Housing, Highways, and Other Complicated Things
St. Louis City's population peaked at 856,000 in 1950. Today, the numbers come in just shy of 320,000. This staggering population decline of nearly 63% is symptomatic of post-industrial cities throughout the Rust Belt, but what happened here? In our city? Housing, Highways, and Other Complicated Things (HHOCT) adopts this question as impetus behind an afternoon of urban pedal pushing; sign up for one of three Sunday rides this October to participate in the discussion!
Divided geographically, the HHOCT series consists of three distinct tours, each following a unique cycling itinerary that meanders through St. Louis City. Lead by a guide*, the tours visit sites holding powerful narratives that are remarkable not only in determining how the local physical and social landscape survives today, but are indicative of national trends in urban development during respective historical periods. The guide will deliver background information at each destination, but participants are encouraged to contribute their personal histories and knowledge, allowing for dynamic and open dialogue.
*The guide is me, Sarah Witt. I am an interdisciplinary artist, native St. Louis City-zen, and veteran bicycle tour leader with a bona fide (expired) license to lead site-seeing tours (in New York State).
The central focus of the tours is 20th century events: mid-century public policy, federal aid and urban renewal, the development of the interstate system, racial inequalities, and postwar mentalities, all of which contributed to the massive exodus of St. Louisans from the city to the county, and elsewhere. But as history isn't static, the tour will also consider contemporary issues: the Better Together initiative, CityArchRiver 2015, grassroots efforts to revitalize individual neighborhoods, Paul McKee's plans for the Northside, and general gentrification discourse. How did and do these events unravel and perpetually reknit the urban texture of St. Louis City?
Sunday, October 12, 2pm: HHOCT1: South Side Tour
Sunday, October 19, 2pm: HHOCT2: Central Corridor Tour
Sunday, October 26, 2pm: HHOCT3: North Side Tour
Each tour lasts approximately three hours and can accommodate 15 guests. (Meeting places TBA after registering; rain dates will be scheduled.) Helmets are required. $10 suggested donation can be paid day of the ride.
The nooks and crannies of Saint Louis City (View)
We will be mobile: BIKE RIDE! (meeting location revealed after registering)
St. Louis, MO 631??
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|