Chapter 1: The Central West End Before Redevelopment

From a glitzy destination for high-end shoppers to a pocket of crime and poverty, the path of the Central West End as a neighborhood has been a winding one. But by the early 1970s, many St. Louisans recognized that the time had come for a change. 

About this Project

For much of history, we learn about the past from historians, who tell us how events unfolded and what they mean. When it comes to the Central West End, we’re lucky that many of the innovators, big thinkers and prime movers that led its resurgence in the 1970s are still with us today. 

Here, in the most comprehensive oral history of the Central West End in existence, they tell that story in their own words. The interviews collected here were used for the making of the documentary film A Place Worth Saving: The Story of the Central West End.