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 Profile of the Soulard Neighborhood
by Sid Cameron, (Data by: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000)

South of downtown St. Louis is one of the oldest communities in the city, the historic French neighborhood known as Soulard. Often compared to the New Orlean's French Quarter, here you will find lovingly restored 150+ year old homes built off of European standards with their narrow lots, high ceilings and beautiful gardens. Soulard is also known for it's many street cafes, corner bars with live jazz and blues and many yearly festivals and street parties.

On a map, the boundaries of Soulard are mostly defined by Interstate 55 on the South and West and the combined Interstates 44/55 on the North, with 7th Street/South Broadway defining the eastern border. However to locals the boundaries are best marked as the land between two of Soulard's biggest landmarks- The Soulard Farmer's Market on the north end of the neighborhood and The Anheuser-Busch plant on the south end.

The Soulard Farmer's Market was established in 1838 and hold the title of the oldest farmer's market west of the Mississippi. In 1928, the current two block long structure was built to allow all the vendors to be housed under one roof. Designed to mimic the styles of a 15th Century Italian hospital, the architecture can draw as much attention as the farmers that populate the local stalls.

Today the market is a St Louis institution and popular tourist destination where you can find locals and visitors alike crowding the vendor's stalls for a chance to access locally grown produce, meats and other goods. It is open year around, Wednesday-Saturday excluding holidays.

Although the Soulard neighborhood was named after it's founder Antoine Soulard- who's widow Julia donated the land for The Soulard Farmer's Market- there is some irony to the name. The word "soulard" in French translates to"drunkard" and for over a century this neighborhood's largest contribution to the world has been the production of beer!

The ability to easily ship goods via the Mississippi and Missouri rivers played an important roll in the early development of Saint Louis. As factories were built on the nearby riverfront, an influx of German-American immigrants began settling in the Soulard area starting in the 1830's bringing with them the craft of beer production. As luck would have it, the southern tip of the Soulard neighborhood proved to be an excellent location for the production of beer due to a series of natural caves under the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi river. These caves, kept cool year around with ice cut from the river, were an ideal location for storing beer in the hot summer months before refrigeration was invented.

Prior to prohibition this area was home to half a dozen breweries although two- Anheuser-Busch and The Lemp Brewery- were the dominate local brands. With the advent of refrigerated rail cars, Anheuser-Busch quickly grew their brand outside of the St. Louis area to become the largest beer producer in the world.

Today, Anheuser-Busch still produces beer in Soulard and although the company is no longer locally owned, St. Louis is still the North American headquarters for AB-Inbev and still a major employer in the St. Louis region. The Anheuser-Busch brewery is also a major tourist destination with it's free brewery tours.

Soulard also plays host every year to the midwest's largest Mardi Gras festival that, depending on the weather, can attract hundreds of thousands of visitors. The week long festival kicks off with a pet parade and wiener dog races and is marked with lots of live music, a Saturday parade through the streets of Soulard and Fat Tuesday celebrations with another parade located in nearby downtown.

Although a much smaller event, Soulard does celebrates Bastille Day every July and the many neighborhood bars and restaurants host frequent pub crawls and are popular destinations for locals and tourists alike after Cardinal baseball games in nearby Busch stadium.

 

Highlights from the U.S. Census taken in 2000 includes:

 


 

Saint Louis, Missouri Demographic for zip code 63104 (includes part of the Soulard Neighborhood) Profile Highlights:


General Characteristics

Number

Percent

U.S.

Total population

19,088

 

 

Male

9,319

48.8

49.1%

Female

9,769

51.2

50.9%

Median age (years)

31.4

(X)

35.3

Under 5 years

1,565

8.2

6.8%

18 years and over

13,867

72.6

74.3%

65 years and over

1,569

8.2

12.4%

Average household size

2.21

(X)

2.59

Average family size

3.18

(X)

3.14

 

 

 

 

Total housing units

10,283

 

 

Occupied housing units

8,400

81.7

91.0%

Owner-occupied housing units

2,965

35.3

66.2%

Renter-occupied housing units

5,435

64.7

33.8%

Vacant housing units

1,883

18.3

9.0%

 

 

 

 

Social Characteristics

Number

Percent

U.S.

Population 25 years and over

12,076

 

 

High school graduate or higher

9,483

78.5

80.4%

Bachelor's degree or higher

3,852

31.9

24.4%

 

 

 

 

Economic Characteristics

Number

Percent

U.S.

In labor force (population 16 years and over)

9,576

66.6

63.9%

Mean travel time to work in minutes (workers 16 years and over)

22.6

(X)

25.5

Median household income in 1999 (dollars)

29,566

(X)

41,994

Median family income in 1999 (dollars)

31,250

(X)

50,046

Per capita income in 1999 (dollars)

19,210

(X)

21,587

 

 

 

 

Housing Characteristics

Number

Percent

U.S.

Single-family owner-occupied homes

2,200

 

 

Median value (dollars)

108,600

(X)

119,600

Median of selected monthly owner costs

(X)

(X)

 

With a mortgage (dollars)

1,033

(X)

1,088

Not mortgaged (dollars)

311

(X)

295

(X) Not applicable.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000

 

Highlights from the U.S. Census taken in 2000 includes:

 


 

Saint Louis, Missouri Demographic for zip code 63118 (includes part of the Soulard Neighborhood) Profile Highlights:


General Characteristics

Number

Percent

U.S.

Total population

30,222

 

 

Male

14,462

47.9

49.1%

Female

15,760

52.1

50.9%

Median age (years)

28.4

(X)

35.3

Under 5 years

2,641

8.7

6.8%

18 years and over

20,094

66.5

74.3%

65 years and over

2,501

8.3

12.4%

Average household size

2.66

(X)

2.59

Average family size

3.45

(X)

3.14

 

 

 

 

Total housing units

15,168

 

 

Occupied housing units

11,255

74.2

91.0%

Owner-occupied housing units

4,258

37.8

66.2%

Renter-occupied housing units

6,997

62.2

33.8%

Vacant housing units

3,913

25.8

9.0%

 

 

 

 

Social Characteristics

Number

Percent

U.S.

Population 25 years and over

16,963

 

 

High school graduate or higher

10,332

60.9

80.4%

Bachelor's degree or higher

2,033

12.0

24.4%

 

 

 

 

Economic Characteristics

Number

Percent

U.S.

In labor force (population 16 years and over)

13,198

62.4

63.9%

Mean travel time to work in minutes (workers 16 years and over)

26.0

(X)

25.5

Median household income in 1999 (dollars)

23,553

(X)

41,994

Median family income in 1999 (dollars)

26,733

(X)

50,046

Per capita income in 1999 (dollars)

12,148

(X)

21,587

 

 

 

 

Housing Characteristics

Number

Percent

U.S.

Single-family owner-occupied homes

2,816

 

 

Median value (dollars)

47,000

(X)

119,600

Median of selected monthly owner costs

(X)

(X)

 

With a mortgage (dollars)

708

(X)

1,088

Not mortgaged (dollars)

225

(X)

295

(X) Not applicable.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000


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