How Surface Parking Lots Become Common Along St. Louis’ Busiest Streets in Historic Neighborhoods

By on June 12, 2018

From NextSTL:  Back in March 2017, I posted a story about a proposal for a mosque to be built on a current vacant lot along busy Jefferson Avenue in the historic neighborhood of McKinley Heights.

The good news was that a long-standing religious institute and member of the community, Qooba Foundation at 1925 Allen Avenue, had plans to double down on the neighborhood while improving the curb appeal, creating an urban development along Jefferson.

“The fact that the site proposal is a mosque is good news as well. St. Louis has been welcoming to the Muslim community in my experience living near the large Bosnian population near Bevo.  In fact, the only minaret in St. Louis is located in the Bevo Mill Neighborhood. It adds to our soul and interest as a city. As the world evolves, so does St. Louis.

The Qooba Foundation will be nothing but accepted here, just like the Scientologists a block or so north of here and the scads of little (mostly African-American) Christian churches of so many denominations I can’t keep track. Everybody seems to get along when it comes to religion in these parts. There is even a Serbian Orthodox church in McKinley Heights that has one of the best fish fries in St. Louis…they are considered by many to be a pillar of the neighborhood.” -St. Louis City Talk – March 2017

But that’s where the good news hit a snag with the mosque proposal…the site plan proposed was entirely suburban in nature and did not comply with the McKinley Heights historic standards and codes.

Little did I know at the time that the preliminary approval was not some kind of first pass. It was the decision Qooba and the architect needed to get a building permit for the project.

Read more.


About Dede Hance