Soulard

Soulard is a historic neighborhood just south of Downtown St. Louis.  Most of the building stock dates from the 1880′s and 1890′s and has been updated and/or rehabbed with modern 21st century amenities.

The inventory of homes and investment properties range from small bungalows and condos in the range of $100,000 to large historic and new construction homes that sell for $500,000 or more.   This results in a healthy and diverse group of neighborhood residents from many backgrounds and levels of income.

Soulard was originally a working class neighborhood in the mid to late 1800′s that was predominantly inhabited by immigrant enclaves of German, Irish, Croatian, Slovak, and Lebanese descent.  People lived in single family and multi-family flats of 2 to 4 units in most cases.  Elements of all these different cultures and enclaves persist in and around the neighborhood to this day.  Soulard was thriving if not crowded neighborhood until the late 1940′s boom of suburban development.  Gradually during the 1950′s and 1960′s Soulard lost residents and the neighborhood became blighted.  Many of the homes were abandoned, completely boarded up and owned by the city.  An individual could buy a home in the neighborhood for $1 with the promise that they would improve the property and pay taxes.

In the 1970′s and 1980′s urban minded individuals became aware of neighborhood and began moving back.  They were drawn by the striking architecture, the proximity to Downtown, and presumably low prices.  Rehabbing continued at a steady pace during the 1980′s and 1990′s.  During the boom of the mid 2000′s rehabbing was happening at a furious pace and prices in the neighborhood rose dramatically

New Orleans Style Deck

Soulard enjoys a reputation as a destination neighborhood with a high density of bars and restaurants.  Weekends are particularly lively and fun in Soulard with many visitors and residents alike out and about at the Soulard Farmer’s Market, one of the many restaurants, or taking in some live music at on the bars.  Soulard has French roots and as a result has much in common with the creole culture of New Orleans.  You can sense the similarities at many of the neighborhood establishments through the food and music as well as the hospitality of the residents.

The Soulard Farmer’s Market is regionally famous for being the oldest farmer’s market west of the Mississippi and attracts thousands of visitors every week.  Every one from local residents to school children on field trips bussed in from the county come the market to shop on a weekly basis.

Soulard’s Mardi Gras celebration may be even more well known than the historic market.  Every year Soulard’s Saturday Mardi Gras celebration draws hundreds of thousands of people for their parade and all day street festival.  The festivities have been extended in recent years to several other days during the week leading up to Fat Tuesday including a dog parade the weekend prior to Mardi Gras Weekend and events taking place on Fat Tuesday as well.  There are similar events and street festivals that take place to celebrate Bastille Day and Ocktoberfest.  Needless to say Soulard likes to throw a party!

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