University City, Missouri
University City, Missouri
|City of University City|
|Country||United States of America|
|• Type||Home Rule Charter city with Council-Manager form of government|
|• Mayor||Terry Crow|
|• Total||5.88 sq mi (15.22 km2)|
|• Land||5.88 sq mi (15.22 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||531 ft (162 m)|
|• Density||5,963.44/sq mi (2,303.88/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0756828|
|Website||University City website|
The city is one of the older suburbs in the St. Louis area, having been a streetcar suburb in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; much historic architecture remains in the southern, older portion of the city, particularly along Delmar Boulevard. The northern portions of the city, mostly developed after World War II, have more of a suburban feel with many shopping centers and other automobile-centered development. The city is named for nearby Washington University.
University City has much municipal open space, the largest parcels being 85-acre (340,000 m2) Heman Park (which includes recreation and community centers and public pool facilities) and Ruth Park (a public golf course and nature trails). The city has four elementary schools, one middle school, two Catholic grade schools, one Jewish high school, and one public high school. The School District of University City is separately managed from other school districts in the area.
University City's southern border is approximated by Northmoor. The eastern border is approximated by Skinker Boulevard. The western border is approximated by old McKnight, some of which is now Interstate 170.
The city also contains part of Midland Boulevard, which divides the watersheds of the Mississippi River and the Missouri River. The River Des Peres rises in the hills near the University City and Clayton boundary, flows north, takes a strong turn at Ruth Park, and then runs through culverts southeast through the city of St. Louis to debouche in the Mississippi River.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
The city has long had a large middle-class Jewish presence. Jewish cemeteries and religious centers dot the city, such as Young Israel of St. Louis and Agudas Israel of St. Louis, serving University City residents and those of nearby Clayton, which also has a high concentration of Jewish residents.
In 2020, there were 35,065 people living in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 48.9% White (48.1% non-Hispanic), 36.6% African American, 0.2% Native American, 6.5% Asian, 2.0% from other races, and 5.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.9% of the population.
As of the census of 2010, there were 35,371 people, 16,154 households, and 8,484 families living in the city. The population density was 5,995.1 inhabitants per square mile (2,314.7/km2). There were 18,021 housing units at an average density of 3,054.4 per square mile (1,179.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 50.8% White, 41.1% African American, 0.3% Native American, 4.3% Asian, 0.9% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.8% of the population.
There were 16,154 households, of which 23.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.8% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 47.5% were non-families. 36.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.90.
The median age in the city was 37.4 years. 19.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.5% were from 25 to 44; 24.7% were from 45 to 64; and 16% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.6% male and 53.4% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 37,428 people, 16,453 households, and 9,114 families living in the city. The population density was 6,363.1 people per square mile (2,457.7/km2). There were 17,485 housing units at an average density of 2,972.6 per square mile (1,148.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 49.26% White, 45.35% African American, 0.16% Native American, 2.85% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.56% from other races, and 1.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.56% of the population. The city is considered (by inhabitants) to be divided roughly into three zones from north to south. North of Olive is predominantly Black, from Olive to Delmar is mixed, and south of Delmar is predominantly White. Because of the city's racial composition, it has not been part of the integration busing program between the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County.
There were 16,453 households, out of which 23.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.3% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.6% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 21.8% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $75,902, and the median income for a family was $90,539. Males had a median income of $55,588 versus $45,440 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,901. About 9.5% of families and 14.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.1% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.
In the late 19th century, the area that is now University City was primarily farms and small farming communities. In 1902, Edward Gardner Lewis purchased 85 acres just outside the city limits of St. Louis, northwest of Forest Park, where the St. Louis World’s Fair would be held two years later in 1904. Lewis was the publisher of Woman’s Magazine and Woman’s Farm Journal. The 85-acre area would be the headquarters for Lewis’s publishing company, as well the site for a model city, inspired by the City Beautiful movement.
In 1903, Lewis broke ground for his publishing company’s headquarters: the Magazine Building (now City Hall), an ornate octagonal 135-foot tower. Soon, other architecturally significant structures and developments were erected, including an austere Egyptian temple, the Art Academy, and the Lion Gates. The Egyptian temple once served as a Masonic Temple and is now home to the Church of Scientology of St. Louis. The Art Academy and the Lion Gates were designed by the Eames & Young architecture firm, which enlisted sculptor George Julian Zolnay to create the Lion Gates.
University City was formally incorporated in September 1906 and Lewis became its first mayor. Between 1910 and 1920, University City grew faster than any other city in Missouri. By the 1920s, University City’s main business corridor, along Delmar Boulevard just north of Washington University, was a bustling commercial district with new multifamily housing attracting new residents. Streetcars were the primary mode of transportation for shoppers and residents alike. After World War II, the city experienced its greatest housing construction.
In the 1960s, Black people displaced by urban renewal projects in the city of St. Louis began to move west into St. Louis County. "University City was the first county municipality to struggle with the issues of fair housing and traditions of segregation," Nini Harris wrote. One innovative and controversial attempt to combat segregation was The University City Home Rental Trust.
The School District of University City operates public schools.
University City has one high school: University City High School. The city also has one middle school, Brittany Woods Middle School, and four elementary schools: Flynn Park, Barbara C. Jordan, Pershing and Jackson Park. It is also home to two Catholic grade schools, Our Lady of Lourdes and Christ the King.
University City is home to COCA, the Center Of Creative Arts, which has a nationally recognized pre-professional dance training program. Alumni have danced for Trisha Brown, Cecil Slaughter, Houston Ballet, Ballet Hispanico New York, Mark Morris, Alvin Ailey, the national tours of Wicked and Cinderella, and Tarzan on Broadway.
University City has a public library at 6701 Delmar Boulevard. Established in 1939, the library houses more than 150,000 volumes as well as music and spoken recordings, videotape and DVD collections, and works of art. The library is open seven days a week, including five evenings. University City has 17 parks and one 9-hole golf course, Ruth Park Golf Course.
The largest park is Heman Park (85.26 acres).
In recent decades, efforts have been made to establish a successor to the earlier ethnic neighborhood of Chinatown in the city of St. Louis. A number of Asian grocery stores and restaurants exist along Olive Boulevard between I-170 and Skinker Boulevard in University City. The route contains mostly Chinese businesses, rather than residents. Although efforts were made to designate part of the area as "Chinatown", surrounding community members objected to the proposals. Also, the Missouri Department of Transportation has jurisdiction over part of Olive Boulevard and does not permit decorative archways or gateways spanning the roadway, as can be seen in other Chinatowns. As a result, there is no officially designated Chinatown in the St. Louis area. Since 2016, the University City government has sought to foster economic development along the corridor with tax incentives and by rebranding it "University City Olive Link".
The Delmar Loop, an entertainment, cultural and restaurant district, sits along Delmar Boulevard, parallel to and six blocks north of the northern boundary of the university. Among the more prominent businesses in the Delmar Loop is Blueberry Hill, a restaurant and concert venue owned by Joe Edwards and Linda Edwards at 6504 Delmar Boulevard. Opened in 1972, its concert venue, The Duck Room, is noted for its relationship with the musician Chuck Berry, who performed there over 200 times.
- Mayor: Terry Crow
- City Manager: Gregory Rose
- Boards and Commissions
- City Council:
- 1st Ward: Steve McMahon & Jeff Hales
- 2nd Ward: Aleta Klein & Tim Cusick
- 3rd Ward: Bwayne Smotherson & Stacy Clay
- Lacy Clay, Congressman
- Hallowell Davis (1896–1992), pioneer in studying the physiology of hearing, at the Central Institute for the Deaf
- Stanley Elkin, novelist
- Jane Froman, singer and actress whose life story was told in 1952 film With a Song in My Heart
- Bob Gale, screenwriter (Back to the Future) and movie producer
- Dave Garroway (1913-1982), host of many national TV shows in the '50s and '60s, including The Today Show and Wide Wide World
- Bernard Gilkey, player for five Major League Baseball teams
- John Hartford, composer ("Gentle on My Mind") and folk musician
- Ken Hitchcock, head coach of NHL's St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars
- Ken Holtzman, Chicago Cubs pitcher who threw two no-hitters and won 174 games
- Nelly, rapper
- Patrick McCaw, basketball player for Golden State Warriors, NBA Championship
- Howard Nemerov, poet
- James Peniston, sculptor
- Robert Person, pitcher for four Major League Baseball teams
- Jayson Tatum, basketball player for Boston Celtics
- Art Shamsky, player for four Major League Baseball teams and Israel Baseball League manager
- Mike Shanahan, owner of St. Louis Blues hockey team (1986–95)
- Tennessee Williams, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright; attended University City High School
- Ike Willis, singer and sideman for Frank Zappa from 1978 to 1988
- Delmar Loop Trolley
- Louisiana Purchase Exposition, also known as the 1904 World's Fair
- 1904 Summer Olympics, held a short distance from University City, on the Washington University Campus
- The University City Home Rental Trust, an attempt to combat racist real estate sales practices
- "Government". City of University City Missouri. City of University City. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
- "City Council Contact Info". City of University City Missouri. City of University City. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
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- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: University City, Missouri
- "CINYC Maps". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "History - University City, MO - Official Website". www.ucitymo.org. City of University City.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
- "United States Census Bureau". Retrieved 2022-01-28.
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- Wright (2002).
- Nini Harris, Legacy of Lions: a History of University City, published by the Historical Society of University City, 1981, p.158.
- "Missouri Public Libraries". PublicLibraries.com. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
- "About COCA | St. Louis Arts Organization".
- "About University City Public Library | University City Public Library". www.ucpl.lib.mo.us. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
- "Parks | University City, MO - Official Website". www.ucitymo.org. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
- University City Olive Boulevard Design Guidelines
- Bryant, Tim. "University City hopes to grow business with Olive Link". stltoday.com. Retrieved 2017-12-13.
- Riverfront Times, July 20, 2005.
- KPLR, October 20, 2010.
- "Olive and 170 TIF | University City, MO - Official Website". www.ucitymo.org. Retrieved 2022-01-28.
- "blandesign - University City Olive Link". www.blandesign.com. Retrieved 2022-01-28.
- "Our Story". Blueberry Hill. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
- "Blueberry Hill". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
- "Walk of Fame | Great St Louisans". Retrieved 2020-04-05.
- "Mayor Terry Crow Takes Office In University City". University City, MO Patch. April 24, 2018.
- "University City, MO - Official Website". www.ucitymo.org.
- "City Council Contact Info | University City, MO - Official Website". www.ucitymo.org.
- Saxon, Wolfgang. "Hallowell Davis, 96, an Explorer Who Charted the Inner Ear, Dies", The New York Times, September 10, 1992. Accessed July 15, 2010
- "Widely acclaimed author, professor Stanley Elkin dies". Washington University in St. Louis. June 22, 1995. Archived from the original on October 27, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2012.