University City, Missouri

University City (colloquially, U. City) is an inner-ring suburb of the city of St. Louis in St. Louis County, in the U.S. state of Missouri. The population was measured at 35,065 by the 2020 census.

University City, Missouri
City of University City
The University City City Hall building
"U City"
Location in St. Louis County
Location in St. Louis County
U.S. Census Map
U.S. Census Map
Coordinates: 38°39′57″N 90°19′54″W / 38.66583°N 90.33167°W / 38.66583; -90.33167
CountryUnited States of America
CountySt. Louis
 • TypeHome Rule Charter city with Council-Manager form of government[1]
 • Mayor[1]Terry Crow[2]
 • Total5.88 sq mi (15.23 km2)
 • Land5.88 sq mi (15.23 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation525 ft (160 m)
 • Total35,065
 • Density5,961.41/sq mi (2,301.72/km2)
DemonymUniversity Citizen
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
FIPS code29-75220[5]
GNIS feature ID2397091[4]
WebsiteUniversity City website

The city is one of the older suburbs in the St. Louis area, having been a streetcar suburb in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; much historic architecture remains in the southern, older portion of the city, particularly along Delmar Boulevard. The northern portions of the city, mostly developed after World War II, have more of a suburban feel with many shopping centers and other automobile-centered development. The city is named for nearby Washington University.[6]

University City has much municipal open space, the largest parcels being 85-acre (340,000 m2) Heman Park (which includes recreation and community centers and public pool facilities) and Ruth Park (a public golf course and nature trails). The city has four elementary schools, one middle school, two Catholic grade schools, one Jewish high school, and one public high school. The School District of University City is separately managed from other school districts in the area.

Geography Edit

University City's southern border is approximated by Northmoor. The eastern border is approximated by Skinker Boulevard. The western border is approximated by old McKnight, some of which is now Interstate 170.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.90 square miles (15.28 km2), all of it land.[7]

The highest point of University City is the western terminus of Delmar Boulevard, at the tri-border of University City, Ladue, and Olivette.

The city also contains part of Midland Boulevard, which divides the watersheds of the Mississippi River and the Missouri River. The River Des Peres rises in the hills near the University City and Clayton boundary, flows north, takes a strong turn at Ruth Park, and then runs through culverts southeast through the city of St. Louis to debouche in the Mississippi River.

Highways Edit

Major roads and highways in University City are Interstate 170 (I-170), Missouri Route 340 (MO-340), Delmar Boulevard, Forest Park Parkway, Olive Boulevard and Skinker Parkway.

Demographics Edit

Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census

The city has long had a large middle-class Jewish presence. Jewish cemeteries and religious centers dot the city, such as Young Israel of St. Louis and Agudas Israel of St. Louis, serving University City residents and those of nearby Clayton, which also has a high concentration of Jewish residents.

2020 census Edit

In 2020, there were 35,065 people living in the city.[8] The racial makeup of the city was 48.9% White (48.1% non-Hispanic), 36.6% African American, 0.2% Native American, 6.5% Asian, 2.0% from other races, and 5.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.9% of the population.[9]

2010 census Edit

As of the census[10] of 2010, there were 35,371 people, 16,154 households, and 8,484 families living in the city. The population density was 5,995.1 inhabitants per square mile (2,314.7/km2). There were 18,021 housing units at an average density of 3,054.4 per square mile (1,179.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 50.8% White, 41.1% African American, 0.3% Native American, 4.3% Asian, 0.9% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.8% of the population.

There were 16,154 households, of which 23.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.8% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 47.5% were non-families. 36.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the city was 37.4 years. 19.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.5% were from 25 to 44; 24.7% were from 45 to 64; and 16% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.6% male and 53.4% female.

2000 census Edit

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 37,428 people, 16,453 households, and 9,114 families living in the city. The population density was 6,363.1 inhabitants per square mile (2,456.8/km2). There were 17,485 housing units at an average density of 2,972.6 per square mile (1,147.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 49.26% White, 45.35% African American, 0.16% Native American, 2.85% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.56% from other races, and 1.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.56% of the population. The city is considered (by inhabitants) to be divided roughly into three zones from north to south. North of Olive is predominantly Black, from Olive to Delmar is mixed, and south of Delmar is predominantly White. Because of the city's racial composition, it has not been part of the integration busing program between the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County.

There were 16,453 households, out of which 23.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.3% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.6% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 21.8% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $75,902, and the median income for a family was $90,539. Males had a median income of $55,588 versus $45,440 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,901. About 9.5% of families and 14.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.1% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.

History Edit

In the late 19th century, the area that is now University City was primarily farms and small farming communities. In 1902, Edward Gardner Lewis purchased 85 acres just outside the city limits of St. Louis, northwest of Forest Park, where the St. Louis World’s Fair would be held two years later in 1904. Lewis was the publisher of Woman’s Magazine and Woman’s Farm Journal. The 85-acre area would be the headquarters for Lewis’s publishing company, as well the site for a model city, inspired by the City Beautiful movement.

In 1903, Lewis broke ground for his publishing company’s headquarters: the Magazine Building (now City Hall), an ornate octagonal 135-foot tower. Soon, other architecturally significant structures and developments were erected, including an austere Egyptian temple, the Art Academy, and the Lion Gates. The Egyptian temple once served as a Masonic Temple and is now home to the Church of Scientology of St. Louis. The Art Academy and the Lion Gates were designed by the Eames & Young architecture firm, which enlisted sculptor George Julian Zolnay to create the Lion Gates.[11]

University City was formally incorporated in September 1906 and Lewis became its first mayor. Between 1910 and 1920, University City grew faster than any other city in Missouri.[12] By the 1920s, University City’s main business corridor, along Delmar Boulevard just north of Washington University, was a bustling commercial district with new multifamily housing attracting new residents. Streetcars were the primary mode of transportation for shoppers and residents alike.[13] After World War II, the city experienced its greatest housing construction.[14]

In the 1960s, Black people displaced by urban renewal projects in the city of St. Louis began to move west into St. Louis County. "University City was the first county municipality to struggle with the issues of fair housing and traditions of segregation," Nini Harris wrote.[15] One innovative and controversial attempt to combat segregation was The University City Home Rental Trust.

Education Edit

The School District of University City operates public schools.

University City has one high school: University City High School. The city also has one middle school, Brittany Woods Middle School, and four elementary schools: Flynn Park, Barbara C. Jordan, Pershing and Jackson Park. It is also home to two Catholic grade schools, Our Lady of Lourdes and Christ the King.

University City Public Library serves the community.[16]

Culture Edit

University City is home to COCA, the Center Of Creative Arts, which has a nationally recognized pre-professional dance training program. Alumni have danced for Trisha Brown, Cecil Slaughter, Houston Ballet, Ballet Hispanico New York, Mark Morris, Alvin Ailey, the national tours of Wicked and Cinderella, and Tarzan on Broadway.[17]

University City has a public library at 6701 Delmar Boulevard. Established in 1939, the library houses more than 150,000 volumes as well as music and spoken recordings, videotape and DVD collections, and works of art. The library is open seven days a week, including five evenings.[18] University City has 17 parks and one 9-hole golf course, Ruth Park Golf Course.

The largest park is Heman Park (85.26 acres).[19]

Chinatown Edit

In recent decades, efforts have been made to establish a successor to the earlier ethnic neighborhood of Chinatown in the city of St. Louis.[20][21] A number of Asian grocery stores and restaurants exist along Olive Boulevard between I-170 and Skinker Boulevard in University City.[22] The route contains mostly Chinese businesses, rather than residents.[23] Although efforts were made to designate part of the area as "Chinatown", surrounding community members objected to the proposals.[20] Also, the Missouri Department of Transportation has jurisdiction over part of Olive Boulevard and does not permit decorative archways or gateways spanning the roadway, as can be seen in other Chinatowns.[20] As a result, there is no officially designated Chinatown in the St. Louis area.[22] Since 2016, the University City government has sought to foster economic development along the corridor with tax incentives[24] and by rebranding it "University City Olive Link".[25]

Delmar Loop Edit

The Delmar Loop, an entertainment, cultural and restaurant district, sits along Delmar Boulevard, parallel to and six blocks north of the northern boundary of the university. Among the more prominent businesses in the Delmar Loop is Blueberry Hill, a restaurant and concert venue owned by Joe Edwards and Linda Edwards at 6504 Delmar Boulevard.[26] Opened in 1972, its concert venue, The Duck Room, is noted for its relationship with the musician Chuck Berry, who performed there over 200 times.[26][27]

The Loop is also home to the St. Louis Walk of Fame, which as of April 2020 memorializes more than 150 St. Louisans with brass stars embedded in the sidewalk.[28]

Politics Edit

  • Mayor: Terry Crow[29]
  • City Manager: Gregory Rose[30]
  • Boards and Commissions
  • City Council:[31]
    • 1st Ward: Steve McMahon & Jeff Hales
    • 2nd Ward: Aleta Klein & Tim Cusick
    • 3rd Ward: Bwayne Smotherson & Stacy Clay

Notable people Edit

Ken Holtzman
Tennessee Williams

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ a b "Government". City of University City Missouri. City of University City. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  2. ^ "City Council Contact Info". City of University City Missouri. City of University City. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  3. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 28, 2022.
  4. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: University City, Missouri
  5. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  6. ^ "History - University City, MO - Official Website". City of University City.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
  8. ^ "CINYC Maps". Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  9. ^ "United States Census Bureau". Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
  11. ^ "History | University City, MO - Official Website". Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  12. ^ Wright, John A., University City, Missouri (Images of America), Arcadia Publishing (2002).
  13. ^ "MDH Splash". Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  14. ^ Wright (2002).
  15. ^ Nini Harris, Legacy of Lions: a History of University City, published by the Historical Society of University City, 1981, p.158.
  16. ^ "Missouri Public Libraries". Archived from the original on June 10, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  17. ^ "About COCA | St. Louis Arts Organization".
  18. ^ "About University City Public Library | University City Public Library". Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  19. ^ "Parks | University City, MO - Official Website". Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  20. ^ a b c University City Olive Boulevard Design Guidelines
  21. ^ Bryant, Tim. "University City hopes to grow business with Olive Link". Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  22. ^ a b Riverfront Times, July 20, 2005.
  23. ^ KPLR, October 20, 2010.
  24. ^ "Olive and 170 TIF | University City, MO - Official Website". Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  25. ^ "blandesign - University City Olive Link". Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  26. ^ a b "Our Story". Blueberry Hill. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  27. ^ "Blueberry Hill". Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  28. ^ "Walk of Fame | Great St Louisans". Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  29. ^ "Mayor Terry Crow Takes Office In University City". University City, MO Patch. April 24, 2018.
  30. ^ "University City, MO - Official Website".
  31. ^ "City Council Contact Info | University City, MO - Official Website".
  32. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang. "Hallowell Davis, 96, an Explorer Who Charted the Inner Ear, Dies", The New York Times, September 10, 1992. Accessed July 15, 2010
  33. ^ "Widely acclaimed author, professor Stanley Elkin dies". Washington University in St. Louis. June 22, 1995. Archived from the original on October 27, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2012.

External links Edit