Monday, March 20, 2017

Seeing the City

St. Louis is blessed with many unique, beautiful, quirky and fun communities. It is amazing how few of them I have really seen. But I crossed one of them off the list when I visited The Grove yesterday with a photographer friend. The district is located between Kingshighway and Vandeventer along Manchester Road, and a Sunday morning was the perfect time to do some exploring without a lot of cars and/or people to get in the way.

The first thing that caught our eye was Demo Man, which is located at the intersection of Vandeventer and Chouteau. Since 2002 the 20' Demo Man sculpture has been overlooking the intersection of Chouteau and Vandeventer. The small parcel of land is owned by Don Bellon of Bellon Wrecking and Salvage. One of his employees created the piece, replicating a small statue that has been on Bellon's desk since 1973 when he started his business.

Demo Man
The Grove sign
From Demo Man you can see the iconic The Grove sign, which was lit for the first time on December 17, 2010,  announcing the entrance to The Grove. A second sign hangs at the east entrance near Kingshighway. The area takes up about a mile along both sides of Manchester Road. Originally a commercial district called Adam's Grove in the 1950s, the area fell into urban decline. New businesses began to open in the 1980s, and since then the area has been successfully revitalized. With new branding, it is now known as The Grove.

The architecture in the area reminds me a bit of The Loop in University City. The vast majority of the storefronts are full - I did not see many vacancies, which is wonderful. But it is the number of public art pieces, primarily murals worked on by local artist Grace McCammond, which really capture your eye and give life to the area. Painted fireplugs and electric boxes, as well as bright splashes of trim on building exteriors, add to the colorful atmosphere. The Grove is definitely a photographer's dream, and my friend and I enjoyed living it for the morning!

The Grove

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

I like the Hello-Jello piece!