this facility, a gymnasium owned by the South Broadway Athletic Club:

This is a nice little area—there's even a bed and breakfast tucked back in there. Despite being right next door to an interstate highway and a gigantic brewery, it has a kind of quiet, peaceful, private atmosphere. Wandering these streets, you get a feel for St. Louis as a river town, with streets and neighborhoods that went right up to the Mississippi. This little micro-neighborhood is like a fossil from an earlier time.

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