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

Alta Sita Physical Context

Planning and Design for Neighborhood Quality of Life

Existing Land Uses, surveyed February, 1999

Virginia Place and adjacent neighborhoods -- open suburban sense-of-place
Photos Robert Selby

Poss Summer Studio Project - pavilion for Virginia Park
Virginia Park Photos Jeffrey Poss

Mix of housing types - new, old; single and multi-family

Mix of neighborhood conditions - delapidated homes and active industry

Site Photographs

Site 2
Site 3

Client reviews


Part Four

Final Reviews

East St Louis Elderly Housing

Group K

Group L

Group M

Group N

Group O

Springfield Neighborhood Image

Group P

Re-examination of data sources

Neighborhood Condition Survey

Concentrations of red indicate the denser, more viable parts of the neighborhood.

Alta Sita is predominately green, with a surrounding donut of potential green space.

Presence of trash concentrated in periphery of neighborhood.

Neighborhood Infrastructure Survey

Streets are in good condition in the neighborhood core.

Sidewalks are more variable in condition and extent.

Street lighting is very patchy, although widespread in the neighborhood

1999 Resident Attitude Survey

150 households were interviewed -- these were some of the narrative responses:

"The old people leave and the houses are vacant. Nobody takes care of them."

"The day care center is good but expensive."

"Older population, quieter, houses not kept up, more transitory population, fewer home owners."

"Relationships in ESL- everyone knows everyone and everyone's related to each other"

"People donít visit with each other as much."

"Pollution has gummed up the soil and created bad air"

"Deteriorated gradually-older people died-no community anymore."

"The city's like a "big toilet, big dirty toilet, with a couple fo clean specks."

"You can't see the nice homes in the overall dirty city."

"Fixing street lights is a problem, you have to go out and read the little number off the top of the light, then report it to the city, and then the city calls the company to come fix it, (I) had to use binoculars to read the number."

"The street floods too when the drain isn't clear.  We don't all get flooded, not all of the neightbors get flooded at the same time, it's like one house at a time, and there's no sewer cleaning services."

"They need to work - there are a lot of people just patting each other on the back saying good job, but nothing is getting done."

"On this side of Bond it's not so bad, but on the other side it's really bad."

"A lot of the homes are American Bottoms owned, so they should maintain and pay taxes for them, but they don't.  Their name is on the title after a lien was put on the property. "

"(We were) the first black family, on Market (St) 44-45 years."

"Loss of commercial businesses - grocery store 29th and market,  "smell of fresh bread"  bakery, drug store."

"Once white and black, now all black."

"Better now: First moved here it was a white neighborhood in 7-19-56.  Blacks moved in and whites moved out."

"Lower taxes;  cut trees and clear fields."

"Supervise the neighborhood (no uppity people)."

House damaged in 1970 railroad explosion, "I thought it was Judgement Day."

"Railroad blast: blew houses down, railroad moved and trees grew, dead bodies thrown in overgrown lot, don't maintain the lot."

"29th Street businesses gone-groceries, barber,bakery,hardware."

"No more apartments or duplexes; keep up with the old style of Virginia Park; build from original footprints and styles; hopes Metro-Link gets expanded ( a branch to Cahokia) sub station in Fairview and more buses to Fairview."

"School system has not changed for the better, when there was neighborhood schools kids didnít (grade school) have to go far away."

"No one watches the park.  There used to be a watcher."

"Street- huge holes in street when large vehicles went over it, shook house and cause damage."

"Neighborhood children tore down property - the beauty has been lost."

Previous Class Presentations:

Part One

Background research, Principles of 
Neighborhood Physical Planning and Design -- Work as Teams

Background research, prototype design solutions based on the research, and world-wide web interface.

Link to Part One web pages

Part Two/Three

Planning and Design for Neighborhood Quality of Life:
Project Master Planning -- Work as Teams

Project Definition

Link to Part Two/Three web pages