Everyone grows up differently, but many of us share that same nostalgia for the place where we were raised. Whether you miss walking to the park with your friends, learning the day's gossip from your next door neighbor or visiting your favorite local restaurant, the safety and love you felt in your first neighborhood stays with you forever. For many residents living near our new office, that is Lindell Park.
Although our new building officially sits inside the larger neighborhood of Jeff Vander Lou, we are also a part of the smaller community of Lindell Park. We were lucky enough to sit down with five residents of Lindell Park to learn more about their home.
Four of the five residents we spoke with grew up in Lindell Park and their families have lived here since the 60s. Mr. Robert's family moved into the neighborhood in 1961. He remembers watching baseball and even football at Sportsman's Park, and as a young man he made extra money as a valet for spectators who drove into the city for the games. Ms. May's parents moved here in 1968 as first time homeowners moving from a large apartment complex. Mr. Will's grandparents purchased their home in Lindell Park in 1966. What he remembers most about growing up here is "the closeness of the neighborhood". He remembers being able to walk safely to Fairground Park, Herbert Hoover and the YMCA where we are situated today. Mr. Robert told us that "Whatever you needed, you didn't have to go far". There was a Woolworths up the street and Percy's Barber Shop on the corner. There were mom and pop restaurants in walking distance, dry cleaners and even a movie theater on Natural Bridge and Grand.
It's easy to get caught up in reminiscing, but here, there are also goals for the future. Long time residents worry about decreasing home ownership and hope that more sit-down restaurants will move in and play an active role in the community. They also want to see systemic change such as faster response times and better relationships with local police.
Today, this neighborhood is still close-knit. Neighbors take care of each other and pray for each other. Ms. May and Ms. Marilyn regularly pick up trash on their street that flows in from Grand, a neighborhood organization meets once a month at Jubilee Community Church and residents stay in contact with local politicians to push for positive change throughout their community.
We asked Ms. May what she wants supporters of Mission: St. Louis to know about Lindell Park. She said,
“This is a loving, caring, family oriented neighborhood that just needs a little revitalization".
We hope that our relationship with Lindell Park and all of Jeff Vander Lou will continue to grow and we are excited to see what our shared future will bring.