Built St. Louis
South City: Soulard

Soulard is St. Louis's oldest and most charming neighborhood, hands down. Other areas may be larger, richer, or more ornate, but none can match the appeal of Soulard's physical environment. The streets of Soulard are lined with densely packed red brick houses of intimate scale. Small garden plot yards, mousehole passageways, unexpected porches, and a generally cohesive streetscape make Soulard one of the most urban residential environments in Midwest... and one of the best.

Soulard is also the city's greatest lesson in historic preservation and urban redevelopment. It is the quintessential model of a beautiful, desireable, walkable, prosperous city neighborhood. Soulard is the model of what so much of St. Louis could be.

Its history and its physical spaces offer profound lessons about the nature of built spaces and urban development... lessons that city leaders have ignored, forgotten, and overlooked time and again.

This tour will touch on some of those lessons and history as it wanders around the neighborhood, but mostly it will attempt to share with the world some of the most beautiful streets in the city of St. Louis.

Note: The map above does not define Soulard, whose official definitions follow a different set of boundaries. The map instead combines the core areas of the Soulard neighborhood, and the urban areas that are physically contiguous and congrunent with them. My interest is in the area's architecture and in meaningfully connected urban spaces, not "official" definitions of what is and isn't a particular neighborhood. The limits shown above are set at real barriers and boundaries that physically disconnect these areas from their neighbors, or mark major shifts in architectural and urban character.

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