Another Walk Through Carondelet, May 16, 2008

by Brian Cofer June. 06, 2008 2142 views

On my walk through St. Louis' Carondelet neighborhood in March, I only covered the north half of the neighborhood. I still had the south half to go, so I finally got around to it on a beautiful May evening. Here's what I saw:

On my walk through St. Louis' Carondelet neighborhood in March, I only covered the north half of the neighborhood. I still had the south half to go, so I finally got around to it on a beautiful May evening. Here's what I saw:

For about $140,000 to $160,000, you can buy a Victorian fixer-upper. The neighborhood might be kind of shabby right now, but I can feel the winds of change. Several lofts costing as much as $500,000 are being developed. If I were to buy a house in St. Louis based on up-and-coming neighborhoods, Carondelet would probably be the place.

Built in 1860, St. Boniface was closed as a church a few years ago and has been redeveloped as a theater for various small stage companies. This seems to be the centerpiece of neighborhood redevelopment. A frou-frou bistro just opened across the street.

I've driven by this place a million times, but always on the other side of the building. It wasn't until I walked past on this evening that I realized this had once been a Coke bottling plant. As I was photographing this, I saw guy nearby in his yard exchange words with the driver of a passing Taurus. The yard guy kept yelling, “You wanna kick my ass? Huh? You wanna kick my ass?” Finally the Taurus driver finally drove off. I wonder if the loft buyers know what they're getting themselves into.

Having spent most of my life in Sunbelt cities where anything older than 1950 is considered antique, seeing something like this is really awe-inspiring.

Here's a little rust-belt charm for you suburbanites.

After zigging and zagging down some dirt paths, I made my wat to the banks of the Mississippi and found this abandoned barge-loading facility. I really didn't need to be down here alone by the river in this apocolyptic post-industrial hellscape. I was probably trespassing, and I had picturing packs of wild dogs or drug-crazed satan-worshipers down here. It really creeped me out. After a couple of quick pictures, I beat a hasty retreat back to civilization.

With a great sense of relief, I made my way back to Broadway, the main commercial drag of Carondelet.

The word supermarket is a bit of an overstatement. I think this place is more about 40-ounce malt liquor and lottery tickets than it is about fine meats and produce.

I didn't go inside this shop where the windows are marked “gifts and novelties,” but what do you bet this place is a head shop?

It's like a little bit of New Orleans on the south side of St. Louis.

WTF???

It was getting late, so I hiked back across I-55 to my little house.

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