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Case Studies 

The Loop

University City



Contributed by 
Mary Wittry
Project for Public Spaces
December 6, 2004
December 14, 2017

A six block arts and entertainment district in Downtown University City.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

This vibrant neighborhood has interesting shops and the restored Tivoli Theater. Has a life and energy that's not easy to find. The area around it is full of apartments and condos. There is a nice mix of retirees and students, artists and professionals, blacks and white and mixed.

Access & Linkages

People generally walk around the neighborhood. There is bus service, and the Metrolink train station is only a few blocks away. Some days there are lots of bikers. It's also accessible by car, the most accessible spots are to the north of the Loop.

Comfort & Image

The neighborhood is generally clean. It is centrally located in the St. Louis area. Again, it normally has a balanced mix of people. I find it comfortable and interesting, but some people are unsure about its safety. I think it's VERY safe.

Uses & Activities

The area is always in use. There are two small parks near the Loop. There are lots of restaurants, including the Melting Pot. There are international stores, a Starbucks, a library, a couple of art galleries, a farmer's market, some restaurants with evening musical acts, and 4-5 churches. There are 3 arts school (including music, performing arts and fine arts). The Pageant and a bowling alley are nearby (actually on the St. Louis City side of Skinker).


There's a mix of individuals and groups. I find groups to be respectful of others. This is a source of pride for University City and the St. Louis area. It's a unique area, and tourists are directed here all the time. Not sure of the ratio of tourists to locals. I often see friends of mine there, but it's also certainly a place where I would direct tourists.

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Related Links & Sources

The Loop
The Pageant, a concert hall and nightclub, is part of the revitalization of the Loop. Image © Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
The Loop
The Loop
The Loop
The Loop
The Loop
The Loop
The Loop

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.


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