By. Chris Stritzel
Yesterday evening, I had the chance to take my time and walk around the Euclid Corridor a corridor that has changed quite a lot over the past few years. The blend of new and old architecture, coupled with a small neighborhood vibe really creates a setting of a true urban oasis. The sound of cars isn't to prominent along this street unless you are close to Lindell or Kingshighway. The cars you hear are those passing through or busses, but not much else. People in this area seem to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the street life, like myself. Most of this traffic is foot and bike traffic. Everyone seems to want to take part in the "City Living" aspect of life that is common down here in Central West End. That aspect is what seems to be leading this regions explosive growth whether on Euclid, or elsewhere in the blocks surrounding Euclid.
Currently, the Euclid Corridor offers everyone who visits it spectacular dining options, 3 hotel options and even retail, a rarity in the city. Most importantly, it seems, there are plenty of options for living here. Whether it is a Multi-Million Dollar House or Penthouse or affordable apartments in condos in either new or old buildings, this neighborhood has it. There is some Office Space (which is growing) but not much. Some stores here are similar to those at Plaza Frontenac (these can be found on Maryland Plaza, just East of the Chase Park Plaza). Let's start at Lindell and work our way up to McPherson in this story.
This part of the street is where things change quite a lot from what it is elsewhere in the Central West End neighborhood. Its what divides Euclid into two sections, fully built out and room to grow. Most recently, this corner has received the 12 Floor, Citizen Park apartment project by OPUS which brings additional retail space and living space to the Central West End area. The Citizen Park Building completes the Mid-Highrise wall that consists of both new and old architecture and buildings. Overall, it completes the wall from Kingshighway to Taylor Avenue. On the other side of Euclid lies the St. Louis Public Library/Parking Garage Combo. This structure also includes some retail at its Northern end. A garage which is needed to serve the people visiting this shopping area since street parking is tight and even non existent in some places.
Moving around this mid section between Lindell and Maryland, a 2 floor, older building sits with space for retail at its base. It is fully occupied by cafes, restaurants and clothing stores. Basically, this completes the Lindell/Euclid area of the Corridor when heading North. Now for the town square portion of the region, Maryland Plaza and Euclid.
When you get to this area, the vibe changes dramatically. It becomes quiet, people are outside talking and walking and the fountain can be heard from Euclid. It is almost as if you have been transported to Country Club Plaza in Kansas City but without the Spanish looking Architecture or as much traffic. Instead, this region becomes a gem in itself. From Kingshighway, Maryland Plaza offers visitors a half neighborhood half retail section anchored by the massive Chase Park Plaza building. This street is home to some of the ritziest stores found in the City itself. Names like Straubs, 10DENZA, AG Jeans and Lululemon greets visitors along with the future Patagonia or Urban Outfitters at the Chase Park Plaza and the Existing SCAPE Fine Dining Restaurant.
Personally, I think Maryland Plaza should be closed between Kingshighway and Euclid to allow small concerts and fairs to take place on the Central West End's most valuable street. It will also protect visitors from speeding cars.
These names make Maryland Plaza a key feature in the ever-changing neighborhood that is quickly outpacing the middle class and heading straight for upper class. In Maryland Plaza, a fountain sits greeting everyone with a nice addition to the street which is bringing luxury shopping to the city. Continuing down the street, we meet up with Euclid again. All4 corners have a business on it that anchors this part of the corridor. One id the Drunken Fish, another is Coffee Cartel on the West. On the East, Culpeppers and Hamlins Whiskey House and Steak House. This corner also includes locally known Mexican restaurant, El Burro loco just to the North of the intersection in the base of the former Fairmont Hotel.
Across the Street, Sub Zero Vodka bar and 2 small retailers make their presence known along the avenue. These 3 are situated in the same long building that Culpeppers is in. And finally, before you get to the neighborhood portion of everything, a Bike Shop, Pet Groomer make their presence on the East side of Euclid while on the West Side, a Lebanese Restaurant and Golden Grocer add to the neighborhood vibe that has become common place down here. Following these, the rich neighborhoods begin that house famous streets such as Lenox Place, Hortense Place and Pershing Place. All 3 have very large and expensive homes on them. Now, we move up to McPherson and Euclid. A piece of Euclid that calms down but contributes to pushing the district closer to Delmar.
Basically, this corner wishes to be like its larger sibling to the South. McPherson has some art galleries and a modern furniture store on it while McPherson and Euclid include Pi Pizza and local book store, Left Bank Books. This area also boasts of the last big cluster of stores before getting to Delmar, just a few blocks up. While there are some more restaurants North of here, there isn't much else. This region also includes some parking for those who wish to explore this area to its fullest. Besides this, the tour of the built out area of North Euclid is completed. The walkable neighborhood has everything you need. Police Presence here is high and the neighborhood is strong in everyway.
Central West End houses a grocery store and even, one day, a pharmacy at the Citizen Park Building. From here, residence or people who wish to live here, have their choice of living in a house, condo (Chase Park Plaza) overlooking Forest Park, or apartment building that puts you in the heart of it all. density in this region is crucial to giving the neighborhoods urban feel. This urban feel helps make Euclid one that is stronger than most of the other streets elsewhere in the area. However, do not compare this to Delmar Loop. This street is more local than touristy, but, this is only half of the full Euclid Corridor. The Southern Section between Lindell and Parkview Place and rapidly changing and will define Central West End for years to come. Whether that change is for good or bad, ill lay out the facts in my next piece on Euclid and Central west End. Look for "Are we Overbuilding South Euclid" soon on this website or the "Euclid Corridor: St. Louis' Most Walkable District (South)". Wither should be coming by June 5th.
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