Groth Guide to Mark Twain

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Mark Twain is a north St. Louis neighborhood bound by West Florissant Avenue to the north east, I-70 to the south and south west and Emerson Avenue to the north west:

The neighborhood is comprised of two Census tracts: 1075 and 1076. The 2005-2009 American Community Survey estimates a combined 5,452 residents, with 98% being black and 1% white. Of 2,446 housing units, 486 are estimated to be vacant, a rate of 20%. The 2000 Census recorded 5,806 residents (98% black, 1% white), 2,686 housing units and a vacancy rate of 21%.

This is one of the north city neighborhoods that is in quite good condition overall. I’d put this up there with North Pointe and the West End as some of the more stable neighborhoods on the city’s north side.

Much of the area is marked with the familiar pillars that can be found in the north side neighborhoods along W. Florissant Avenue:

Much of the housing stock is really quite beautiful and stable.  There are a lot of people living here and the streets were active with pedestrians, dog walkers, etc even on an icy cold winter day.

Kingshighway has a large center garden median with older trees and looks great all the way from West Florissant to Bircher:

My favorite setting in the neighborhood are the blocks bound by Ruskin, Thelka, Queens and Harney.  If you want to check out a well planned 2 block area, this may be the one in Mark Twain:

Mark Twain school is for sale.  The North City Church of Christ is simply beautiful as are the homes and elevation of the streets sloping toward the north east.

The nice, well-cared for homes are mainly concentrated toward the center of the neighborhood, but can be found throughout:


Some other parts of the neighborhood are very reminiscent of the Dogtown neighborhoods on the south side:

The worst area of the neighborhood with the most burn outs, board ups and crumbling homes is the north west end nearest Walnut Park East.

As you can see in the map, Mark Twain is largely residential northwest of Euclid Avenue and the area southeast of Euclid is largely industrial.  The historic Bellefontaine Cemetery abuts Mark Twain to the north and east.

Toward the south eastern edge of Mark Twain, the impressive Archer Daniels Midland grain silos visible from I-70 are quite a presence in the neighborhood and can be seen from many parts of Mark Twain.

There is also a senior housing complex:

As well as a the former home of the Royal Knights Athletic Association, a club youth boys and girls sports club founded in 1959.

The fields are no longer in use but once were home to some talented young athletes (and some sharply dressed coaches):


source circa 1977/1978

There are some former factories that are quite the cool aging structures:

Unfortunately, the amount of illegal dumping in the former industrial is overwhelming, one of the worst I’ve seen throughout the entire city. It’s actually quite embarrassing and a health risk I’m sure…but as we all know, the city turns it’s back on these problems, especially when it’s on the north side. I won’t post photos, but if you want to see what I’m talking about just go to the area near Shreve Avenue and Rosalie Street…a real bummer.

But again, this is probably one of the most stable looking neighborhoods on the north side. There are plenty of businesses and churches both along W. Florissant as well as sprinkled throughout the neighborhood:

I didn’t spot any cool metal and neon signs, but there were a couple others that caught my eye including this one two punch of my favorite lo fi beer guzzling calls:

And a couple others:

There are some handsome structures along W. Florissant Avenue including engine house #12 and a former police station built in 1930:

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