This Valentine’s Day, shop Dutchtown and get some unique finds for your sweetheart! Plus, you’ll have chances to win great prizes from our neighborhood merchants! Read on to learn how you can win, and find out more about special events happening on the day before Valentine’s.
How To Win
Join Us on Facebook
We’re making it easy to win—just join the Dutchtown Business District group on Facebook! In this new group, you’ll be able to keep up on the latest from our neighborhood business owners—new shops, new inventory, new sales, and more.
All you have to do is join the Facebook group by February 11th. On February 12th we’ll have a random drawing in which several lucky followers win gift certificates from a variety of Dutchtown businesses. Winners must pick up their gift certificates in person. Go on a Dutchtown shopping spree!
Cross Grand, Downtown Dutchtown’s creative service agency, has a fun contest with great prizes. Take a selfie with your sweetie and write a three sentence love letter. Submit your letter and your photo by February 12th. You’ll be entered to win a basket loaded with a $20 gift certificate, stuffed animal, chocolate basket, and liquor bouquet. Plus you’ll get a 30 minute couples photo shoot with five edited images!
Forget Me Not’s Valentine’s Day Party
Forget Me Not Boutique at 4213 Virginia Avenue celebrates Valentine’s Day on February 13th with treats and specials. Sip while you shop and enjoy some chocolates to keep your spirits lifted. Shoppers can take advantage of free gift wrapping and get $10 off when they spend $50. And one lucky shopper will win a gift basket featuring merchandise from Forget Me Not.. Come shop from 10am to 5pm.
Valentine’s Treats at Perfectly Pastry
Perfectly Pastry, located in the Urban Eats Neighborhood Food Hall, offers special treats throughout the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Find cupcakes, mini fruit pies, chocolate covered strawberries, and more. Perfectly Pastry is open from 7:30am to 2pm Wednesday through Friday and 8am to 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Established in 2019, Perfectly Pastry carries a fantastic line of breakfast pastries, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, and other sweet treats. Many of their items are keto friendly or vegan. In addition to the offerings available at their Dutchtown retail space which opened in the fall of 2020, they also do wholesale baking for a number of coffee shops and other customers throughout the St. Louis region. The wholesale operation runs out of the shared commercial kitchen at Urban Eats.
Serving the Community
Beyond that, Chef Chris and her daughters/business partners offer coaching and resources to help others start their baking business. They also work with justice involved women to teach them baking and business skills, and they partner with Guardian Angel and other non-profits to help raise funds.
Welcome back to the Dutchtown Business Showcase! In this video series, we’ll be introducing you to some of the businesses throughout Dutchtown. Our second episode takes us to Juanita’s Creole Soul Café, where we meet Chef Curtis McCann.
Chef Curtis started in the catering business. In the summer of 2020, he moved into the Urban Eats Neighborhood Food Hall to open Juanita’s and showcase his culinary skills that were influenced by his grandmother (the eponymous Juanita) and the creole food of New Orleans. The success of his Downtown Dutchtown location has led him to open a second location in North St. Louis, coming January 9th to 1823 North Taylor Avenue.
Juanita’s is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11:30am to 7pm. Due to COVID-19, the Neighborhood Food Hall is currently takeout only (with sidewalk seating available on warmer days). You can also have Juanita’s delivered via Grubhub, DoorDash, and Postmates.
Supporting Dutchtown Businesses
Particularly during the current pandemic, Dutchtown businesses need your support. Restaurants especially struggle during the early, colder months of the year. But you can help keep our neighborhood strong and vibrant just by ordering dinner! Please consider ordering takeout or delivery from Juanita’s Creole Soul or any of our other wonderful Dutchtown restaurants for your next meal. Some restaurants are offering limited dine-in service as well.
DT2 and DutchtownSTL.org are developing resources to help support our neighborhood businesses. If you’re a new or established business owner, visit dutchtownstl.org/business to see what we have to offer. And if you’d like to have your business featured in the Dutchtown Business Showcase, get in touch with us.
This Dutchtown Business Showcase video was filmed and produced by Chip Smith of Cross Grand, also located in Downtown Dutchtown. Subscribe to the DutchtownSTL YouTube channel to catch the next Dutchtown Business Showcase coming soon!
Early forecasts suggest we’re not in for a White Christmas in 2020. Nonetheless, these snow-covered photos from Dutchtown past got us in the holiday spirit! These old photos are of two prominent estates once located in Downtown Dutchtown near Meramec Street and Virginia Avenue.
At the top is the Barnard Mansion, formerly near the corner of Meramec Street and Virginia Avenue. Below is the John Withnell Dunn House which once stood on the 3400 block of Meramec.
The historic photos were colorized by Mark Loehrer. Mark is a local historian who runs the Arch City History Instagram account that features thousands of colorized images from neighborhoods across St. Louis. There is an Arch City History online shop where you can purchase prints of many of the photos at modest prices.
Mark’s collection includesdozens of Dutchtownphotos worthy of their own post someday. For now though, while admiring the winter wonderland surrounding these stately homes, we’ll take a closer look at the influential figures who lived in these houses and were a couple of Dutchtown’s earliest citizens.
John Withnell Dunn
The John Withnell Dunn House was built in 1873 at 3418 Meramec Street. Dunn was the nephew of John Dunn, a contractor and stone mason who built both the Old Cathedral and the Missouri State Capitol. The uncle also donated a small building in Dutchtown that was used as St. Anthony of Padua’s first gathering space.
John Withnell Dunn was a three term member of the Missouri House of Delegates who made a small fortune in real estate. He was an active parishioner at St. Thomas of Aquin Catholic Church. The parish is no longer in operation, but the church and school still stand just north of Laclede Park at Iowa and Osage.
Dunn was also a prolific amateur photographer and a member of the St. Louis Camera Club during the rise of photography in the late 1800s. His son, J. W. Dunn, Jr., seemed to revel in sharing his father’s photography collection after the elder had passed away.
Dunn passed in 1931 at the age of 86. He was buried at Calvary Cemetery after a funeral at St. Thomas of Aquin. The home was demolished in the 1940s to make way for a supermarket. The replacement building is now home to Resalat Community Center.
William D. W. Barnard
Dr. William D. W. Barnard was a wholesale druggist who built his estate in Dutchtown prior to the Civil War. The mansion at 3316 Meramec Street sat on a vast plot of land. Later the home was moved around the corner to 4227 Virginia Avenue. The home was demolished in 1962 to make way for the current low-rise apartment building.
Barnard was related to the Dent family and a cousin to Julia Dent, wife of General Ulysses S. Grant. The Barnards once hosted the Grants at their South Side home. When Grant was just a lieutenant in the Army, Barnard offered him financial assistance in a time of need. Later, President Grant would return the favor when Barnard faced business troubles.
Barnard passed at the City Hospital in 1902 at the age of 74.
We took a walk through the Mount Pleasant neighborhood on a frosty December morning. The City of St. Louis designates Mount Pleasant as one of its 79 distinct neighborhoods. But especially west of Interstate 55, the neighborhood maintains much of the same character as the broader Dutchtown area.
Our recent jaunt through the neighborhood focused on the southwestern portion of the neighborhood. In the future, we’ll explore the other side of the neighborhood across Interstate 55. That part of the neighborhood, through which South Broadway runs, features an outstanding variety of architecture that takes advantage of the views along the bluffs of the Mississippi River. We’ll also visit the northern portion of the neighborhood along Meramec, once home to Maryville College.
Development in Mount Pleasant
Being located closer to the Mississippi River, the Mount Pleasant portion of the neighborhood started to develop early. Growth began in our corner of the South Side along South Broadway, long ago known as Carondelet Road, and spread west from there. Mount Pleasant is home to many pre-1900 buildings, both brick and frame.
Growth in Mount Pleasant was haphazard, with buildings often going up one at a time, rather than as parts of carefully plotted subdivisions organized by builders and real estate developers. You’ll see a variety of styles, sizes, and shapes mixed together along the streets of Mount Pleasant. Varying heights, setbacks, and materials give the neighborhood an eclectic and historic feel, with architecture that’s as diverse as the neighbors.
A new wave of development happened in the middle of the 20th century. The construction of Interstate 55 plowed through the middle of Mount Pleasant, destroying untold numbers of old homes and businesses and largely cutting off one side of the neighborhood from the other. The Delor Street overpass is the only connection that crosses the highway in Mount Pleasant.
But after the wholesale clearance of the area, large swaths of vacant, graded land became available to builders. Additionally, a number of nearby quarries were filled in. Residents seeking to stay in the neighborhood, but who desired the modern amenities of the new homes being built in the suburbs, now had options on the South Side. Scores of modest mid-century homes line the blocks surrounding the highway.
Churches in Mount Pleasant
The neighborhood saw some institutional development in the mid 20th century as well. Built as Wurdack Memorial Presbyterian in 1962, the mid-century modern church featuring brightly colored tiles has hosted a number of congregations since then. The church faces Interstate 55, tucked away on Minnesota Avenue between a row of 1950s homes and low-rise multi-family housing built in the 1960s.
Residents of Polish descent founded St. Hedwig Catholic Church at Compton Avenue and Pulaski Street in 1904. The parish built a new house of worship in 1957, currently occupied by Diverse City Church. The simple, modern architectural style stands in stark contrast to its northern parochial neighbor, St. Anthony of Padua, whose towering steeples can be seen from all over the Mount Pleasant neighborhood.
Mount Pleasant is also home to a pair of Baptist churches, the South Side Free Will Baptist Church and Jewel Baptist Church. Jewel has been around the Dutchtown neighborhood since at least the 1920s, taking up residence at a handful of other locations prior to its current location on Minnesota Avenue.
Parks in Mount Pleasant
The neighborhood’s namesake park, Mount Pleasant Park, sits at the center of an oddly arranged break in the street grid where Dakota Street and Michigan Avenue would otherwise intersect. The layout is a mirror image of Laclede Park, just a few blocks to the north. The City of St. Louis established both parks by ordinance in 1812, when very little else existed in the area.
Mount Pleasant park contains a small set of playground equipment and some nice benches. It is particularly unique with the presence of a roller hockey rink.
Less of a park and more of an empty field, Minnesota and Hill Park doesn’t bring much in the way of recreation. But it does offer a broad, beautiful view of the Dutchtown neighborhood. The park itself and the vast vacant field down the hill were once the site of stone quarries. Rumor has it that Anheuser-Busch filled in the quarries with byproducts from the brewery. A-B owns the adjacent land to this day.
Residential, Commercial, and Other Uses
The neighborhood is overwhelmingly residential, but commercial and mixed use buildings also dot the corners. You’ll find many of these commercial buildings along Mount Pleasant Street.
Mount Pleasant hosted a number of parochial schools, but it was also home to the public Mount Pleasant School. The school, originally built in 1896, started as only a single story. The second and third floors were added shortly thereafter, followed by another addition in 1913. St. Louis School Board architect A. H. Kirchner designed this building, as well as Froebel School in Gravois Park and a number of other St. Louis public schools. Mount Pleasant School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been renovated into apartments.
The Mount Pleasant neighborhood, at least in this southwestern section of the neighborhood, leans heavily towards single family housing. But plenty of duplexes and four family flats are found throughout the neighborhood as well.
Lots of smaller single story cottages and bungalows line the streets of Mount Pleasant. But there’s no shortage of larger homes, both simple and stunning. As noted before, the neighborhood grew in a piecemeal fashion. All of these architectural styles are intermingled throughout the neighborhood.
You can find larger versions of these photos as well as a ton of photos from throughout the Greater Dutchtown neighborhood on the DutchtownSTL Flickr page. We also share photos from around the neighborhood on our Instagram page, along with news, meeting notices, and lots more.