Wellston Now

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 February 21st, 2011

As I reported last week, Wagner Electric – once a mainstay of Wellston residents’ employment – closed its doors in 1981. What happened next is one of the most tragic stories in Wellston history. “When Wagner Electric abandoned Wellston,” writes U.M.-St. Louis historian Andrew Hurley in his outstanding 1997 Environmental History article, “Fiasco at Wagner […]

Continue reading about Wagner Electric and Brownfield Redevelopment

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

Linda Tate on January 10th, 2011

In my last blog post, I reported that the Wellston School District has been shut down and that Wellston students now attend Normandy schools. Before the school district closed, a group of students at Wellston’s high school – known most recently as Eskridge High School – worked with StudioSTL to document the history of the […]

Continue reading about Remembering Wellston’s High School, Part 2

Linda Tate on January 3rd, 2011

As many readers will know, the Wellston School District ceased to exist at the end of the 2009-2010 school year. Because Wellston schools had lost state accreditation in 2003 and were struggling with infrastructure problems, the state board of education made the decision to merge Wellston schools with nearby Normandy School District, home of Wellston’s […]

Continue reading about Remembering Wellston’s High School, Part 1