When Interstate 44 was constructed in the 1970’s it severed what was once a contiguous urban fabric, creating new peripheries and new territories. This cutting led to a correlating scarring through disinvestment in this new highway frontage. DeTonty Street, which now forms the northern border of the Shaw Neighborhood acutely shows these signs on the 4100 block, where nearly three-quarters of the block are vacant.
UIC acquired the vacant ground and an existing four family in 2014 and has developed plans for 16 new and renovated homes that attempt to deal with the new reality of the highway adjacency. Recognizing that it isn’t viable to simply re-create the former street facing homes and hope that their demise was simply a matter of timing, we have proposed to draw on a historic St. Louis development pattern of a semi-public courtyard or “close”, with new one and one-half story bungalow style homes with large front porches and balconies.