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2024 is shaping up to be an incredible and pivotal year for our vibrant neighborhood! Dutchtown Main Streets is excited to bring you this 2024 outlook guide to get you hyped for all the things to come! New businesses, new basketball courts, new services for our neighbors and entrepreneurs—in 2024, we look forward to Dutchtown neighbors and businesses thriving together!

What’s New with Dutchtown Main Streets in 2024

Since rebranding and establishing ourselves as a Main Street America district in partnership with Missouri Main Street Connection in 2021, Dutchtown Main Streets has focused on transformation strategies of serving our neighborhood families and fostering entrepreneurship. In 2023, we received a Neighborhood Transformation Grant from the Community Development Administration to allow us to hire staff and further the goals of our community-led transformation.

A wooden sign at the corner of Marquette Park in Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO.

Fun for the Whole Family in 2024

Allies of Marquette Park was officially adopted as a subcommittee of Dutchtown Main Streets in 2022. The work to transform our biggest park has been ongoing and continues to build momentum. In 2024, we look forward to unveiling a new playground in partnership with Lutheran Development Group and a new multisport court that will include basketball courts where the old tennis courts currently are.

We’ll also continue our Dutchtown Movie Nights in 2024. Spring and summer Movie Nights at Marquette Park are fun for the little ones and their families, while fall movies at the Neighborhood Innovation Center are geared toward teens and adults. Don’t miss the annual Dive-In Movie at Marquette Park Pool for a unique movie-watching experience!

An aerial view of Marquette Community Day, South St. Louis' biggest back-to-school event, at Marquette Park in Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO.

The annual Juneteenth and Father’s Day Kickball tournament is on Sunday, June 16th. The tournament supports Marquette Community Day, the South Side’s biggest back-to-school event, which returns on Sunday, August 4th. We’ll have the backpacks and school supplies our young neighbors need to succeed, along with all the fun we bring every year, including game trucks, horseback rides, climbing walls, and more.

And mark your calendar for the Virginia Avenue Spring Fling on April 20th! We will be showcasing the new edible park and community garden brought to you in partnership with the Dutchtown Community Improvement District, VAL Garden, PocketParks, and Dutchtown Main Streets! We look forward to the addition of this new community space for learning, growing, and celebrating community in 2024!

Tacos La Jefa's birria tacos and tortillas being prepared on a flat top grill at Urban Eats Food Day in Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO.

Get Your Fill in Dutchtown in 2024

The Dutchtown food scene continues to grow, anchored by your favorite long-time staples and a steady stream of newcomers. We just welcomed Thai Pavilion to the neighborhood, which relocated here from South County with a large following. We look forward to welcoming Constantino’s in early 2024 when they begin serving up classic Italian dishes and Neapolitan-style pizza at the location that formerly housed the Feasting Fox.

The neighborhood will showcase its food scene at the annual Urban Eats Food Day on September 14th. Come check out the entertainment and great offerings from Tacos La Jefa, All Rolled Up, Nicky Slices Pizza Club, and many more while you explore the diverse flavors our neighborhood has to offer. 

The storefront of Wildfruit Projects, a queer-led art space at 4704 Virginia Avenue in Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO. An abstract blue sculpture is visible in the left window, and large red, gold,, and black paintings can be seen on the gallery walls.

Let Dutchtown Inspire You in 2024

We’ve been delighted by the exhibitions at Wildfruit Projects, named Best Art Gallery by the RiverfrontTimes in 2023. Just down Virginia Avenue, artists at Pele Prints and Boda Clay are creating fine art prints and beautiful handmade ceramics. On Meramec, Ellipsis Studio at Cross Grand regularly showcases outstanding local artists.

For those who want to make art themselves, Thomas Dunn Learning Center continues to offer open Art Lab hours, a variety of art classes, and quarterly exhibits featuring community artists. Keep your eyes peeled for new public art installations from Thomas Dunn Learning Center and Dutchtown Main Streets, including a community mural installation at Thomas Dunn. Makers can also visit South Broadway Art Project, Intersect Arts Center, or Perennial for additional hands-on creative experiences. 

Dutchtown Summer Vibes is back on June 1st to showcase all your favorite local talent! Last year’s lineup featured local and regional artists like Ellen Hilton Cook, Sunny Rain, Jay-Marie Is Holy, Bates and the Strangers, and Midwest Avengers, with DJ Prospect Out Hrr as MC. Summer Vibes in 2024 will be bigger and better than ever!

The interior of IntertWine Wine Bar at 4710 Virginia Avenue in Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO. The interior features a large exposed brick wall emblazoned with the IntertWine logo, green leather sofas, and modern lounge chairs.

More New Businesses and Development in Dutchtown in 2024

Progress continues on Virginia Avenue, anchored by neighbor-owned businesses on the 4700 block and the new pocket park project at Virginia and Liberty. New to the block, IntertWine opens its wine bar and lounge early this year at 4710 Virginia. Wildfruit Projects, at 4704 Virginia, has a steady rotation of new exhibits on the walls. And Sign of the Times Tattoo at 4722 Virginia continues to grow in their third year in Dutchtown.

3305 Meramec Street, part of Lutheran Development Group's Marquette Homes project in Downtown Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO.

Work is scheduled to begin on the long-vacant building at 3305 Meramec as part of Lutheran Development Group’s Marquette Homes Project. The scattered-site affordable housing venture will feature mixed-use redevelopment of the three-story building in the heart of Downtown Dutchtown through a massive rehab project. Vacant for nearly 15 years, the building will feature a vital commercial space at street level and apartments above.

The Dutchtown Main Streets Committees: Design, Economic Vitality, Organization, Allies of Marquette Park, Promotion, and Virginia Greenspace.

Help Revitalize Dutchtown in 2024

Dutchtown Main Streets is at the heart of community revitalization in our neighborhood with a vision to see a Dutchtown where businesses and neighbors thrive together. You can help drive this vision by joining a Dutchtown Committee.

Promotion Committee

Help get the word out about our amazing neighborhood! The Promotion Committee plans events like Virginia Avenue Spring Fling, Dutchtown Summer Vibes, the Dutchtown Holiday Party, block parties, and more. We work to inform neighbors and visitors about the great people and businesses that make Dutchtown wonderful. For more info, email

Design Committee

The Dutchtown Design Committee seeks opportunities to improve the neighborhood’s physical elements through public art, preservation, beautification, and safety. Contact for more info.

Economic Vitality Committee

The Economic Vitality Committee strengthens and diversifies Dutchtown’s economy by providing support to existing businesses, fostering entrepreneurship, and leveraging other incentives to attract new local businesses and residential and commercial development opportunities that are appropriate and affordable for our neighbors. The Committee hosts monthly Networking After Hours on the third Thursday of the month. Email to learn more.

Organization Committee

Our Organization Committee brings together volunteers, sponsors, and funds to make the work of Dutchtown Main Streets possible. If you have an interest in or knack for coordinating people, fundraising, grant writing, and the like, Organization is for you. Contact for more info.

Allies of Marquette Park

Allies of Marquette Park supports activity and investment at Marquette Park through the implementation of a comprehensive plan for park improvement and hosting events like Marquette Community Day and Dutchtown Movie Nights. If you love the park and want to get involved, contact for more info.

Virginia Greenspace Committee

The Virginia Greenspace Committee supports the future Dutchtown Main Streets edible park and community garden located at Virginia and Liberty. If you are interested in gardening, food shares, sustainability practices, and community building outdoors, contact for more info.

All Are Welcome!

Dutchtown Main Streets’ monthly board meetings take place at the Neighborhood Innovation Center on the first Tuesday of the month at 6 PM. We do a quick community check-in with guests, get reports from our committees on current activities, and proceed with board business. Email or join us at a monthly meeting if you’re not quite sure what’s the right fit for you. Everyone is welcome to participate however you can!

Marquette Park is the crown jewel of Dutchtown, but the story of what was there before is… complicated.

The House of Refuge was established in 1854 at the site of what would later become Marquette Park. We’ll get back to their mission statement in a moment because in 1861, before the House of Refuge was complete, the Government borrowed the building for the purposes of a Civil War hospital. 

The hospital opened in August 1861 and served Union troops.

It had neither stoves, nor bedsteads, nor beds, nor bedding, nor food, nor nurses, nor anything prepared. The first hundred arrived at night. They had been brought in wagons a hundred and twenty miles, over a rough road, by hurried marches, suffering for food and water, from Springfield to Rolla, and thence by rail to St. Louis to the station on Fourteenth street. There, having had nothing to eat for ten hours, they were put into furniture carts and carried the remaining three miles. Bare walls, bare floors, and an empty kitchen received them; but the kind-hearted surgeon, Bailey, did all he could to make kindness take the place of good fare. He obtained from the neighbors cooked food for their supper. The poor fellows were so shattered and travel-worn, but no word of complaint did we ever hear one of them utter.

Western Sanitary Commission, 1864

The hospital conditions improved over time, and within the first year, there were 4,999 admissions and 276 deaths. 

Black and white photograph of the House of Refuge in St. Louis. At center is an unadorned building with a smokestack. Additional buildings are blurry but visible in the background. The foreground is an overgrown grassy expanse.
The only known photo of the House of Refuge, courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society.

When the Civil War was over, the hospital was converted back to what it was originally intended to be: The House of Refuge.

The name sounds lovely, right? Like a rest stop for weary travelers. Well, that wasn’t exactly the case. 

The House of Refuge was half orphanage, half jail. 

From the Missouri Republican, July 18th, 1872.

If you were a child and you committed a crime, you were sent to the House of Refuge. If you were a child whose parents committed a crime and were sent to jail, you were sent to the House of Refuge. 

Those in charge would tell you that the House of Refuge existed to instill morals into amoral children. The kids went to school, went to work caning chairs or worked at the adjacent farm, played, ate well, had clean linens, etc. They made it sound almost… nice (except for the child labor part). 

For years, there were rumors about what went on behind the walls of the House of Refuge.  In July 1872, a warrant was issued against House of Refuge Superintendent Gleason on the charge of willful and malicious oppression. 

The superintendent of the House of Refuge in Cleveland sent a letter to the Grand Jury in St. Louis, stating that Mr. Gleason was a “narrow-minded, self-conceited, bigoted fanatic, who has compelled and inaugurated and practiced at the House of Refuge the most damnable and cruel system that ever disgraced an American reformatory.” 

Punishments at the House of Refuge included:

  • Removal of play and exercise
  • Being sent supperless to bed
  • Deprivation of food, except bread and water, at regular mealtime
  • Solitary confinement
  • Corporal punishment and physical abuse

The Grand Jury declared that radical changes should be made. It remains unclear if any of those radical changes were ever made, as over the years, the House of Refuge continued to receive accusations of inhumane treatment of children. 

In 1915, a “Correctional Farm” was established at the site of Fort Bellefontaine, and the kids from House of Refuge were shipped off to the farm. 

The buildings on the site of the original House of Refuge were demolished, and the land was converted into the park we now know as Marquette. I think we can all agree that the space serves the community far better when it’s used to bring kids joy, not pain.

The above history of the House of Refuge is courtesy of Erica Threnn. More of Erica’s mini-histories from across St. Louis can be found on her Instagram page, @found.stlouis.

A larger version of the top image from the November 3rd, 1901 issue of the St. Louis Republic can be found at this link.

You can find more articles on the history of Dutchtown at

Adelheld "Heidi" Lange, St. Louis-born architect.

Adelheld (Heidi) Lange was born in 1878 at the stately house at Meramec and Iowa.

Lange wanted to become an architect but couldn’t attend school here because of the whole “being a woman” thing. She went to Switzerland to get her degree.

When she came back to St. Louis, she was hired by Theodore Link, the guy who designed Union Station. There are no buildings specifically credited to Lange, but shortly after she was hired, Link took a more modern approach to his buildings. The two were close, and it’s evident that Lange’s experiences in Europe played a huge influence on Link’s work.

A tall, modern sculpture created by Heidi Lange.

A few years into her architecture career, she met and married Andre Roosevelt, the cousin of President Teddy Roosevelt. Andre Roosevelt was a filmmaker who enjoyed making exploitative films about Bali in an attempt to cultivate tourism. During this time, she got super into sculpting and took a break from architecture.

The couple ultimately separated, and Lange spent her later years living a quiet life in Connecticut.

Just figured it was worth noting that the first woman architect of St. Louis was born here.

Black and white photograph of the Metallurgy Building at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.
The Metallurgy Building at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. While the design is credited to Theodore Link, it is known to be heavily influenced by the style of Heidi Lange.
The birth home of Heidi Lange at 2722 Meramec Street in St. Louis, Dutchtown neighborhood. The Italinate mansion is brick, two stories, and well-maintained although some paint is peeling and windows are boarded up.
The 1866 home at 2722 Meramec Street where Heidi Lange was born. Although currently vacant and boarded, the building is still in excellent shape.

The above brief history of a past Dutchtown resident is courtesy of Erica Threnn. More of Erica’s mini-histories from across St. Louis can be found on her Instagram page, @found.stlouis.

You can find more articles on the history of Dutchtown at

Dutchtown Summer Vibes is back! Join us in Downtown Dutchtown on Saturday, July 9th for live music, food and drink, shopping, kids’ activities, community resources, and more!

Summer Vibes is a street festival in the historic Downtown Dutchtown commercial district along Meramec Street from Michigan Avenue to Louisiana Avenue. Everyone is invited to come enjoy some tunes, grab a bite from our restaurants and food vendors, shop with our boutiques and sidewalk pop-ups, and learn more about our community!

We’ll update this page with more details as we approach the big day! Point your browser at to keep up to date.

Let us know you’re coming and share with your friends on the Facebook event page.

Stay Cool

It’s summer, after all! We’ll have a misting tent, water, and cold treats for the kids! The Dutchtown Summer Vibes cooling station is sponsored by Cure Violence, Employment Connection, and Stray Rescue of St. Louis.

Stay Full

Dutchtown’s got food to keep you going throughout the day! Visit the Urban Eats Neighborhood Food Hall for a variety of munchies—All Rolled Up, Crepes and Treats, Sugoi Sushi, and Tacos la Jefa. We’ll also have food vendors at other locations, including Munch Wagon and Chef Tiffanie Toles. And we’ve got drinks from Earthbound Beer!

Stay Loud

The stage at the Neighborhood Innovation Center will be rockin’ with live local music! The following artists are scheduled to appear at Dutchtown Summer Vibes:

Check out our Dutchtown Summer Vibes playlist for a sneak peek at what you’ll hear on July 9th!

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Special thanks to our Dutchtown Summer Vibes Premier Sponsors Crawford-Butz Insurance Agency and Incarnate Word Foundation!

We also thank sponsors Cure Violence Dutchtown, Dutchtown Community Improvement District, Earthbound Beer, Employment Connection, Sign of the Times Tattoo, Stray Rescue of St. Louis, and U-Haul Moving and Storage of Dutchtown.

We were proud to see Dutchtown persevere and move forward through the pandemic in 2020. Hand in hand with our neighbors, DT2 · Downtown Dutchtown made great strides in organizing volunteers, welcoming new businesses, securing improvements at Marquette Park, and much more. You can read about our 2020 here.

It’s another year later, and the global health crisis persists. Nonetheless, our community continued to progress in building a better Dutchtown for everyone. And for that, we should all be Dutchtown Proud.

Introducing Dutchtown Main Streets

In the summer of 2021, the organization formerly known as Downtown Dutchtown (DT2 for short) unveiled a new name: Dutchtown Main Streets. While the organization had previously had a broader scope than just the area around Meramec and Virginia, we felt it was important to let our neighbors know our belief that every street in Dutchtown is a Main Street.