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Larissa Sattler, Erin Socha


Historical Research: Megan Folkmann, Molly Meyer, Larissa Sattler. Urban Analysis: Sofia Aguirre, Rachel Bennett, Megan Folkmann, Molly Meyer, Larissa Sattler, Erin Socha, Haokun Wang. Site Model: Carmen Chee, Dylan Draves, Kyle Kapaun, Mason Radford



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Post-industrial cities are characterized by population, economic and infrastructure decline. Yet within these cities, there is unusually a sample of communities that are resilient. Resilience is a measure of sustainability, that represents a community's ability to respond to, withstand and recover from adversity. In St. Louis, Todd Swanstrom [CBN] has identified a number of neighborhoods that he refers to as "rebound communities." Although these neighborhoods have generally lost population, witnessed abandonment and undergone racial or ethnic transition, they have demonstrated elements of revitalization in recent years. As Swanstrom has noted, rebound communities exhibit common characteristics: an architecturally significant building stock, distinctive landmarks and vital social networks.

One of these rebound communities is Fox Park in South Central St. Louis. It shows many of the attributes of an ideal neighborhood: historic architecture, a 2.69 acre park, and strong neighborhood institutions and organizations. Built out in the early 1880s, this once German community, gained local Historic District status in 1985 thanks over 350 fine examples of diverse styles and structures types, including St. Francis de Sales Oratory, the only German Gothic church in St. Louis. An expansion of the local Historic District to include the remaining area of the neighborhood south of Victor was proposed in 2009, and finally approved in 2011. The aim was to foster a coherent neighborhood by enforcing similar regulations on both sides of Victor helping to stabilize and even increase property values and encourage businesses investment on the southern edge. Traces of the once divided neighborhood can still be perceived with renovations and business primarily being anchored on the northside.

Yet, the central landmark in the neighborhood is Fox Park itself. Formerly a lumberyard, the original 1917 park experienced growth over time, extending the original parcel over two adjacent ones. Spearheaded by the revitalized neighborhood association, the park has undergone substantial renovation following the H3 2014 masterplan. Emblematic of the neighborhood's resurgence, Redfin named Fox Park the hottest neighborhood in St. Louis metropolitan area.

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Washington University in St. Louis


Saint Louis



Inclusion & Neighborhood Resilience [STLMO]: Designing for Equity in Post-Industrial Cities
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