ESLARP East St. Louis Action Research Project
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ARCH 372/374 Summer 1995
existing conditions

"But the 'evil city' is chiefly a concept reflecting man's disappointment in himself, rather than in his environment.  The city itself is not evil:  it is a creation of man that must reflect his aspirations and failures, his achievements, ventures and unfulfilled dreams."

Since the 1950s employment in East St. Louis has dropped at least 50%. With this, the quality of living has deteriorated and increased crime has developed. Throughout this urban decline, Washington Place managed to remain one of the most well maintained streets in this area. This street is a quality example of the architectural and cultural integrity still left in East St. Louis, and at a smaller scale is the most well preserved street in the Olivett Park Neighborhood.

Unlike many of its adjacent streets, Washington Place does not suffer from a high abandonment ratio, rather it holds vitality and character, which are essential qualities needed in a good neighborhood. Overall, the character gives a general feeling of charm, and conveys a pleasant and desirable place to live. Its appearance is organized and tight, while still maintaining enough green space. Building and landscaping each have their own individuality, although they keep to the same scale and proportions, forming a strong chain along this corridor.

Another feature of Washington Place is its location within East St. Louis. It is near the business of State Street at its south end, a park at its north end by Summit Ave., a school only a couple blocks north of the park, and a bus route that runs up 14th Street only one block west. So, while these features are not on Washington Place, they are very close by, keeping the traffic and problems away from Washington Place.

Through research and documentation done by the School of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois (see Appendix A: eslarp documentaion) we were able to locate many of the important topographic sites here. We found information on flood planes, vacant public land, major streets, land use, zoning, significant sites, boundaries, and other similar information.

Washington Place is a cultural and historic district. Its significance to the structure of this proposal holds a great deal of responsibility. By stabilizing, sustaining, and expanding the integrity of this block, it will in turn strengthen the overall area of East St. Louis.

current conditions of Washington Place neighborhood:

ARCH 372/374 Summer 1995

East St. Louis Action Research Project
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