Midtown St. Louis

Midtown is a neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri. It is located 3 miles (4.8 km) west of the city riverfront at the intersection of Grand and Lindell Boulevards. It is home to the campus of St. Louis University and the Grand Center Arts District.

View of Midtown, December 2012
Location (red) of Midtown within St. Louis
CountryUnited States
CitySt. Louis
Wards6, 17, 19
  Total1.35 sq mi (3.5 km2)
  Density4,200/sq mi (1,600/km2)
ZIP code(s)
Parts of 63103, 63108, 63110
Area code(s)314

Historic status

The Midtown Historic District of St. Louis was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior in 1979.


A remarkable collection of eclectic structures built between 1874 and 1930 range from Midtown's oldest building, a classic Second Empire style townhouse at 3534 Washington Ave. built during the first phase of Midtown development to flamboyant early 20th century commercial buildings like the Art Deco Continental-Life Building, 3615 Olive Street and the "Siamese Byzantine" Fox Theatre, 527 N. Grand Blvd. Buildings in the district were designed by notable architects including Henry Hobson Richardson, Eames and Young, William B. Ittner, Preston J. Bradshaw, C. Howard Crane, Brad Cloepfil and Tadao Ando. From a distance the Midtown skyline asserts a strong node like St. Louis's "second downtown". Most of Midtown's surviving historic structures have been restored and adapted for new uses.

Adaptive reuse of historic structures

A once dilapidated movie palace, Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd. is the sumptuous, Neo-classical acoustically vibrant home of the St. Louis Symphony and another is a thriving live performance venue, (the Fox Theatre). Buildings designed for worship are performing arts centers (Sheldon Concert Hall and the Grandel Theatre). The Continental-Life Building and the University Club Building that originally housed offices are now apartment buildings. Single family residences have been converted into elegant professional offices (City House in Grand Center, 3534 Washington Ave. and the Lionberger House, 3630 Grandel Square). Former clubhouse buildings serve as art centers: The St. Louis Club Building, 3663 Lindell Blvd., is now the St. Louis University Museum of Art and The Knights of Columbus Building, 3547 Olive Street, is the Centene Center for the Arts, housing the St. Louis Arts and Education Council and numerous arts agencies.

New construction

As Midtown revived, new art museums including the Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the Contemporary Art Museum and were built in 2001 and 2003, respectively, and the 1998 Dana Brown Communications Center (home of KETC) has become a focal point for public broadcasting and new media.

City Foundry

City Foundry is a $220 million, 15-acre project that was undertaken by the Lawrence Group and CEO Steve Smith, who sought to create a new recreational and business complex in the center of Midtown, St. Louis. The idea for this new hub came about when Smith visited the Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market, two mixed-use development buildings in Atlanta, Georgia, and was inspired to bring the same idea back to part of St. Louis.[2] The project is located in the heart of Midtown St. Louis, Missouri, with the goal of promoting economic development within the shrinking city. Specifically, the project is using infill development to turn the former Century Electric Company, one of the top 3 manufacturers in the city 100 years ago which closed in 2007, into a recreational and business complex containing a food hall, public market, and retail businesses.[3] By using a biophilic design, creating a pedestrian-only walkway, and connecting the recreational and business complex to the Brickline Greenway, the hub attempts to foster greater social connection and act as a destination spot within the city, bringing the community and visitors together to foster a greater sense of belonging.[2][4] The project was broken into four different phases. The first phase focused on the renovation of the foundry and the creation of the food hall and a 500-car parking garage. The second phase focused on the creation of a 24-story apartment building that targeted individuals from different universities in the city. The third and fourth phases focused on building two multi-story office buildings, commercial space, and additional parking avenues.[4] Funding for this project came from tax incentives as well as private companies, two of which include Bull Moose Industries located in Chesterfield, Missouri, and CapStone Holdings located in Bonita Springs, Florida.[4] Although the recreational and business complex was scheduled to open in the spring of 2020, there has been delayed opening for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic.[3] Today, the hub remains closed to the public but open for office tenants.


The only American Civil War battle in St. Louis, the Camp Jackson Affair, took place on May 10, 1861 when Union military forces clashed with civilians after capturing the Confederate Missouri Volunteer Militia commanded by General Daniel M. Frost. The Militia had been dispatched to St. Louis by Missouri Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson to seize the St. Louis Arsenal, and secure 40,000 rifles and muskets for the Confederacy. It camped outside St. Louis at Lindell's Grove which was renamed "Camp Jackson" by the militiamen. The site of Camp Jackson is on the campus of St. Louis University commemorated by a historical marker near the university's Busch Student Center. United States (Union) Army Captain, later General, Nathaniel Lyon marched from the Arsenal on the St. Louis riverfront to the rural site of Camp Jackson with a mixed force of 6,000 Regular Army troops and Home Guard volunteers. Frost surrendered to Lyon without a fight. However, after capturing Camp Jackson, Union Forces clashed with civilian bystanders resulting in the deaths of at least 28 people including Captain Constantin Blandowski, the first Union officer killed in the Civil War.[5]

Residential and commercial development of Midtown followed the Civil War as St. Louis expanded west in the 1870s. By the 1920s Midtown was a bustling district akin to New York City's Times Square. Midtown deteriorated rapidly after World War II. However, in the 1970s, Father Paul C. Reinert, President of Saint Louis University inspired the urban renewal effort to rehabilitate the neighborhood and make use of its surviving buildings that continues in the Twenty First Century.


Historical population

In 2010 Midtown's racial makeup was 61.9% White, 25.8% Black, 0.2% American Indian, 9.2% Asian, 2.0% Two or More Races, and 0.9% Some Other Race. 2.8% of the people were of Hispanic or Latino origin.[8]

Racial composition2010[9]2000[9]
Black or African American25.8%27.3%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)2.8%3.1%
Two or More Races2.0%1.6%


See also


  1. Census Summary By Neighborhoods
  2. Mahe, George (January 24, 2018). "A sneak peek inside City Foundry's dining (and cinema) landscape". St. Louis Magazine. SLM Media Group. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  3. Wheeler, Kayla (August 5, 2020). "City Foundry STL will not be 'entirely' open to public for foreseeable future". KSDK. NBC. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  4. Bryant, Tim (September 23, 2016). "City Foundry project to include high-rise offices and apartments". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Lee Enterprises. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  5. Although usually described as "German", Captain Blandowski was ethnically Polish, born in Upper Silesia, on the German side of the Russo-German frontier. He received his military training in Germany, served with the French Foreign Legion, and fought for the Hungarian rebels in the failed Revolution of 1848. After emigrating to the U.S. was active in the Turnverein movement in St. Louis. Despite his Polish ethnicity, he was embraced by the German-American community as a martyr and a symbol of ethnic-German devotion to the Union. Burton, William L, Melting Pot Soldiers, Fordham University Press, Fordham, NY, 1998, p 41, ISBN 0-8232-1828-7
  6. "1990 Census data by neighborhood". City of St. Louis. ITSA Web Development Team. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  7. "Midtown Neighborhood Statistics". City of St. Louis. ITSA Web Development Team. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  8. "Academy 2010 to 2000 Comparison Census Report (PL 94-171)". Archived from the original on 2012-05-16. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
  9. "Census Results (2010)". The City of St. Louis Missouri. City of Saint Louis.