Most people in the region, and even city residents consider DTW to be Downtown. In fact, DTW doesn't even have it's own link on the city website, it simply points to the DT website. This is yet another data point toward my hypothesis that St. Louis could consolidate many of its neighborhoods down from 79 to ~50. But make no mistake, this is an important part of the city, and one of our greatest, most high-profile parts of town. It is a distinct neighborhood gaining population and is an extremely important connection between Downtown and the burgeoning Midtown area giving us a more and more impressive central corridor.
I've struggled with how to best represent the most important neighborhoods of St. Louis. The Central West End, Tower Grove South, Downtown, DTW are all large, overwhelmingly beautiful neighborhoods. You could almost take a picture of every building. These are the places that define us now and will define us in the future. To many in the region, these are the only neighborhoods they will see and judge us upon.
This is one of maybe 4 neighborhoods in St. Louis where much of the beauty and nuance is toward the sky. You really have to look up to notice all the amazing architecture that's going on and still exists in it's original glory. DTW has a big-city feel and the influx of new residents makes this part of town way more bustling with street level activity compared to 10-15 years ago. I took my photos on a Sunday morning; and, while there were very few businesses open, there were many pedestrians jogging, walking dogs and strollers and generally commuting by foot and bicycle. It was really good to see.
So, I will apologize in advance for the length of this post. It's hard to capture the most impressive neighborhoods with just 100 photos. This one's got nearly 200...everywhere you turn there is something worthy of note or contemplation.
Let's start with the light industrial sites visible from Chouteau Avenue on the south. Here's the progress on the future home of the sheet metal workers union and DynaLabs:
The C.F. Blanke building that Nestle occupies:Vin De Set, I'm told the roof top seating has some of the best views in town:
More from the south side of DTW:
Park Pacific building that is under renovation. Yeah, yeah, two steps forward and one back, right. But really, this garage is one of THE most hideous in the entire city and it faces a major north south street in a high profile part of town. I will assume the architect will not have his/her name etched into this one as our proud fore-fathers did on their masterpieces of the Industrial Age. The Park Pacific building is one of my favorites in town though and I'm happy it's finding new life:
Who wants some Skittles and a Marby Red?
I'd love to know the story on how this flounder survived in the middle of a surface parking lot:
So from here on out, I'm just going to try to show you what I think is cool about DTW and you can go out and explore the rest. I won't bog this down with addresses and current uses of athe buildings, I'll just let the pictures tell the story. Here goes:
St. Louis Blues...LET'S GO BLUES! And the former Kiel Opera House, now called the Peabody Opera House, is undergoing a fantastic renovation and according to this source should be open in Fall, 2011.
Soldier's Memorial Military Museum open to the public since Memorial Day, 1938:
City Museum and Lofts. Whenever I talk to people about what it's like to live in the city vs. the suburbs in reference to having kids and raising a family, I use the Magic House in the palatable suburb of Kirkwood, MO which is a tidy, vinyl-sided, safe, sanitary place to take the kids for a fun day of activity. Then you contrast that with the City Museum, a freakshow of creativity and imagination. It's gritty, beautiful, dangerous as hell, kind of scary, challenging and very VERY unique. It's a totally great city experience and defines what I like about St. Louis and think is superior to the suburban upper crust suburbs. This is a must see place for adults and kids of all ages: