West End Neighborhood Overview
Information concerning the neighborhood history, characteristics, institutions and organizations, planning and development.
This neighborhood is defined by Page Boulevard on the North, Delmar Boulevard on the South, Belt Avenue and Union Boulevard via Maple Avenue on the East, and City limits on the West.
What is now known as the West End was originally part of a larger community called Cabanne. Originally, Cabanne comprised parts of three old Spanish land grants. The West End is the largest segment of this area, which also covered the neighborhoods now known as Skinker-DeBaliviere, DeBaliviere Place, Visitation Park, and Hamilton Heights. It was named after Jean Pierre Cabanne, who came to St. Louis in 1806. His large land holdings were passed on to his family until the 1870s, when they began to be divided for residential development. By 1900, the area was substantially developed. As a result, most of the houses in the area were built between 1890 and 1920. The neighborhood still contains some landmark buildings.
The streets that border the West End to the north and south, Delmar and Page, were originally major arteries to the west. In 1878, the West End Narrow Gauge Railroad was built. It was a steam line leading to Florissant. In the 1890s it was electrified, and it ran until 1966, when it was the last streetcar route to be abandoned by the City.
The area has a long and rich history. Its first churches began in the 1870s, with what is today St. Rose of Lima. Churches of all denominations began in the late 1800s, and still operate today. The first public school was built in 1887, and the first hospital opened in 1865. Unfortunately, after World War II, many residents began moving out of the neighborhood. There was a marked decline in ownership, and the density of residents began to increase. The area suffered an economic decline, which has been combated by several initiatives.