Dutchtown Neighborhood Overview
Information concerning the neighborhood history, characteristics, institutions and organizations, planning and development.
Dutchtown boundaries are defined as Chippewa Street to the North, Jefferson to Meramec Street to Compton to the East, to Walsh Street on the South, and to the Missouri and Pacific Rail Road to the West.
Originally settled by German immigrants at the beginning of the twentieth century, Dutchtown still retains its strong German identity. As originally surveyed, a portion of present-day Dutchtown, south of Chippewa to Bates Street, was a part of the Commonfield of Carondelet. The City annexed this area in 1870. In 1875, it was still rural in character, but development was heavy north of Chippewa and east of Jefferson. Laclede Park was acquired in 1854 from City reservations in the old Commons. Marquette Park, at Osage and Minnesota, was acquired in 1915 from the Board of Children's Guardians. A swimming pool was built in 1917.
St. Anthony of Padua, located at Meramec Street and Michigan Avenue, is the oldest Catholic Church in the area. The church was completed in 1869, and its parochial schools were opened in 1970. St. Anthony's High School was erected in 1922, as well as a monastery in 1931 and new parochial school in 1962. The well-known Alexian Brothers Hospital at 3933 South Broadway opened its doors in 1870. Over the years the hospital had experienced continual growth, with a new building program continually underway.
The older homes in the neighborhood are located north of Meramec Street. This area is composed mostly of two- and four-family flats mixed with a smaller number of single-family dwellings. The architecture displays an obvious Germanic influence, reflective of the area's early inhabitants. Most were erected between 1890 and 1910, while the oldest few date back to the 1870's.
Grand Boulevard Park and Grand-Meramec Park subdivisions were developed on the site of old Hashagen's Park in the late 1910s. Some of the later development in Dutchtown was the construction of apartments near Spring and Delor, which occurred in the 1960s.
The commercial areas developed primarily around major transit lines, which include Chippewa, Meramec, Gravois, Grand and Jefferson. South of Meramec, Virginia Avenue served as the main commercial street. Presently, commercial property on Meramec east of Grand has been reduced throughout the years, whereas commercial districts along Grand between Gravois and Chippewa are well maintained.