LaSalle Park Neighborhood Overview
Information concerning the neighborhood history, characteristics, institutions and organizations, planning and development.
The LaSalle Park neighborhood’s boundaries are defined by Chouteau Avenue on the North, I-55 on the Southeast, and Tucker on the West.
LaSalle Park is conveniently located adjacent to downtown with easy access to major interstates and other major thoroughfares. A majority of its architecture includes red brick rowhouses and Federalist and Victorian houses. French residents, language, and culture prevailed throughout St. Louis well into the nineteenth century. The demographics began to shift shortly after the Civil War and the discovery of gold in California. Most of the French landowners, such as the Soulards, Chouteaus, Pauls, and Ceres, sold their property to the newly arrived individuals moving west. Immigrants of German, Lebanese, Czech, and African-American descent began to settle the area, displacing the once predominant French. Only four people out of every hundred were French after this influx of immigrants. The new rich were businessmen who made fortunes during the war and western boom. It was these individuals who purchased much of the land downtown and in the surrounding area. John Pullman, who made his fortune in iron, built his home at 912 Hickory.
Throughout the twentieth century and until the 1950s, LaSalle Park retained its charm, bustling pedestrian activity, and strength. The new highway construction isolated the neighborhood from the surrounding area, and thus rendered it less desirable as a place to live for the past two decades. LaSalle has been the focus of many redevelopment and rehabilitation efforts by its residents, community organizations, and City and Federal governments. It has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. New development plans must now adhere to fairly strict architectural guidelines that resemble the previous surrounding architectural styles. Ralston Purina, which has been in the neighborhood since 1894, has played a significant role in the redevelopment of the area by rehabilitating historic buildings and constructing new housing for LaSalle Park’s residents. Nearly all 140 acres of LaSalle Park have been rehabilitated.