The Near North Side area originally was predominantly residential in character but gradually commercial establishments began to creep northward on Broadway and some other streets. The riverfront portion of the area was principally industrial from the 1840's on. Boat yards and lumber yards were prevalent north of Ashley Street after 1845. By the mid-1870's the industrial character of the riverfront area was well established from north of Eads Bridge to about the foot of Brooklyn Street. Among the prominent firms were the St. Louis Grain Elevator, the St. Louis Sugar Refining Company, the St. Louis Shot Tower, the Excelsior Manufacturing Company and several ice houses, furniture factories and planing mills. The area was well served by railroads and steamboats.
The Municipal Docks at the foot of North Market Street was constructed in 1918 at a cost of over $500,000. This proved to be a good investment to take advantage of the developing barge traffic after World War I. These docks were doubled in size as a project of the 1955 bond issue. They are presently leased to the St. Louis Terminal Distributing Company. The area along and east of Broadway is presently highly industrialized and includes the large, relocated wholesale Commission Row market which was moved there when it was displaced by the Mark Twain Expressway in the 1950's.
Image - St. Louis Sugar Refinery
Image - St. Louis Shot Tower Plant
Image - View of the Municipal Docks