About Benton Park West
Welcome to Benton Park West! Benton Park West is the neighborhood west of Benton Park, bounded on the east by South Jefferson Avenue, roughly on the south by Cherokee Street and by Gravois Boulevard on the Northwest. There is a three-block area from Compton to Potomac then to Gravois that is also a part of Benton Park West. Many of the homes on the north side of Potomac face Gravois Park. While Benton Park West does not have a "Park" of it's own, there are two city parks which border the neighborhood. These two parks are Benton Park and Gravois Park.
Homes in this turn-of-the-century neighborhood range in price from $25,000 to $300,000-plus and feature many handcrafted architectural details unique to the early 1900s and even many 1950's bungalows. Elaborate brickwork, stained glass, and oak mantles inspire residents to lavish attention on their property inside and out. Residents can walk to Cherokee Antique Row, east of Jefferson, to find items for your historic home or find everyday household and clothing items in the Historic Cherokee Shopping District in Benton Park West
Many new businesses and amenities have been added recently for the benefit of residents. New restaurants, stores and shops, as well as other services that are "walkable" make Benton Park West the "Hot Spot" of Saint Louis.
In addition to the diversity of buildings and businesses, one will find diverse individuals. From income to ethnicity, Benton Park West is a true "American Melting Pot" of Saint Louis. You will find retired, disabled, and indigent along with a mix of occupations and professionals. Walk down most streets of this 6x12 block neighborhood and you'll find factory workers, service individuals, doctors, lawyers, professors, blue collar, white collar, artists, engineers, educators, teachers, college students, and any number of other occupations.
Diversity is what creates and reinforces "sustainability".
Diversity and the heritage of the community is a point of pride for area residents, many of who are history buffs. It is common to discover that a neighbor is a descendant of the home's original builder. One resident, when asked the secret of her beautiful lawn, includes in her explanation, "You know, we've been here a hundred years now."
If you have further questions about Benton Park West, please feel to drop an email to email@example.com
Benton Park West Neighborhood Association
- P.O. Box 18671
- St. Louis, MO 63118
- Tel. 314 771 0803
Benton Park West TODAY!
Parks While there are is not a City park
in the boundaries of Benton Park West, there are two City parks which border
the neighborhood. The first is Benton
Park on the east, across Jefferson.
The second is Gravois Park, which borders several blocks on the
southwest corner of the neighborhood.
Churches in existence today:
Mount Calvary Baptist Missionary Church located at 3129
St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church located at 3018 Oregon.
Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer located at 2817 Utah.
Curby Memorial Presbyterian Church located at 2621 Utah.
Garfield school was closed in 2003 in an effort to
reorganize the student population, as well as, as cost savings to the Saint
Louis Pubic Schools.
One school remains in Benton Park West.
St. Frances Cabrini Academy is located at
Public schools that service Benton Park West are Froebel
Elementary (3709 Nebraska), Siegel Elementary (2039 Russell) and Roosevelt High
School (3230 Hartford).
have the option of working with the Saint Louis Public Schools to pick the
school(s) they wish their children to attend.
The choices of schools vary, but include City as well as county schools.
Housing needs of today are very different then over 100
While there is still a need
for multi-unit buildings, these building are being incorporated in the new
buildings are still popular as the owner can live in one unit while
supplementing their income with monthly rent from the second unit.
Many two families have both units as
The most current desire for housing is single family and
the space in a townhouse while enjoying the benefit of limited yard space and
other amenities in a shared space.
Many two families have been converted to be occupied by a
Through the years many
have been â€œgently convertedâ€ without the required City building permits.
More recently the old buildings, which
havenâ€™t been maintained for 50+ years, have the focus of developers.
Original single family homes still abound throughout Benton
These homes range from
single story bungalows to two and three story buildings.
The buildings today still reflect the heritage of German
engineering, innovation and craftsmanship.
Commercial areas border Benton Park West.
From Gravois to Jefferson to Cherokee, there
are services and business that are within walking distance to nearly any home
in the neighborhood.
Historic Cherokee Street still retains the beauty and
expanse of buildings that were built to be retail businesses.
With ample off street parking, shoppers can
choose to drive or walk to purchases shoes, clothing, gain tax services, drug
store, variety store, record (opening soon) store, as well as, many other types
of shops and stores.
Traditional shopping on Cherokee is in a three block area
just west of Jefferson.
Cherokee is a section known as the place for Hispanic foods, shopping, and
Between Compton and Gravois
has become the â€œArtsâ€ area for Cherokee.
With a laid-back coffee shop (Typo) and entertainment options with The
Tin Ceiling Theatre and Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts, there is a variety of
options for everyone.
There is even a Garden Shop, place to have your muffler and
exhaust system repaired, printing services, flea market shops, etc.
Historic Cherokee has something for
everyoneâ€¦and itâ€™s all walkable.
The Jefferson Corridor is booming with new businesses.
Restaurants, art studios, Tailor shop, and
even the possibility of a coffee shop.
Still planned is the mixed-use building at Arsenal and Jefferson,.
Gravois from Jefferson to Grand, has numerable services and
businesses which are also all within walking distance.
An auto parts store, bars and restaurants,
Quick Trip, pizza, etc. are all additional amenities that are available.
No longer will you hear the clopping of horses hoofs pulling
street cars or the rails running down the middle of Arsenal, Jefferson or Cherokee
for electric street cars.
find is the Metro Bus servicing Cherokee, Jefferson and Gravois.
Benton Park West have several â€œanchorâ€ non-profit
organizations which service residents of the neighborhood and surrounding
SSDN â€“ Southside Day Nursery was begun in the mid-1880â€™s to
help working women with childcare and job opportunities.
Today SSDN, located at 2930
Iowa still service the community as a
childcare center with an emphasis on economic development in the Cherokee
Business Incubator program located on Cherokee Street.
Five Star Senior Center â€“ Begun by five churches to service
the senior community, Five Star Senior Center, previously Five Church Senior
Center, services older adults in all of South Saint Louis.
Feeding 100+ walk-ins, along with the
delivery of over 500 meals to the elderly and indigent on a daily basis proves
that Five Star Senior Center is a shining light for those who probably would
not be eating nutrious meals.
Star also is a site for the elderly to meet for social activities and health
Another feature that
Five Star Senior Center is involved with is a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax
Assistance) center. The spring always brings the Friday Fish Fry's during Lent as a fundraiser. Come and be served by a "bunch of clowns" along with your neighbors and friends from Benton Park West.
Near South Side Employment Coalition â€“ An arm of Kingdom
House, NSSEC, services south Saint Louis as an employment and training center.
EnergyCare - EnergyCare
provides energy services and information for the low-income elderly, ill,
disabled and young children in St. Louis County and St. Louis City.
Connection â€“ Group of Franciscan Monks who
neighborhood beautification and minor home-repair and housing assistance to
Early beginnings as presented in the history of Saint Louis
Neighborhoods written by Norbury Waymen in the early 1970â€™s. The office of Community Development Agency
commissioned these histories to tell about Saint Louis.
After these histories were written, Saint Louis City
re-evaluated neighborhood boundaries and split out many of the larger
â€œneighborhoodsâ€ into smaller neighborhood groupings.
This allowed for closer integration of residents and neighborhood
Having smaller neighborhoods
allowed neighborhood leadership to focus on a smaller area creating as
situation where better services and support would be available to each
As stated from the Saint Louis City website â€œSt. Louis'
richest heritage is the distinctive variety of its neighborhoods, in the past
and now still strong.â€
The following information was taken from the City website
covering two different neighborhoods in the 1970â€™s, Compton Hill and
of these two 1970â€™s neighborhoods make up the current day Benton Park West.
Marquette-Cherokee was bounded by Arsenal Street on the
north, Bates Street on the south and Grand Boulevard on the west. Its eastern
edge is the bank of the Mississippi River.
Compton Hill was bounded by Grand Boulevard, Park Avenue,
Jefferson Avenue and Arsenal Street.
The Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer was formed in 1892 to
provide an English speaking congregation for south St. Louis. The new mission
held its services in Holy Cross Hall until 1893 when it removed to Anchor Hall
at Jefferson and Park Avenues. In 1894 the congregation was organized as a
church and occupied a chapel at California and Juniata in 1897. This was sold
to St. Andrew's Evangelical Church in 1901, when Our Redeemer Church erected a
chapel on its present site at Utah Street and Oregon Avenue. This vicinity was
sparsely settled then but an influx of population created a need for larger
quarters. Erection of the present church began in 1908 under architect August
Foell. The $45,000 structure was dedicated in January, 1909. Three years later
an adjoining parsonage and church hall was completed. A parochial school was
started in 1897 but was later discontinued because of a lack of teachers. The
children were then sent to nearby Holv Cross school.
Curby Memorial Presbyterian Church at 2621 Utah Street was
organized as the Westminster Church in 1873 in rooms at 3500 South Broadway. In
1876, the church occupied a frame structure at Pestalozzi and James (now 18th)
Streets. The present church was built in 1898 at a cost of $17,000, largely due
to a $10,000 bequest by Colonel John Curby in memory of his daughter. At that
time the church received its present name.
A new parish, dedicated to the Bohemian national saint, King
Wendeslaus, was formed by Rev. Joseph Hessoun of St. John of Nepomuk Church in
1895. A church and school were blessed in that year. The present Gothic church
of St. Wenceslaus at 3014 Oregon Avenue was completed in 1925 at a cost of
There are two public high schools within the area, Cleveland
and Roosevelt, as well as seven elementary schools.
Closest to Benton Park West is Roosevelt High School which
was opened in 1924 at 3230 Hartford Street, occupying the former site of Picker
Cemetery. It was designed by R. M. Milligan in English Gothic style.
The first Garfield School was opened in 1883 at 2612 Wyoming
Street at Jefferson Avenue. It was replaced in 1937 by the present school which
was designed by Board of Education architects.
The Grant School at 3009 Pennsylvania Avenue was built in
1893 and enlarged in 1902 to replace the earlier Gravois School at Gravois
Avenue and Wyoming Street which dated from 1867.
The older section of this area, north of Meramec Street,
contains a high percentage of two and four family flats with pockets of
single-family dwellings. Generally, these structures are of brick construction
and show an obvious Germanic influence in their architecture. The earliest ones
date from the 1870's, while the majority was erected in the period between 1890
To the south of Gravois it is an area of smaller one and two
family dwellings, which are generally owner occupied and well maintained. Large
houses may be found on a few streets running eastward from Grand. East of this
district as far as Jefferson Avenue is an area of single family houses with a
scattering of a few flats that were built between 1890 and 1910.
Commercial and Industrial Development
Strip commercial developed early on principal streets
carrying streetcar lines such as Cherokee, Chippewa, Meramec, Gravois, Grand
Cherokee Street shopping area maintains its importance,
augmented by recent parking lot areas at the rear of stores on the street's
There is very little industrial activity in this area, some
small manufacturing enterprises, storage and wholesale firms along South
Broadway and other main streets or else home type businesses at the rear of
Herolds' Cherokee Brewery and summer garden were located at
Cherokee Street and Ohio Avenue.
location local businesses were scattered through the neighborhood.
lsewhere industrial uses are intermixed with others along
Gravois and Jefferson.
A horse car line running out Gravois and Arsenal to Grand
provided the first public transit to this area in the mid-1870's. A horse car
line operating on Carondelet Avenue (South Broadway) was another early means of
public transit to penetrate into this south side area. Originally the line
terminated at Keokuk Street, but later it was extended southward to Carondelet.
By 1875, horse car lines were also running on Jefferson Avenue, Gravois Avenue
and out Sidney and Arsenal Streets to Grand Boulevard. The network of such
lines was extended during the 1880s on other streets in the area and about 1885
the line on South Broadway became a cable car line. The real impetus to
development of this area was provided by the electric trolley lines, which
rapidly spread out through the area on the main streets during the 1890s.
Electric trolley lines on Grand, Jefferson, Lafayette, Park
and Shenandoah, as well as Arsenal provided a transit network for the area by
1900. Buses now serve the same lines.
Originally run by separate companies, these lines were
unified into the citywide network of the St. Louis Transit Company by 1900.
This was a forerunner of the United Railways and later the St. Louis Public
Service Company. Buses later supplanted the car lines. The Peoples Motorbus
Company on South Grand operated the first bus line in 1924.