Other
Status: Approved

Jefferson Lake

Submitted By:
cooperpriess
on 12.01.12

cooperpriess

Jefferson Lake

An Amazing urban lake in North St. Louis!

It's time to do something amazing on the North Side. There are rumblings of life in Hyde Park, ONSL, and a few other areas, but much of the area east of Grand and surrounding the old Pruitt Igoe site is vacant, dilapidated, or lacking access to services. Since most of the demolition in this area is complete, we should take it one step farther and build a large urban lake intersection of Jefferson and MLK, bounded by Grand on the west, Florissant on the north, MLK/Easton on the south, cutting around St. Louis Place, and then east to Carr Sq. The cut from this lake would form hills around the lake in the surrounding blocks. The lakefront itself would feature cycling and running trails, with Jefferson Lake Boulevard surrounding it. Parkland would connect to Fairgrounds Park on the west, and a parkway median down Grand would provide a green-island connection to Tower Grove Park. MLK/Easton would run east to downtown as another green-islanded parkway. Jefferson Lake Boulevard would be subdivided into lots similar in size to those on Hawthorne and Longfellow, with redevelopment in the surrounding blocks starting with the subdivision of land into 45 ft wide lots and urban setback requirements in a form based development code. The goal of this would be to kickstart development in NSL while at the same time creating a highly desireable urban amenity in a part of the city that is kind of a blank slate.


Stef

Stef said 4/16/2015

While I suspect the proposer of this idea is more earnest and well-meaning than Northside LLC, I also get the sense that 1. they don't know any Northside nabes aside from ONSL & Hyde Park -- which happen to be two of the whitest ones. 2. I am also feeling 100 percent sure that they have talked to zero residents in this area to get feedback. I live in St. Louis Place, and know a lot of the families whose houses and businesses would end up on the bottom of this lake. I assure you they would not be as excited about this, especially after being told they're being displaced by the mapping agency. I agree with everything in the Curious Feet blogpost.

Eleanor

Eleanor said 4/15/2015

"Why the Jefferson Lake Idea on the Rally STL Page Needs to be Removed." https://curiousfeet.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/why-the-jefferson-lake-idea-on-the-rally-saint-louis-page-needs-to-be-removed/

Daron

Daron said 4/18/2013

Wow I stand corrected on the wards.

cooperpriess

cooperpriess said 4/18/2013

Daron, I think you're talking about a different ward than this affects. This would be in the bombed out part of the 5th and 19th wards, as the neighborhoods west of Grand are still more or less intact and occupied. The majority of the area I'm referring to if you look at an aerial shot is probably 20% occupied, if that, and much of the ancient infrastructure and remaining building stock is a wreck. As for Chouteau's Lake, YES. Investing in the riverfront, YES. All of the above. What's the horseshoe lake? - I didn't know there was a lake in the city limits??? But both of those have huge hurdles, with the river the sheer unpredictability of water levels and difficulty of using it recreationally - you can't canoe or swim or sailboard or sail very easily on a very commercial port. With Chouteau's Pond, the iron grip the railroads would seem to have on the property presents an indefinite obstacle. Again, the idea here is to create something on the North Side that doesn't exist anywhere else, and to use it to accelerate growth and some real diversity.

Daron

Daron said 4/18/2013

I'm on board with a long range plan for restoring Chouteaus Pond and I'd get behind an effort to improve the pond at O'Fallon Park. Im also with you if you want to improve Horseshoe Lake. Destroying the city in order to save it is crazy talk though. We have miles and miles of under invested in waterfronts. If we have money to spend on such things we should spend it on what we have now. Anyway I'd love to see you present this at a public meeting in the fourth ward. The people living where you want to build this will probably not be that excited about it.

cooperpriess

cooperpriess said 3/13/2013

Daron - city lakes are the Best. Thing. On. The. Planet. Seriously. That section of the city isn't exactly setting the world on fire what with its blocks of empty lots, high crime rate, low to nonexistent occupancy, low property values, crumbling arson bait and untenable infrastructure. Old North and a couple other small strips are about the only positive things happening there, and their growth rate is very slow. It will take a very long time to repopulate this desolate stretch under current conditions. This is a serious amenity with transformative potential for the areas around it. I can understand the skepticism - but take a trip to Madison or Minneapolis, or even Fond du Lac or any other city situated on a lake. Lakes are people and activity magnets that have a tangible impact on quality of life you can practically hold in your hands. The impact is huge. They are a center of life - entertainment events, canoeing, cycling, beach volleyball, contemplation, swimming, running, playing, reading, picnicing, dangling your feet off the edge of the dock at twilight etc. In a city that has shut so much of itself off from the river or otherwise destroyed its water infrastructure a hundred years ago - not to mention how hot it gets in July and August - this is a no brainer and a must-have.

Daron

Daron said 2/17/2013

Wow, no.

cooperpriess

cooperpriess said 1/6/2013

The Chain of Lakes / Grand Rounds parks system in MPLS is the city's lungs, and the center of the community.

Dennis McGrath

Dennis McGrath said 1/5/2013

I lived in Minneapolis and developed a lasting connection to the urban lakes, greenway parks, and paths that connected them. This would be used by all of us and would be a beautiful natural amenity for STL.