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LOCAL BLOG O' THE WEEK
"Ramblings by Joe Frank, urbanist"
Author: Joe Frank
About the blogger: Joe teaches "Urban Politics and Administration" at Washington University's night school.
Recent Highlight (September 27, 2005):Whatever Happened to Biddle Street?
Biddle Street, on the near Northside of St. Louis, was in days of yore well known as the heart of the Kerry Patch and later ethnic communities. Also, it was part of the earliest infrastructure development of the City: the Biddle Street Sewer, started in 1850.
However, it's quite evident that Biddle Street no longer exists as a true street, and hasn't for quite some time.
Walking eastward from lunch today, I noted the following blockages along Biddle from Tucker east:
Closed immediately east of Tucker, partly because of the decaying viaduct on which Tucker runs;
After being open from Hadley to 11th, disappears again for the plaza in front of the Shrine of St. Joseph, and Father Filipiac Park just east of the shrine; this covers the entire block from 11th to 10th.
In the block from 10th to 9th, Biddle is a very overgrown pedestrian mall, adjacent to Patrick Henry Elementary School and some very decrepit looking tennis courts.
Although I didn't follow it, the next block (from 9th to 8th) is non-existent, having long ago been consolidated into the superblock of the high-rise Cochran Gardens public housing complex. Perhaps the redevelopment planned would include restoring this street?
Biddle makes a brief reappearance adjacent to the historic Neighborhood Gardens Apartments between 8th and 7th.
From 7th to N. Broadway, Biddle is still a street -- but not for long. The Bottle District plan seems to suggest -- without actually labeling any streets! -- that 6th at Biddle will be the epicenter of the proposed pedestrian mall.