St. Louis Then and Now: Vandeventer at Highway 40/64

Posted by Missouris Historic Highways on Monday 1st Feb 2021

When Highway 40 was built, it changed the entire landscape of the St. Louis area.

The main thoroughfare of St. Louis is often referred to as Main Street of America and is only a small section along the long reach of the freeway. Highway 40 spans twelve states and stretches from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Silver Summit, Utah.

In St. Louis, most of the modern Route 40 route rises high above the ground and arches over the city like a small stretch of road in the sky. Still, the construction of this freeway has changed the soil underneath. Buildings have been destroyed, neighborhoods have been changed, and new ways to work have been sorted.

The old picture above of Market Street on Vandeventer Avenue shows how much the freeway has changed in a little corner of St. Louis.

The photo was posted on the Missouri’s Historic Highways Facebook page and taken south of IKEA. The photo was taken along Vandeventer Avenue, heading east, looking down on what was then a very busy section of Market Street.

While the many buildings in the old picture in the background of the city center are retained, all the buildings in the foreground of the picture have been torn down – except for one.

The lighter building on the right in the photo is still in use. It is currently home to JJ’s Clubhouse and Bar (3858 Market Street, 314-535-4100), a long-time gay bar and hangout for the community.

Here’s a more recent view of the same area from the same angle:

click to enlarge

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