Locale and Topography

This large segment of South St. Louis is bounded generally by Arsenal Street on the north, Bates Street on the south and Grand Boulevard on the west. Its eastern edge is the bank of the Mississippi River. The largest portion of the area, roughly north of Delor Street, was originally the southern end of the St. Louis Commons, whose western limit was Virginia Avenue as far as Meramec Street and thence northwardly along Grand Boulevard. The portion west of Virginia and south of Meramec was the northeastern quadrant of the Commonfields of Carondelet, while the extreme southeastern part was the north end of the City of Carondelet before its annexation to the City of St. Louis in 1870.

Topographically, the area is a rolling plateau with a gradual southward slope toward the River des Peres. The riverfront portion has a relatively low profile as far south as Potomac Street at which point a series of steep bluffs begin and continue southwardly to Dover Street at Bellerive Park. A prominent artificial feature was the Sugar Loaf Indian mound at the foot of Wyandotte Street.