St. Louis Now

Linda Tate on June 27th, 2011

For the past month, I’ve been providing highlights from Colin Gordon’s provocative study, Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City (Penn Press, 2008). This week, I want to reflect on the book and bring this discussion to a close. Mapping Decline is a heavy book. I mean that both literally and […]

Continue reading about Mapping Decline: Final Reflections

Linda Tate on March 14th, 2011

The Hodiamont streetcar may have stopped running more than 45 years ago, but that hasn’t stopped the Hodiamont right-of-way from making the news. Seems folks just can’t quite accept the idea that the right-of-way is not a street open to traffic — and as a result, accidents happen. KPLR-TV reports that a recent accident involved a […]

Continue reading about Hodiamont Tracks in the News

Linda Tate on March 7th, 2011

Last week, I introduced Ray Suarez’s 1999 book, The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration, 1966-1999. Suarez’s book looks at the phenomenon of the “old neighborhood” –  once-bustling, tight-knit urban communities that are now ghettos or that have been largely abandoned. In his survey of numerous American cities, Suarez explores the […]

Continue reading about The Old Neighborhood, Part 2

Linda Tate on February 28th, 2011

Ray Suarez’s 1999 book, The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration, 1966-1999, identifies a persistent pattern in city after American city: the heyday of the old urban neighborhood, the decline and loss of that neighborhood, and the subsequent ghetto that took its place. Suarez describes the tight-knit urban communities that many […]

Continue reading about The Old Neighborhood, Part 1

Linda Tate on January 24th, 2011

I’m intrigued by the phenomenon of the “urban prairie,” what photographer/writer Camilo Jose Vergara calls the “green ghetto.” “Urban prairie,” says Wikipedia, “is a term coined to characterize large swaths of vacant city lots, typically covered with grass or untended weeds and litter. Urban prairie results from widespread building demolition, common in areas subject to […]

Continue reading about Urban Prairie

For years, whenever I have dreamed of St. Louis, I have conjured images of buildings half-standing, half-open to the world. Invariably, the back wall of the house is missing, and I can peer right inside to the remainder of the house. There’s a mix of danger and excitement in these dreams: danger for I know […]

Continue reading about Disintegrating Buildings: Gordon Matta-Clark’s Urban Alchemy