The Washington Avenue Historic District is located in Downtown West, St. Louis, Missouri along Washington Avenue, and bounded by Delmar Boulevard to the north, Locust Street to the south, 8th Street on the east, and 18th Street on the west. The buildings date from the late 19th century to the early 1920s and exhibit a variety of popular architectural styles of those eras. The majority of the district's buildings are revival styles or in the commercial style that would later come to be known as the Chicago School of architecture. Most buildings originally served as warehouses for the St. Louis garment district and are large multi-story buildings of brick and stone construction. Many have terra cotta accents on their facades. After World War II, the decline in domestic garmentproduction and the preference for single-story industrial space led to many of the buildings being vacant or underused due to functional obsolescence.
The area began to experience some redevelopment in the 1990s. In 1998, the state of Missouri adopted a tax credit for the redevelopment of historic buildings, making large-scale renovation financially feasible. Local and national developers have acquired many buildings along Washington Avenue and in other parts of downtown. The buildings are being redeveloped with loft-style condominia and apartments.