BPW is a rare neighborhood without a park within its official boundaries, but it abuts both Gravois Park and Benton Park.
A brief history from the website:
"By the mid-1860s, the St. Louis neighborhood of Benton Park West was already a community that could provide for the basic needs of its residents. There were carpenters, builders, stone masons, dairymen, gardeners, market owners, grocers, saddle and harness makers, a blacksmith, a midwife, and two saloons to serve the area of about 50 city blocks.
Benton Park West was considered a working-class neighborhood and a German community. While most of the residents were working class, many owned their own businesses. There were also come very prominent residents. Many of the beautiful homes the working class immigrants built remain in their architectural grandeur today.The are 2 main things that make me think BPW falls into the "up and coming" category. 1 is the continuing retail and business development along Cherokee and Jefferson, the other is the grass roots rehab efforts and artist community that has taken root here. The 35% ownership rate recorded in 2000 will probably go up; hopefully so will the residential numbers. I don't know what the perfect mix is between owner/renter, but it feels like it should be much higher than 35%, maybe 60-75%.
Cherokee is clearly one of the coolest streets in this town. From the Casa Loma Ballroom to art galleries, bakeries, bookstores, coffee shops, clothing/accessories, bars, taquerias, independent grocery store...this place has a great feel.
Gateway Greening has been working with local groups to bring community gardens to the city. BPW is no exception. If it were up to me, these would be in every neighborhood within the city!
Vitrolite is one of my favorite building materials:
TGE, Fox Park, Marine Villa and McKinley Heights. It's certainly not a scary place, it's an exciting place teeming with life. It's got a big city feel (non-Manhattan NYC comes to mind) in that it is racially and economically diverse. This is one of the only places in town that I've heard Spanish music blasting from speakers. I love Hispanic/Latino culture, food, etc. So if you're like me, BPW is a place to check out and explore. There are many grocery stores, taquerias, plate restaurants, etc to check out. The annual Cinco De Mayo festival is a blast.