Shopping Centers Today

JUL 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Page 26 of 59

J U L Y 2 0 1 8 / S C T 27 DELMAR LOOP — ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY CITY, MO. e odds of turning the once-downtrodden Delmar Loop neighborhood, in St. Louis, into a collection of boutiques, eateries, and entertainment and cultural venues seemed slim in the early 1960s. Aging infrastructure, suburban flight and wholesale closures of fashion businesses that had thrived there rendered the Loop (named for the streetcars that once looped around it to connect with other routes) little more than a vacant strip of boarded-up storefronts. But the Loop was rediscovered in the late 1960s and 1970s by an eclectic group of shopkeepers, artists and entertainers who began repopulating it, as the city acted to reserve its street-front buildings for retail, galleries and restaurants. "A lot of open-minded people came in and embraced the neighborhood's diversity," said local investor and preservationist Joe Edwards. Chief among them was the indefatigable Edwards himself, president of the Delmar Loop Special District, and whom St. Louis Maga- zine dubbed the "e Duke of Delmar." Today the neighborhood is festooned with a thoughtfully curated collection of one-of-a-kind shops, art galleries, live music, movie theaters, cafés and other eating places, a luxu- ry hotel and the Edwards-created St. Louis Walk of Fame — with brass stars honoring 150 famous St. Louis people. At e Loop's core is Blueberry Hill, an iconic restaurant and rock venue that Edwards opened in 1972 and which takes up a full city block; the Tivoli eatre, a restored circa-1924 neighborhood communities l Top: Pin-Up Bowl and the Peacock Diner, both in Delmar Loop, in St. Louis

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