Monday, September 12, 2005

Streets of the South Side

Streets of the South Side

Well, I was hoping to post something longer about this really cool book I found on Sunday at the library:

St. Louis: The Evolution of An American Urban Landscape by Eric Sandweiss (Temple University Press, August 2001).

Anyway, it's a really cool, well-written, detailed narrative of the historical development of the South Side (focused on the area bounded by Lafayette on the north, Broadway on the east, Chippewa on the south, and Grand on the west). The pre-development and early development of the area is covered, from about the 1840s to 1920, with the final chapter broadening the context to citywide and extending the time period through the 1947 comprehensive plan.

It provides a great deal of interesting context for current redevelopment and historic preservation efforts. And the history, for a fourth-generation Southsider (albeit removed for much of my childhood to the suburbs) like me, is interesting in and of itself.

Although it wasn't my plan, I could justify reading it as academic research, since the story it tells has broad, enduring political implications.

Too bad Sandweiss left MoHist; but I'm sure he's doing well at Indiana.

Maybe I'll check out his dissertation next:
Construction and Community in South St. Louis, 1850-1910 from UC-Berkeley, 1991. Wash U Archives has a reference copy.

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