Princeton Heights Neighborhood Overview
Information concerning the neighborhood history, characteristics, institutions and organizations, planning and development.
The neighborhood boundaries are defined as Hampton Boulevard on the East, Eichelberger on the North, Christy Boulevard on the East, and Gravois on the South.
Princeton Heights received its name from the old Princeton Creamery on Kingshighway Boulevard near Gravois, which in the past sold milk in glass jars. Previous to its incorporation to St. Louis City, the Princeton Heights neighborhood was known as Gardenville. At the turn of the century, this area was primarily an agricultural community. Farmers in this area grew a plethora of fruit and vegetables. The products grown were then brought to the Soulard Market located nearby. Outward expansion shortly after the turn of the century resulted in the inevitable development of this land. By 1920, nearly all these farms and gardens had been developed and land use was converted from agricultural to residential and commercial land use. It was at this time that the present-day community began to take shape.
The smaller tracts of land from the 1839 land survey west of present Hampton Avenue and south of Bancroft Avenue were held by Ferdinand Overstolz, Benjamin C. Clements, and M. D. Cotheld. The oldest subdivision (1856) was the Hazelwood Addition running the south side of Eichelberger Street and west of Kingshighway. The area south of Eichelberger and east of Hampton was completely subdivided by the mid 1920s. These developments include Kingshighway Park, Gardenville Terrace, Princeton Place, Gravois Homesites, Gravois-Loughborough Place, and Woodland Park. The early commercial activity coincided with the streetcar lines around the South Hampton Loop at Macklind Avenue and along Kingshighway, south of Chippewa. After World War II, the remaining housing stock was built, which involved heavy strip development along Hampton Avenue.