Thursday, July 30, 2009

Delor Street Improvements?

Delor between Alfred and Gravois in the Bevo neighborhood is getting some work. This could be a good sign, as it appears they are putting in new sidewalks, and maybe trees or lights.I've always thought the city has done a terrible job of sprucing up this neighborhood for it's newest immigrant residents. When I first moved to the city, this was a completely different neighborhood. Closed businesses, shuttered storefronts, deteriorating homes, etc.

The neighborhood now is one of my favorites in the entire city. There are many, many great bars, restaurants, coffee shops, fruit/veggie stands, etc. The Bosnians, Serbs, Croats in this region have made it an urban, thriving, fun place.

The city should be selling this neighborhood. It should be marketed as little Sarajevo. Why aren't there flags, banners, commercials, ads to draw attention to this part of town? It is nearing destination status, just like the Hill.

One of my favorite things about Delor are the coffee bars that old Eastern European men frequent. They sit outside hunkered over an intense cup o joe looking surly and completely happy at the same time. I could see myself being one of those guys upon retirement.


  1. I lived about a block over from the first pic on Wallace on the mid 90's and you are right when you say it used to be rough. I always liked the neighborhood though, really good memories there. I am glad to see it is on a big upswing, it shows that immigrants can be an invaluable asset to a city. I will definitely check it out soon.

  2. I grew up on the 4300 block of Itaska, two blocks north. Your observations are spot on. When I was a child (early 1990s), the neighborhood was dull and graying. Now it's got a pulse to it.

    Now what we need is for Gravois and Morganford to be marketed as Little Bosnia, as you mentioned, and for these streets to be narrowed and pedestrianized.

    The Gravois/Delor/Morganford intersection alone has a lot of potential. The triangular lot across from Long school definitely deserves a charrette to discuss how to make this a community focal point and not a parking lot.

  3. So, I am trying to decide what to think about this. I, of course like the idea of improving the streetscape, but I am not sure this is the answer. No trees or tree lawn? Are the bump outs for trees or light poles? I am guessing light poles.

    The funny thing is, if they were worried about traffic volume and safety they should have left it alone. I live near Grand & Delor and because I know how narrow and slow it was, I would avoid going that way more often than not but would use it when I found it the best way to get where I was going -- knowing I would have to go slower and sometimes yield to oncoming cars. When complete it will be a much more convenient and faster way to get places thereby increasing volume and speed and decreasing safety -- probably against the intentions of the residents who probably complained (perhaps about their cars being sideswiped).

  4. What kind of flags would you have?

  5. I agree. There is however a small minority of older local residents who for some strange reason see all the new immigrants as a problem not an asset. It boggles my mind, you have people who's ancestors were European immigrants complaining about new European immigrants moving in a rehabbing the area. I've heard comments like "We need an American coffee shop on Gravois!”, to which I respond “Get a small business loan and start your own!” My thoughts would be if you re-designated the area, the racist dinos would come out of the wood work. I think we should move the international festival down to Gravois just to spite them.