Thursday, October 21, 2021

Candy...And Much More

Today Hubby Tony and I pulled out our scavenger hunt book and headed for a section of the metropolitan area we don't know very much about--the Old North St. Louis,a neighborhood just north and slightly west of the downtown area.

Anyone who's lived in the metropolitan area for any length of time knows that Crown Candy Kitchen is there. For most people, including me, that's the only place they know. However, after several hours of walking around I know so much more!

The area of North St. Louis was established shortly after Lewis and Clark left to explore the Louisiana Territory, and a couple of decades later was incorporated into the city.  By the mid-1850s it was heavily German, and later a large Polish enclave developed. By the 20th century many new residents came from the Deep South. After World War Two there was an exodus to the suburbs, leading to decline. In the 1980s, a nonprofit organization began to promote and revitalize the area. 

 I parked my car just down the street from Crown Candy and we walked through the small commercial area on North 14th Street, which was lined with unique vintage buildings. We were standing outside of a hardware store (which had a sign that said it had been established in 1875) when the owner came out and talked with us, sharing a little history of the area.

The residential parts of the neighborhood were filled with red brick buildings, and there were commercial buildings on the corners of many blocks. Sadly, many of them were in rough shape, and their were quite a few vacant lots, but I was pleased to see a substantial number of nicely maintained homes. I don't think I'd walk in the area after dark, but during the day I felt perfectly safe.

Tony and I brought finger-food lunches to eat as we walked, but we popped into Crown Candy for dessert. When I saw a chocolate and marshmallow sundae on the menu I knew what I was ordering. The combination was one of my Dad's favorites, and I have fond memories of indulging with him at the kitchen table.

Not fancy, but brought back memories
Five years ago: Finding An Easier Way


  1. It's been a while since I've been to Crown Candy. I used to work out of a telco garage at Salisbury and West Florissant. Sometimes we would get lunch from a Chinese place on North Grand across from Fairgrounds park. They had bullet proof glass. You got your food through a bullet proof turntable. 1984 & 85 I think.

  2. Neighborhoods constantly change, usually to the worse. It's the quality of the residents and of the buildings that make up the quality of the whole neighborhood.

    1. I agree that neighborhoods are really the people who live there and the buildings they live in.

  3. My family visited St. Louis back in the early fifties. Interesting place, long time ago.