Friday, June 28, 2013
McKinley Heights: A Diverse and Historic Neighborhood in the Heart of St. Louis
A mix of the old and new, McKinley Heights is surrounded by some of St. Louis’s most famous communities, including Soulard and Lafayette Square to its south. The tree-lined streets and quaint brick homes makes the area a popular location for families, and since it is also close to downtown (where there’s shopping, restaurants and jobs), busy professionals live here and are able to commute to work in just a few minutes
There are two of the schools in McKinley Heights—McKinley School and Sigel Elementary—that are a work of architectural art by themselves, as well as being pretty good performers, test-wise (although McKinley Classical Leadership Academy that shares a building with McKinley Jr. High has some of the best scores and high-achieving students).
There actually aren’t too many businesses in McKinley Heights, although there’s plenty of restaurants and shopping in nearby neighborhoods like Richmond Heights (which is home to the St. Louis Galleria, a large mall with over 70 different stores). Businesses in McKinley Heights include a popular ice sculpture shop, contractors, art dealers, an animal hospital, and a few other small companies.
Growing up in McKinley Heights and attending both Sigel and McKinley High School, I spent a lot of time walking the streets in this great neighborhood. The country western star Barbara Fairchild grew up just a few blocks from McKinley High school and we both worked for the vice principle my freshmen year. Gone are places like Frentzel Market (Arsenal & Jefferson), Charless elementary, Big 4 Chevrolet (Jefferson Ave)and most of Fox Park, although the softball fields are still used.
Demographically, McKinley Heights’ residents are a mix of Caucasians (48%), African Americans (46%), and a small percentage of Asian and Native American. The average annual household income was around $51k in 2012, with a median home value of $125k, which makes the neighborhood one of the most affordable in the St. Louis area. This, coupled with the safety since crime is extremely low in the community, makes McKinley Heights a big draw for young families, business professionals who work in the surrounding areas of St. Louis, as well as retirees looking for a quiet place to spend their golden years.
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