Baden Neighborhood Overview

Information concerning the neighborhood history, characteristics, institutions and organizations, planning and development.


Baden is located on the City’s Northside, bounded by Calvary Avenue on the South, the Wabash-Norfolk-Western Railroad on the Southwest, and Hall Street on the East.


Baden’s early development grew out of its location at the intersection of two important roads: Bellefontaine Road (now North Broadway) and Halls Ferry Road. Bellefontaine Road was the principal route between St. Louis and the 18th century Spanish fort, Don Carlos Tercero Del Rey at the mouth of the Missouri River. Traffic from a farming area of more than 100 square miles in northern St. Louis county followed these roads and funneled through the area towards the St. Louis market. This made it a natural location for a settlement, which apparently had its beginnings in the early 19thcentury. However, it was not until the extensive German migration to the St. Louis area in the 1840s and 1850s that Baden began to assume importance. So many Germans settled in the area that it became referred to as "Germantown." The name of Baden is generally associated with Frederick Kraft, a pioneer settler in 1852, who was born in Baden-Baden, Germany. Kraft, operator of a saloon, submitted Baden as the name for the first post office in 1860; the name was officially adopted when he became the postmaster. The first market house was built in 1862 and Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, the first church, was founded in 1862. By the 1870s, the surrounding farming community and a local population of 400 supported eleven stores and three wagon shops in Baden and by 1876, the town was incorporated into the City of St. Louis.

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