Local and Topography
North from Delmar to Martin Luther King Drive and westward from Kingshighway to the City limits lies the area known as the Cabanne district. Topographically, the land is gently rolling with broad plateaus in its center section and a general upward slope to the northwest.
In colonial times this area was composed of portions of three Spanish land grants, later called surveys. Its southern portion; from Delmar to Maple Avenue, west of Union, was part of the Papin Tract of Survey 378. Most of the eastern portion was the northern section of Survey 2036 generally known as the Cabanne Farm. Northward from Maple Avenue to its northern limit and west to Hodiamont Avenue was Survey 3033, originally owned by Baptiste La Fleur. Jean Pierre Cabanne came to St. Louis in 1806, married Julie Gratiot, a descendant of the Chouteau family, and made his fortune in the fur trade. When his farm was later subdivided, his sons Lucian and Francis Cabanne took title to the portion called Mount Cabanne. This was north of Delmar between Kingshighway and Union. Westward from Union, north of Delmar, were strips of Survey 378 owned by the James Clemens, Jr. estate, Lucian Cabanne and Emanuel de Hodiamont. By the mid1850's, parts of a strip of Survey 3033, between Maple and Bartmer Avenues, were owned by William T. Gay, John La Barge and Theodore Rinkel. To the north of this were two large tracts, embracing the balance of the survey, which were the properties of James H. Lucas and Hamilton R. Gamble. Gamble, who was governor of Missouri during the Civil War, named his 400 acre estate "Rose Hill" because of his fondness for flowers. By the 1870's, these large tracts were being subdivided for residential uses, beginning with the platting of Rose Hill in 1871. By 1875, several large estates with fashionable mansions were located along the west side of Union north of Delmar. These included homes of the Blossom, Monks, Cabanne, Colman, and Gay families. Housing construction began substantially in the area during the early eighties and by 1900 the district was rather solidly built up. Some of the principal subdivisions in the tier along Delmar were Clemens Place (1885), Rosedale (1886), and Hamilton Place (1887). Further north were Cabanne Place (1888), Maryville Addition (1875), Cabanne's Subdivision (1877), and the Arcade Addition (1893). The large Rose Hill section was resubdivided in later years to create Chamberlain Park, Horton Place, Amherst Place and Mount Gamble. In the area between Union and Kingshighway were Mount Cabanne, Raymond Place, and Lucas and Hunt's Addition to Cote Brilliante. Several smaller private subdivisions were developed near Union and Delmar after 1890, including Beverly Place (1905), Savoy Court (1909), and Windermere Place (1895).
Principally residential in character, the Cabanne area's sections of larger houses are to be found in the 5300 to 5600 blocks of Bartmer and Chamberlain Avenues and in Windermere and Cabanne Places. Broad areas of single family dwellings are located south of Page Boulevard, particularly on streets such as Enright, Clemens, Cates, and Cabanne east and west of Goodfellow. Some apartment buildings are sprinkled throughout this area with larger concentrations of them along Etzel and Plymouth Avenues from 5600 to 5900. Apartment complexes include Alpha Gardens in the 1100-1200 blocks of Hodiamont Avenue and West Side Community Gardens apartments in the area bounded by Cabanne, Belt, Maple, and Clara Avenues. Two and four family flats predominate in the district north of Page Boulevard and west of Union, especially near the Wellston commercial area. They are also prevalent in the district eastward to Kingshighway.
Commercial uses are dominant on both the northern and southern perimeters of the Cabanne area, on Delmar and Martin Luther King Drive (formerly Easton Avenue). At the western end of the latter is the City portion of the Wellston business district. Lesser areas of commercial uses are on Hamilton and Hodiamont Avenues between Maple and Plymouth Avenues, also along Page, Union, and Kingshighway. A favorite stop on the Hodiamont car line was at Arcade Avenue, where some stores were located. At Delmar and DeBaliviere was Moll's Grocery with its famous landmark clock in front of the store.
Industrial activity is greatest west of the former Wabash Railroad tracks, north of Delmar to Skinker. Minor industries are to be found along King Drive on both sides of Union Boulevard.
There are very few houses that pre-date the 1890's and the majority of the dwellings and flats were built before 1920. Most apartments are of the 1910-30 period. An unusual landmark in the Cabanne area is the old Emanuel de Hodiamont house at 951 Maple Place, which is said to date back to 1829, with a large central gable that appears to have been added in the 1870's. Another landmark is the Hamilton Hotel which was built at the time of the World's Fair. It was later used as a nursing home.
Until recent years the Cabanne area was rather deficient in park space. Only a few minor triangles of street intersections such as Rose Hill Place at Plymouth and Etzel and ones at intersections of Etzel Avenue with Clara and Page, provided any open public space. These were acquired by the City in 1904, 1916 and 1921 respectively, and were less than one half acre each in extent. Beginning in the 1960's, largely through the West End urban renewal program and the West End Community Conference, several new additions have been made to the area's park acreage. These include Parkland Park, a new three-acre facility at Hamilton and Maple Avenues; the enlargement of Catalpa Park at Catalpa Place and the old Hodiamont streetcar right-of-way; and Amherst Park, a 3.8 acre recreational area at Hodiamont and Plymouth Avenues. Also developed was the Ruth C. Porter Mall, a landscaped area about 100 feet in width, which extends northwardly from Delmar and DeBaliviere to a terminus near Etzel and Blackstone Avenues.
The Ernest J. Russell playground at Goodfellow and Cabanne was donated to the City and was the site of Mr. Russell's residence, which had been designed by the noted architect Henry H. Richardson.
Visitation Park, on the east side of Belt Avenue between Clemens and Cabanne, is the former site of the Visitation Academy. This ten-acre tract was acquired by the City in 1961 prior to removal of the Academy to St. Louis County. The old Academy building was razed, but its former gymnasium building was retained for recreational use. In 1975, the City designated an area in the vicinity of the Park as the Visitation Park Historic District. As in the case of practically all of the Cabanne area, this district was built up primarily in the 1890's and World's Fair years. One of the architecturally significant sections of this historic district is Windermere Place, a private part of Survey 378 and was developed in its present form beginning in 1895 by Thomas Wright. Gates of ornamental iron and stone pylons guard its Union Avenue entrance. The houses were designed in a variety of styles, including both American and European influences, around the turn of the century. Its residents included many prominent St. Louisans, who lived there in a friendly neighborhood environment.
Streets which form the northern and southern boundaries of the Cabanne area were originally principal roads from St. Louis to the west. Delmar was Bonhomme Road and later a part of the Olive Street plank road into the County. On the northern side was Easton Avenue, named after St. Louis' first postmaster, Rufus Easton. Historically, it was the road to St. Charles and the eastern section of the old Santa Fe Trail. Within the City, it has been renamed in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Another prominent east-west street is Page Boulevard named for former Mayor Daniel D. Page. Bartmer Avenue is named for Henry W. Bartmer, an early land holder. Mrs. Eliza Clemens, widow of James Clemens, named streets within her subdivision after herself and her two daughters, Catherine Cates and Alice Von Versen. The latter street was renamed Enright after one of the first St. Louis soldiers killed in World War I. Etzel Avenue is named for Susan R. Etzel in land subdivided near Hodiamont Avenue. That street is named for Emanuel de Hodiamont, a one-time owner of land where the Hodiamont streetcar right-ofway ran in later years. Hamilton and Rowan Avenues are named for former Missouri Governor Hamilton Rowan Gamble. Maple Avenue was formerly La Barge Avenue and the northern boundary of the Papin tract. Cabanne Avenue commemorates Dr. John S. Cabanne, grandson of Jean Pierre Cabanne, and the subdivider of Cabanne Place. Goodfellow Avenue runs through land, north of King Drive, formerly owned by John Goodfellow. Union Boulevard was so-named in Civil War days by Governor Gamble and other Northern sympathizers. It was originally called Second Kingshighway. The name Kingshighway is an English translation of the French Route de Roi, a name given by the French to principal roads bounding commonfields, in this case, the western limit of the Prairie des Noyers. Kensington Avenue is the namesake of Kensington Gardens, an amusement park on the old Narrow Gauge Railroad. John W. Burd was a land owner who is responsible for several street names in the area in addition to his own. Clara and Florence (now Belt) were named for his daughters and Arlington was named for his Arlington Grove subdivision, Rosedale Avenue is a reminder of the Clemens family's Rosedale subdivision, north of Delmar. Belt Avenue had its beginning in Henry Belt's subdivision, northward from Delmar Boulevard. During the 1870's and early 1880's, the race track of the St. Louis Jockey and Trotting Club was located in the tract bounded by Kingshighway and Page, Union and Easton Avenues. In the program for street improvements under the renewal project, new cur-de-sacs were built on streets in the conference area. These help create an atmosphere similar to private places.
Oldest Roman Catholic parish in the Cabanne area is that of St. Rose of Lima, which can trace its origin back to the early 1870's. Rev. Adrian Van Hulst, S.J., then pastor of St. Anne's Church in Normandy, built a small wooden chapel at what is now Hamilton and Minerva Avenues in 1872. It was intended to serve the small number of Catholics then residing west of Grand Avenue. A small school was maintained there although the church did not have a regular pastor until 1883, when the chaplain of Loretto Convent attended the mission. In June, 1884, Rev. James J. McGlynn was appointed to the pastorale of St. Rose's parish, which had only 35 families at that time. Father McGlynn decided to relocate the church in a more central location and a site at the corner of Etzel and Goodfellow Avenues was chosen. A church was dedicated there on June 21, 1885, followed by a parochial school in 1893. This was replaced by a larger school in 1900, which could accommodate 700 pupils. The present church on the northwest corner of Maple and Goodfellow Avenues was dedicated by Archbishop Glennon September 18, 1910. It was designed in the Florentine style of Romanesque architecture in Bedford stone, with a spire on one corner and a suppressed tower on the other. It was built at a cost of $100,000. The parochial school at 5808 Etzel Avenue was erected in 1922 and closed in 1977. The first religious structure built upon the present site of St. Barbara's Catholic Church at Hamilton and Minerva Avenues, was the aforementioned chapel erected there in 1872. It served as a forerunner for St. Rose of Lima Church until 1885 when that mission was relocated. In 1893, Rev. John Schramm was delegated to organize a church in the area for German Catholics. The old chapel was purchased from the Jesuits for $8,000 and first services for St. Barbara's parish were held there on June 4, 1893. Classes for the parochial school began in a small frame building behind the church in September 1893, and by 1900 the parish contained about 150 families.
The parish experienced its greatest growth as a result of the World's Fair of 1904, after which its population increased quite rapidly. The old church proved to be inadequate and plans were made for the present church structure with cornerstone laying ceremonies being held in May, 1906. The new church, which is reminiscent of St. Bartholomew's Church in Frankfurt, Germany, was blessed on July 4, 1907. The first wing of a new school was completed in 1908 and the building was finished in 1912. Four years later the Sisters' convent was built, followed in 1917 by the parish hall. During the 1920's, the choir was added to the church and in 1952 the present school structure was opened.
Rev. John J. Dillon was commissioned to locate a Catholic church site in the northwestern part of the City in April, 1893. This resulted in the formation of the parish of St. Mark the Evangelist and the erection of a temporary church building at Page Boulevard and Academy Avenue. It was blessed by the Chancellor of the Archdiocese on May 14, 1893. The parish experienced considerable growth during the long pastorale of Rev. Peter O'Rourke, which began in 1899. The present Gothic style church in Bedford stone was dedicated in November, 1902. The present parochial school building at 1327 Academy Avenue was opened in September, 1909.
One of the earliest Protestant churches to be organized in the, then, new Cabanne district was the West Presbyterian. First services of that denomination were held in the home of Dr. E. M. Nelson in the fall of 1886. A movement was begun in April, 1887 to organize a Union Sunday school for persons of various Protestant faiths in the community. Its initial sessions were held at the home of W. J. Dixon at Clemens and Hamilton Avenues starting in May, 1887, with representatives of five denominations present. A building to house the Sunday school was erected at the northeast corner of Maple and Hamilton Avenues, and was known as Conclave Hall. The school remained intact until the fall of 1888 when its Episcopalian constituents moved to their new Church of the Ascension. A committee of the St. Louis Presbytery organized the West Presbyterian Church on November 22, 1888. Its Sunday school met at the Hall and was joined by most members of the Union group. First pastor of the new church was Dr. Francis L. Ferguson, who had installed its first edifice on the present site at Maple and Maryville Avenues in January, 1891. The church was enlarged in 1898 and, as the membership grew, plans were made for a new building. The present Sunday school unit was completed in 1911 and, at that time, the church building was extended east to Maryville Avenue and the tower was added. A serious catastrophe occurred on April 2, 1916, when the entire auditorium was destroyed by fire. Rebuilding began immediately and the present large edifice was dedicated on September 30, 1917. An extensive missionary program was developed by West Church resulting in the founding of the Sutter Avenue, Kingeland, and Nelson Memorial churches. In 1933, West Church was the largest Presbyterian congregation in the City and had three choirs for various services and is today a strong voice in its neighborhood. Grace Presbyterian Church was originally located at 1425 Blackstone Avenue before 1904, and by 1926, had moved to its present location at the corner of Clara and Ridge Avenues. The Kingshighway Presbyterian Church was organized in 1897, as the Raymond Place Church at 5006 Cabanne Avenue. A new stone church building was erected there in 1908, at which time the name of Kingshighway Church was adopted. Since 1953, this building has been occupied by the Wayman Temple A.M.E. Church.
The Protestant Episcopal Church of the Ascension at Cates and Goodfellow Avenues was formed by Episcopalians from the former Union Sunday School in the fall of 1888. It has been demolished and its gymnasium is now a day-care center, at its original location at 850 Goodfellow Avenue.
Formation of an Episcopal church for the Raymond Place and Cote Brilliante districts was the object of discussion at meetings held at homes of Episcopalians in the area in the spring of 1895. Finally, through the efforts of Rev. A.T. Sharpe of St. James Church, after approval by Bishop Tuttle, a mission was opened in Hart's Hall at 5443 Easton Avenue on November 10, 1895. A frame church for the mission, named for St. Philip, was built at the northeast corner of Union Boulevard and Maple Avenue in May, 1896. Erection of a permanent church structure was proposed in 1905 and A. Blair Ridington, an architect and member of the church, prepared plans for the new building. Between 1906 and 1909, several proposals to merge St. Philips's with other Episcopal churches were made but were dropped for various reasons. Continuing efforts were made to clear the church department and to secure funds for the new building. The frame church was partially destroyed by fire in January, 1911, and in March of that year, Bishop Tuttle announced a gift of $10,000 to the church. A stone building in the English village style was completed early in 1912 at a cost of $40,000. It was known as the Church of St. Philip the Apostle until June, 1930, when St. Luke's and St. Timothy's missions were merged with it. The new name of the Church of the Holy Apostles was then adopted. In 1932, a stone parish hall was erected, replacing a brick Sunday school building that was constructed in 1914. The church has since merged with the Church of the Ascension and the building is presently occupied by the Berean Seventh Day Adventists.
Oldest Baptist church in the area was Immanuel at 5850 Cates Avenue, near Hamilton, which was organized in the late 1880's. It occupied a building there for many years and is now located at 10360 Old Olive Street Road in St. Louis County. The old building was later the home of the Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church, which has moved to 8325 Scudder Avenue in Kinloch.
West Park Baptist Church was located at 5944 Easton Avenue from before 1904 until after 1926, when it relocated in a new building at 5988 Wells Avenue at Hodiamont. This structure is now occupied by the Bostick Temple Church of God in Christ.
Union Avenue Christian Church is an outgrowth of the old Central Christian Church, originally formed in 1871. It first met in a hall at 14th and St. Charles Streets until 1875 when it occupied a church at 23rd and Washington. In 1887, another move was made to a new building on Finney Avenue near Grand. In 1892, Rev. O. A. Bartholomew resigned as pastor of the First Christian Church to form the Mount Cabanne Christian Church at Kingshighway and Morgan (now Enright Avenue). In 1902, this church combined with the Central Church, whose property on Finney Avenue had been sold. They jointly used the Mount Cabanne building until 1904, when they occupied a chapel on the present site at the southwest corner of Enright Avenue and Union Boulevard. At that time, the name of Union Avenue Christian Church was adopted. Due to a depression in 1907, the church floated a bond issue to complete its new building, in an unusual method of church financing for that time. The Italian Romanesque style edifice, designed by architect Albert B. Groves, was completed in 1908. Its walls are built of alternate rows of smooth and rough cut stone. The former Mount Cabanne Church building on Kingshighway and Enright, was occupied by the United Hebrew Congregation from 1904 to 1926 and by a Greek Orthodox Church until 1955, and has since been demolished.
The Hamilton Avenue Christian Church at 1260 Hamilton Avenue, at Julian, was founded about 1900 as the West End Church at Hamilton and Plymouth Avenues. In 1925, it occupied the Julian Avenue building and the name was changed to Hamilton Avenue Church. That building is now used by the St. Paul's A.M.E. Church.
Pilgrim Congregational Church was originally located in a large stone edifice at the southeast corner of Washington and Ewing Avenues. At the turn of the century, it became apparent that a new "west end" location would soon be necessary. A site at the southeast corner of Kensington and Union Avenues was purchased, but construction of a new church was postponed until after the World's Fair. The imposing pink granite structure was dedicated on December 1, 1907. It was designed in a modified Romanesque style by Mauran, Russell, and Garden. The adjoining Danforth Chapel was designed by Jamieson and Spearl in the Tudor Gothic style. It is built of granite matching the church and was completed in 1941. Pilgrim Church decided in 1953 to remain at its present location instead of making another westward move. It was one of the first St. Louis churches to welcome an integrated membership.
The Eden-Immanuel United Church of Christ formerly at 5630 Page Boulevard was originally located at Hamilton and Bartmer Avenues before 1904. The Page Boulevard building is now occupied by the Christ Southern Mission Baptist Church.
B'nai Amoona congregation, then located at Garrison and Lucas Avenues, purchased a small building at Vernon and Academy in 1916, for the convenience of West End members. A synagogue was dedicated on that site in April, 1919, and two years later, an adjoining school building was erected. On September 1, 1950, the congregation dedicated its new synagogue at 524 Trinity Avenue in University City.
Early in 1892, when the area west of Union and south of Page was in the course of residential development, a meeting was held at the home of Charles Cunliff at 5634 Cates Avenue to discuss organization of a Methodist church in the vicinity. As a result, the Maple Avenue M.E. Church was founded on April 17, 1892. First services were held in a hall in the Arcade Building at Arcade Avenue and the Suburban tracks with 16 charter members. A site was purchased on the southeast corner of Maple and Belt Avenues and a chapel was dedicated there on October 20, 1895. After eight years of growth, the need for a larger building became apparent and the church edifice was dedicated on May 10, 1903. Said to have been the only one in the City designed in the SpanishRomanesque style, the church was built of Bedford stone with a Spanish tile roof. It featured a large dome encircled by arched windows, with an interior of graceful arches and fine colored windows. Unfortunately, the Maple Avenue Church building was destroyed by fire in 1957 and now its site is occupied by a modern home.
Cabanne Methodist Church has been located at 5760 Bartmer Avenue since before 1904 and is continuing to function as a spiritual force for its denomination in the Cabanne area.
Union Memorial Methodist Church at 1141 Belt Avenue is the oldest continuing congregation of blacks in the City. Its present building, in the modern style, was erected in 1961.
St. Paul's A.M.E. Church, which now occupies the former Hamilton Avenue Christian Church building at Hamilton and Julian Avenues, originally occupied a church at Eleventh Street and Lucas Avenue in 1872. In 1883, it was the largest colored Methodist congregation in the City with 1200 communicants.
The Mount Calvary Lutheran Church at 1444 Union Boulevard at Wells Avenue, was built in 1913 and is presently the only church of its denomination which is located within the Cabanne area.
On December 29, 1907, the Unitarian Church of the Messiah dedicated its new building on the northeast corner of Union Boulevard and Enright Avenue. This structure was the fourth home for the church which was organized in 1835. It moved from its previous location, at Locust Street and Garrison Avenue, because of the increasing commercial aspect of that vicinity. Designed in a modified Gothic style, the church on the Union Boulevard site was the work of architect John Lawrence Mauran, a prominent Unitarian layman. The brick church, which is English in concept, has a typically traditional interior. In 1946, the Church of the Messiah merged with the Church of the Unity and its old building is presently occupied by Parrish Temple C.M.E. Church.
The Fourth Church of Christ Scientist at 5569 Page Boulevard, which is adjacent to the former campus of the Principia Academy, was erected about 1914.
The oldest public school in the Cabanne area is the James Dozier School at 5749 Maple Avenue. It was named for a prominent mid-19th century steamboat owner and was constructed in 1887, with additions in 1894, 1897, and 1899. Dozier school was closed in 1976. The next public school to be built in the area was the Ralph Waldo Emerson building completed in 1901 at 5415 Page Boulevard. It was designed by William B. Ittner and is named after the well-known American poet and essayist. After depending on rather makeshift school facilities in some parts of the Cabanne area during its formative years, 1907 saw the completion of modern school buildings benefitting the new residential neighborhoods. These were the William Clark School at 1020 Union Boulevard and the Edward Hempstead School at 5872 Minerva Avenue. These schools commemorate the famous explorer of the Lewis and Clark expedition and an early benefactor of the public schools system. By that time, the area was sufficiently urbanized so as to require its own secondary school. To fulfill this need, the F. Louis Soldan High School was completed at 918 Union Boulevard in September, 1909. It was erected at a cost of $774,715 and was named in honor of the well-known St. Louis educator. These three buildings were designed by William B. Ittner, who was the architect of most St. Louis schools erected from 1897 to 1916. Situated at 5351 Enright Avenue is an educational structure which has housed several institutions of varying scholastic levels. It was built in 1905, to house the Smith Academy and the Manual Training School private schools for boys, sponsored by Washington University. Unlike its female counterpart, Mary Institute, Smith Academy did not survive and was closed in 1917 after a career dating back to the 1850's. In 1918, the building was purchased by the Board of Education and was re-opened as the Ben Blewett Junior High School, becoming a full four year high school in 1931. This school was discontinued in 1949 when Harris Teachers College moved to the building from its old location at 1517 South Theresa. Harris remained there until 1963 when it moved again, this time to the former Vashon High School at 3026 Laclede. After 1963, the building became the Enright Middle School housing the seventh and eighth grades. In 1975, it became the Enright Ninth Grade Center as a supplement to Soldan High School.
Several new schools have been erected to accommodate the population increase in the Cabanne area. These include the James E. Cook School at 5935 Horton Place, the Joseph and William Mitchell School at 955 Arcade Avenue, and the Henry and Edsel Ford School at 1383 Clara Avenue, all opened in 1964. In addition, there have been numerous branch and portable schools built in the area since the middle 1950's. Besides the Smith Academy, the Cabanne area has been the location of several private schools. The Principia College and Academy, operated by the Christian Scientists formerly occupied a large campus in the vicinity of Page Boulevard and Belt Avenue. It was established as an elementary school in 1898 at 3214 Morgan Street (now Delmar), and began to occupy the Page campus in 1901. It became a high school and junior college in 1910 and a four year liberal arts college in 1932. In 1934, the senior college relocated on its present campus in Elsah, Illinois, and in 1961 the other sections of the school moved to 13201 Clayton Road in St. Louis County. The Page campus, now largely vacant, is used by the Page Park branch Y.M.C.A. with a gymnasium and athletic field.
The Academy of the Visitation was incorporated in 1858 by Visitation Nuns who arrived in St. Louis from Kaskaskia following the flood of 1844. Its three story brick building was erected on a large wooded lot donated by Mrs. Anne Biddle on Cass Avenue near Twentieth Street. In a westward move in 1892, the Academy occupied a large French Renaissance style building on a tract at the southeast corner of Cabanne and Belt Avenues. This structure was designed by Barnett, Haynes, and Barnett and was occupied by the Academy until 1962 when it made another westward move to 3020 North Ballas Road in St. Louis County. The old property was sold to the City; the main building was razed and its site became the present Visitation Park.
St. Philomena's Technical School, which was operated until 1970 in the large brick building at the southwest corner of Union and Cabanne, located there in 1910. It was founded as a training school for girls in 1845 by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and moved to the Union Boulevard site from Clark and Ewing Avenues. The Union property is now used as a nursing home and Stella Maris day-care center.
The Girls' Home at 5501 Enright Avenue was founded in 1853 by women of the City's Protestant churches seeking a solution to the problem of children begging on the streets. At one time, a school and home for destitute girls and boys, the institution later became known simply as a girls' industrial home. After occupying several buildings, the home located at 19th and Morgan Streets in 1859 and moved to its present building in 1900.
A group of Episcopalians interested in founding a hospital under direction of their faith held a meeting in the old Mercantile Library hall late in 1865. Subsequently, with the approval of Bishop Hawks, St. Luke's Hospital Association was organized and a hospital was opened at what is now 13th and Lami Streets in 1866. During the cholera epidemic of 1867, the infirmary was opened to the general public. Plagued by financial problems, the new hospital later moved to a more central location at Sixth and Elm Streets in 1870. Three years later it moved again to a building on Pine Street west of Ninth and in 1874, when free of debt, plans were made to obtain a permanent structure for the institution. A lot on the northeast corner of Washington Avenue and 19th Street was donated by Henry Shaw and a $41,000 building designed by Barnett and Taylor was dedicated there on May 28, 1882. St. Luke's Hospital was under the management of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd from 1872 to 1899, when the training school for nurses began. The hospital occupied the first buildings on its present site at 5535 Delmar Boulevard on April 23, 1904, with subsequent additions being constructed as needs required. Extensive plans for expansion were prepared after the Presbyterians decided to join the Episcopal church in supporting the hospital, instead of building one of their own. Beginning in 1951, newer and larger sections have been added, completely changing the appearance with a new facade on Delmar in 1969. Among the new facilities are a new nurse's home and school in 1959, and an adjoining medical office building in 1964. A new facility in St. Louis County, St. L5uke's West, has recently been opened.
A short distance east of St. Luke's on Delmar is the Masonic Home of Missouri, an institution for the elderly and homeless children, supported by Missouri Masonry. It has been located at 5351 Delmar since 1889; however, the oldest of its present buildings dates from 1914. The western portion of its site was the location of the Jewish Hospital, at 5415 Delmar from 1902 to 1927 when it moved to 216 South Kingshighway. Since acquisition of that property, the Masons have erected several structures for expansion of the Home, the latest building, a residential hall, was finished 'n 1959.
On Page Boulevard about one block west of Union was a large red brick Tudor Gothic style structure that was occupied by St. Anne's Home from 1904 to 1975. Originally, a maternity hospital and foundling asylum, it was operated as a home for aged women in later years. Recently it relocated at 12349 DePaul Drive in St. Louis County. The old building has been razed.
At 5235 Page is a building now occupied by the Day Care Center which was originally the Blind Girls' Home built in 1909. This institution for indigent blind women was founded by James E. Yeatman, a 19th century St. Louis philanthropist.
On the southeast corner of Union and Enright is the former Y.M.H.A. building completed in 1927 for the youth organization that was previously located at 3645 Delmar. This building by Charles Yalem to the City in 1963 for use as a community activity center. It also houses the Seventh District Police station, which was located for many years at Page and Union. The Y.M.H.A. has moved to the new Jewish Center on Schuetz Road in the County. In the block to the north is the former home of the St. Louis Artist's Guild designed in 1908 by architect Louis C. Spiering. The Guild, which dates back to 1886, recently moved to Webster Groves. Its old building is now occupied by Dignity House, a U.C.C. church sponsored neighborhood art center. Another prominent community asset is the Cabanne Branch public library on the northeast corner of Union Boulevard and Cabanne Avenue, which was opened in 1908.
A well known meeting place in the area for many years was the Rose Hill Masonic Hall on the northwest corner of Hamilton and Maple Avenues. Built in the early 1890's, the structure has been razed in recent years.
Transit and Railroads
Public transit operations through the Cabanne area began with the West End Narrow Gauge Railroad, a steam line operated in 1878 from St. Louis to Florissant. It was - electrified in the early 1890's and was then operated by the St. Louis and Suburban Railway, which was absorbed into the Citywide transit system in 1907. Its right-of-way came to be called the Suburban tracks and finally the Hodiamont streetcar line. This was the last streetcar line remaining at the time of its abandonment in 1966. The Suburban Railway also built and operated the Union Avenue and the Kirkwood-Ferguson car lines, both of which ran through the Cabanne area.
Car lines operating on Delmar, Page, and Hamilton were originally divisions of the old Lindell Railway, with some portions of the lines dating back to the 1890's. After the Lindell Company was merged into the Citywide system in 1899, these lines were considerably extended for the World's Fair in 1904. The present City Limits line, then called the Hamilton line, was operated from Wellston to the fairgrounds. The car line on Easton Avenue was extended and electrified about 1893 by the old Citizen's Railway Company, later becoming the Wellston car line of the United Railways after consolidation. The only railroad in the area is the Norfolk and Western, formerly Wabash Railway which runs through the western section. It was originally constructed in the 1870's from St. Louis to St. Charles and the west. Its Delmar Station was a convenience for West End travelers for many years.
Recent History Renewal
Prior to World War II the Cabanne area had been a white middle-class community, but changes engendered by the War brought about an exodus of residents, who were supplanted by younger non-white families. This resulted in a lower economic standard and less ownership by occupants. In the 1940's multiple dwellings were created in former single family houses and large apartments were divided into smaller units, with lessened maintenance causing greater deterioration. The addition of these units produced an increased density of population and a marked rise in school enrollment.
In 1954, the West End Community Conference was organized by black and white neighbors to combat the common problem of blight in the area bounded by Hodiamont, Delmar, Union, Page, and the City limits. An effort to mount a rehabilitation program was undertaken by the City in 1957 on request of the WECC, but was hampered by a lack of funds. This led to a decision by the WECC to seek a Federally assisted urban renewal program for the Conference area. In 1963, the City declared the 693 acre area to be blighted and eligible for $30,000,000 in urban renewal funds. According to the 1960 census, the population was 75% non-white, increasing since to practically 96%, with the majority of low income status.
Renewal efforts, which began in 1965, have met with many obstacles, due to the size, instability, and complexity of the area. More demolition and less rehabilitation than expected has materialized. Among the accomplishments are new dwelling units in Alpha Cabanne Courts, and Community Garden apartments, additions to St. Luke's Hospital and new nursing homes, creation of the Ruth C. Porter Mall and of Parkland, Amherst, and Catalpa Parks. Some changes in the street pattern and cul-de-sacs have been initiated to promote traffic safety. One improvement was the construction of the Skinker Parkway from Maple to Page, opened in 1969. More recently, rehabilitation projects have been completed in apartment groups such as the Harlan Courts and the St. Luke's Plaza. The urban renewal effort is now proceeding under the Federal Block Grant Program.
The West End Community Conference fought for and won a major upgrading of zoning in the area's northern section, to block the trend toward conversions into rooming houses. Among other Conference achievements were establishment of the Freedom of Residence Committee and the disclosure of "red-lining" by lenders.
Scharf, J. Thomas - "History of St. Louis City and County" 1883
Stevens, Walter B. - "St. Louis - The Fourth City" - 1909
Compton, Richard J. and Dry, Camille N. - "Pictorial St. Louis" 1875
City Plan Commission - "History of Renewal - St. Louis Development Program" - 1971
Board of Public Service - "Rapid Transit for St. Louis" - 1926
Board of Education - "Directory of Public Schools" - 1964-65
Community Development Agency - "Visitation Park Historic District" - 1975