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University City, Missouri

University City, Missouri

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University City is an inner-ring suburb in St. Louis County
St. Louis County, Missouri
St. Louis County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. Its county seat is Clayton. St. Louis County is part of the St. Louis Metro Area wherein the independent City of St. Louis and its suburbs in St. Louis County, as well as the surrounding counties in both Missouri and Illinois all...

, Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

. The population was 35,371 in 2010 census. The city was shaped by Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university located in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1853, and named for George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all fifty U.S. states and more than 110 nations...

, whose campus abuts the city to the southeast.

The city is one of the older suburbs in the St. Louis area, having been a streetcar suburb
Streetcar suburb
A streetcar suburb is a residential community whose growth and development was strongly shaped by the use of streetcar lines as a primary means of transportation. Early suburbs were served by horsecars, but by the late 19th century cable cars and electric streetcars, or trams, were used, allowing...

 in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; much historic architecture remains in the southern, older portion of the city, particularly along Delmar Boulevard. The northern portions of the city, mostly developed after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, have more of a suburban feel with many shopping centers and other automobile-centered development.

University City has much municipal open space, dominated by 85 acres (343,983.1 m²) Heman Park (which includes recreation and community centers and public pool facilities) and Ruth Park (a public golf course and nature trails). The city has six elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. The University City school district is separately managed from other school districts in the area.


University City's southern border is approximated by Northmoor. The eastern border is approximated by Skinker Boulevard. The western border is approximated by old McKnight (some of which is now Interstate 170
Interstate 170
Interstate 170 is the designation for an interstate route in the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area. I-170, also known as the Inner Belt Expressway, is an highway traveling north–south through the St. Louis suburbs of Hazelwood, Berkeley, St...


According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 5.9 square miles (15.2 km²), all of it land.

The Delmar Loop
Delmar Loop
The Delmar Loop is an entertainment, cultural and restaurant district in University City, Missouri and the ajoining western edge of St. Louis, Missouri. Most of its attractions are located in the streetcar suburb of University City, but the area is expanding eastward into the Skinker-Debaliviere...

, an entertainment, cultural and restaurant district, is located along Delmar Boulevard, parallel with and six blocks north of the northern boundary of the university. The city is also home to the University City Olive Link, known for its high concentration of East Asian businesses and considered as a replacement for Chinatown, St. Louis
Chinatown, St. Louis
Chinatown in St. Louis, Missouri was a Chinatown near Downtown St. Louis that existed from 1869 until its demolition for Busch Memorial Stadium in 1966. While in existence, it was bounded by Seventh, Tenth, Walnut and Chestnut streets. Although the original St...

. The highest point of U. City is the Western terminus of Delmar Boulevard, at the tri-border of U. City, Ladue, and Olivette
Olivette, Missouri
Olivette is an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis, located in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The population was 7,737 at the 2010 census.-History:...


The city also contains part of Midland Boulevard, which divides the watersheds of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 and the Missouri River
Missouri River
The Missouri River flows through the central United States, and is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It is the longest river in North America and drains the third largest area, though only the thirteenth largest by discharge. The Missouri's watershed encompasses most of the American Great...

. Headwaters of the River Des Peres
River des Peres
The River des Peres is a metropolitan river in St. Louis, Missouri. It is the backbone of sanitary and stormwater systems in the city of St. Louis and portions of St. Louis County...

 start in the hills near the U. City and Clayton
Clayton, Missouri
Clayton is an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis and the county seat of St. Louis County, Missouri. The population was 15,939 at the 2010 census. The city was organized in 1877 and is named after Ralph Clayton, who donated the land for the courthouse.-Geography:...

 boundary, which flows north, takes a strong turn at Ruth Park, then is controlled through underground tunnels as it passes through the city of St. Louis.


Major roads and highways in University City:

I-170, MO-340, Delmar Blvd, Forest Park Pkwy, Skinker Pkwy


As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 37,428 people, 16,453 households, and 9,114 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 6,363.1 people per square mile (2,457.7/km²). There were 17,485 housing units at an average density of 2,972.6 per square mile (1,148.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 49.26% White, 45.35% African American, 0.16% Native American, 2.85% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.56% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 1.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.56% of the population. The city is considered (by inhabitants) to be divided roughly into three zones from north to south. North of Olive is predominantly Black, from Olive to Delmar is mixed, and south of Delmar is predominantly White. Because of the city's racial composition, it has not been part of the integration
Desegregation is the process of ending the separation of two groups usually referring to races. This is most commonly used in reference to the United States. Desegregation was long a focus of the American Civil Rights Movement, both before and after the United States Supreme Court's decision in...

 busing program between the City of St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

 and St. Louis County.

There were 16,453 households out of which 23.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.3% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.6% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 84.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,902, and the median income for a family was $52,539. Males had a median income of $41,588 versus $30,440 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $26,901. About 9.5% of families and 14.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.1% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.

The city has long had a large middle-class Jewish presence. Jewish cemeteries and religious centers dot the city, such as Young Israel of St. Louis and Agudas Israel of St. Louis, serving U. City residents and those of nearby Clayton
Clayton, Missouri
Clayton is an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis and the county seat of St. Louis County, Missouri. The population was 15,939 at the 2010 census. The city was organized in 1877 and is named after Ralph Clayton, who donated the land for the courthouse.-Geography:...

, which also has a high concentration of Jewish residents.


University City was founded by publisher Edward Gardner Lewis
Edward Gardner Lewis
Edward Gardner Lewis was a flamboyant and controversial promoter, magazine publisher, political activist, and founder of two utopian colonies -- University City, Missouri, and Atascadero, California....

, who began developing the location in 1903 around his publishing complex for Woman's Magazine and Woman's Farm Journal. Historic buildings associated with municipal operations, including today's City Hall, were built by Lewis as facilities for his magazine enterprise. In 1906, the city incorporated and Lewis served as its first mayor.


University City has one high school: University City High School
University City High School (St. Louis)
University City High School is located in University City, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. As of 2009, 1,041 students were enrolled at the school.-Football:...

. The school district is trying to raise $30 million from alumni to improve the high school's athletic facilities. The goal is to establish UCHS as a major recreation center for a large portion of St. Louis County by 2015, the school's 100th anniversary. The project is receiving help from Project Appleseed, a national organization based in U. City.

The city also has one middle school, Brittany Woods Middle School, and four elementary schools: Flynn Park, Barbara C. Jordan, Pershing and Jackson Park.

In 2009, voters in the school district approved a $53 million bond issue to upgrade the schools.


U. City is home to the COCA, a center for contemporary arts that has a nationally recognized pre-professional dance training program, with alumni dancing for
Trisha Brown
Trisha Brown
Trisha Brown is a postmodernist American choreographer and dancer.Brown was born in Aberdeen, Washington, and received a B.A. degree in dance from Mills College in 1958. Brown later received a D.F.A. from Bates College in 2000. For several summers she studied with Louis Horst at the American Dance...

, Cecil Slaughter, Houston Ballet
Houston Ballet
The Houston Ballet, operated by the Houston Ballet Foundation, is the fourth-largest professional ballet company in the United States, based in Houston, Texas. The foundation also maintains a ballet academy, the Ben Stevenson Academy, which trains more than half of the company's dancers...

, Ballet Hispanico
Ballet Hispanico
Ballet Hispanico is an American dance company based in Manhattan, New York. It was founded by the Venezuelan American dancer and choreographer Tina Ramirez in 1970 and presents dances reflecting the experience of Hispanic and Latino Americans...

 New York, Mark Morris
Mark Morris
Mark William Morris is an American dancer, choreographer and director whose work is acclaimed for its craftsmanship, ingenuity, humor, and at times eclectic musical accompaniments...

, Alvin Ailey
Alvin Ailey
Alvin Ailey, Jr. was an American choreographer and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York. Ailey is credited with popularizing modern dance and revolutionizing African-American participation in 20th century concert dance...

, the national tours of Wicked
Wicked (musical)
Wicked is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. It is based on the Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West , a parallel novel of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and L. Frank Baum's classic story The Wonderful Wizard...

 and Cinderella
"Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper" is a folk tale embodying a myth-element of unjust oppression/triumphant reward. Thousands of variants are known throughout the world. The title character is a young woman living in unfortunate circumstances that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune...

, and Tarzan
Tarzan is a fictional character, an archetypal feral child raised in the African jungles by the Mangani "great apes"; he later experiences civilization only to largely reject it and return to the wild as a heroic adventurer...

 on Broadway.

U. City has a public library
University City Public Library
The University City Public Library is a public library in University City, Missouri, near the Delmar Loop. Established in 1939, the library holds more than 150,000 books. It offers several activities and services for all ages....

, established in 1939, located at 6701 Delmar Boulevard. The library houses more than 150,000 volumes as well as music and spoken recordings, videotape and DVD collections, and numerous works of art. The library is open seven days a week, including five evenings.


  • Mayor: Shelley Welsch
  • City Manager: Lehman Walker
  • City Council:
    • 1st Ward: Stephen Kraft, Terry Crow
    • 2nd Ward: Lynn Ricci, L. Michael Glickert
    • 3rd Ward: Arthur Sharpe Jr., Byron Price

In July 2009, a group of residents calling themselves "University City citizens for Transparency and Accountability" said they would begin collecting the 2,233 signatures necessary to have the State of Missouri audit
The general definition of an audit is an evaluation of a person, organization, system, process, enterprise, project or product. The term most commonly refers to audits in accounting, but similar concepts also exist in project management, quality management, and energy conservation.- Accounting...

 the City's finances
Public finance
Public finance is the revenue and expenditure of public authoritiesThe purview of public finance is considered to be threefold: governmental effects on efficient allocation of resources, distribution of income, and macroeconomic stabilization.-Overview:The proper role of government provides a...

. The City has been facing severe financial woes over the last few years and an attempt to balance the 2010 budget by creating a 0.25% sales tax
Sales tax
A sales tax is a tax, usually paid by the consumer at the point of purchase, itemized separately from the base price, for certain goods and services. The tax amount is usually calculated by applying a percentage rate to the taxable price of a sale....

 was defeated by city voters on August 4, 2009.

Notable residents

  • Hallowell Davis
    Hallowell Davis
    Hallowell Davis was an American physiologist and otolaryngologist and researcher who did pioneering work on the physiology of hearing and the inner ear. He served as director of research at the Central Institute for the Deaf in St...

     (1896–1992), pioneer in studying the physiology of hearing, at the Central Institute for the Deaf
    Central Institute for the Deaf
    Central Institute for the Deaf is a school for the deaf that teaches students using the auditory-oral approach to education. Founded in 1914 by otologist Max Aaron Goldstein, MD, the school is located in St. Louis, Missouri. CID is also an affiliate of Washington University in St...

  • Bernard Gilkey
    Bernard Gilkey
    Otis Bernard Gilkey is a former Major League Baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, and Atlanta Braves. Primarily a left fielder, Gilkey occasionally played right field as well. He also played a small number of games as a center field,...

    , New York Mets
    New York Mets
    The New York Mets are a professional baseball team based in the borough of Queens in New York City, New York. They belong to Major League Baseball's National League East Division. One of baseball's first expansion teams, the Mets were founded in 1962 to replace New York's departed National League...

  • Ken Holtzman
    Ken Holtzman
    Kenneth Dale Holtzman is a left-handed former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played most of his career for the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics...

    , Chicago Cubs
    Chicago Cubs
    The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago . The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National...

     pitcher, who threw two no-hitters and won 174 games, the most by a Jewish pitcher.
  • Nelly
    Cornell Iral Haynes, Jr. , better known by his stage name Nelly, is an Grammy Award winning American rapper and actor. He has performed with the rap group St. Lunatics since 1993 and signed to Universal Records in 1999. Under Universal, Nelly began his solo career in 2000 with his debut album...

    , a.k.a Cornelius Haynes, rapper.
  • Art Shamsky
    Art Shamsky
    Arthur Louis Shamsky is a former Major League Baseball player. He played right field, left field, and first base from to for the Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, and Oakland Athletics. In he was the manager of the Modi'in Miracle of the Israel Baseball League.-Early life:Shamsky...

    , Mets slugger
  • Robert Person
    Robert Person
    Robert Alan Person is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played 9 seasons in Major League Baseball: two for the New York Mets, two and a half for the Toronto Blue Jays, three and a half for the Philadelphia Phillies, and only 7 games pitched for the Boston Red Sox in the last year of his...

    , Mets pitcher
  • Tennessee Williams
    Tennessee Williams
    Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III was an American writer who worked principally as a playwright in the American theater. He also wrote short stories, novels, poetry, essays, screenplays and a volume of memoirs...

    , Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright
  • Ike Willis
    Ike Willis
    Ike Willis is a singer and guitarist who was a regular sideman for Frank Zappa, first joining Zappa's band for the fall 1978 tour and remaining in the band for several years. He did not tour with Zappa in 1981 and 1982 for personal reasons, but returned to touring with Zappa for his final two...

    , singer and sideman for Frank Zappa
    Frank Zappa
    Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed...

     from 1978 to 1988.

See also

  • Delmar Loop Trolley
    Delmar Loop Trolley
    The Delmar Loop Trolley is a planned heritage trolley line that will serve the Delmar Loop district in St. Louis, Missouri and University City, Missouri. The line will have about 9 stations and serve the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park, Washington University in St...

  • Louisiana Purchase Exposition
    Louisiana Purchase Exposition
    The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, informally known as the Saint Louis World's Fair, was an international exposition held in St. Louis, Missouri, United States in 1904.- Background :...

     also known as the 1904 World's Fair
  • 1904 Summer Olympics
    1904 Summer Olympics
    The 1904 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the III Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States from 1 July 1904, to November 23, 1904, at what is now known as Francis Field on the campus of Washington University...

    were located a short walk from University City, on the Washington University Campus

External links