Renewing Urban Renewal

An impoverished St. Louis neighborhood near the Missouri Botanical Gardens faces demolition, when rehabilitation might be the answer, in this case study.

McRee Town in St. Louis has been decaying for years, recently becoming a center for crack dealing. The neighborhood’s problems have infringed on the Missouri Botanical Gardens’ front yard, prompting the local Garden District Commission to attempt to beautify the neighborhood after demolition. The plan “aims to transform McRee Town from an urban hellhole to an inner-city oasis for middle-class and upper-middle-class professionals.” But local residents are wondering why the Gardens and the Commission, which promote recycling to preserve the environment, won’t try the same approach with McRee, especially with the city's affordable housing crunch. In 1987, the neighborhood joined the National Register of Historic Places, and a local architect “estimates that 50 to 75 percent of the buildings in the demolition zone are suitable for rehabilitation.” Should the neighborhood survive, and in what form?

Thanks to David Gest

Full Story: The Greening of McRee Town

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95