I took these photos last year and since then they have just been sitting around inside my computer. This is every building on Allen Avenue in McKinley Heights. McKinley Heights is one of the smallest neighborhoods in St. Louis. It is bounded by Jefferson Avenue on the west, Gravois Boulevard on the south, Interstate 55 on the east, and Interstate 44 on the north. It’s a nice quiet little neighborhood and is convenient to many of the city’s most beloved places like Soulard, Lafayette Square, Benton Park, not to mention Downtown.
Before the construction of the interstates, McKinley Heights would have been contiguous with Soulard and Lafayette Square; the street grid here still bears some obvious scars and it’s sad to contemplate the vitality that has been lost. Still, McKinley Heights is seeing renovation and investment and is still largely intact and inhabited. McKinley Heights also would have been in the main path of the infamous 1896 Tornado which swept a wide path of destruction across the city.
Allen Avenue gets its name from its once owner Ann Russell Allen—Russell Boulevard and Ann Avenue are two other streets in McKinley Heights. Allen extends east across I-55 through Soulard, and in broken segments west to Compton Avenue. Russell extends through Soulard and to Grand Avenue.¹ In Soulard there is a short street between Allen and Russell called Allen Market, which is currently the location of a large senior living apartment building.
- St. Louis Public Library Street Index. http://www.slpl.lib.mo.us/libsrc/a-street.htm