Franz Park Neighborhood Overview
Information concerning the neighborhood history, characteristics, institutions and organizations, planning and development.
Franz Park is bordered by Dale on the north and east, Manchester on the south and the City limits on the west. It is one of the three neighborhoods that comprise what is informally known as "Dogtown."
Franz Park grew with the other "Dogtown" neighborhoods in the mid-1800s, when clay mining moved into the area. The railroads further increased the speed at which residents began to move into the area. Many immigrants from places such as Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Poland came to work in the mines. St. Louis fire brick was a growing industry that was employing most of the residents, who built homes around the industrial locations.
By the end of World War II, the mines had closed, and subdivisions had been built upon the old sites. As a result of the erratic way in which the houses in the neighborhood were built, a variety of architectural styles exist within the area. Despite the fact that the jobs created by fire brick were gone, the strong working class communities remained. In fact, with the World’s Fair in 1904, even more people had been enticed to move into the neighborhood, as did the Sulphur Springs Spa, for a few years.