The residential portion of the Bissell-College Hill area consists of housing which was principally constructed between 1880 and 1920. Two and four family flats predominate with a mixture of single family dwellings, mostly of brick. The houses have large yards and landscaping and appear to be fairly well-maintained. The population has declined about 20% since 1960 with a trend toward a higher non-white percentage. Physicall, the homes which are located near the crest of the hillside bluff enjoy a view across the river and its valley.
The area's commercial center has historically been concentrated along East Grand around the Old Water Tower, with a strip along West Florissant. Many stores are vacant reflecting an increase in the crime rate in the area in recent years.
Industrial activity is minimal in the area west of Broadway. Near the river several large plants are located, the largest being the Mississippi Glass Company at Hall and Ferry Streets. The Cupples Company occupies a plant at 4401 North First Street, which had been used by the Moon Motor Car Company until 1931. The area north of Grand, between Broadway and the river, is largely industrial in character with considerable occupancy by truck terminals on Hall Street.
The Bissell-College Hill area has been served by local transit with lines on Broadway, Grand Boulevard, 20th Street and Florissant Avenue. Some of these began as horse car lines which were electrified during the 1890's. The operations have been entirely motorized since 1955.