A great comment by reader “Eric”:
The same barriers that supposedly keep crime out, are the same ones that concentrate it. At the end of the day, it doesn’t solve the problem. Furthermore (funny how the worm turns), now the residents of the all new Botanical Heights cast suspicions about our neighborhood – as if we’re now the problem (they have bigger fish to fry in Tiffany, to their east, IMO).
Lastly, to those who argue that simply suburbanizing and gentrifying neighborhoods is the answer to stabilizing cities – I would respectfully submit that such an approach is short sighted. Those folks who were displaced from McRee Town ended up in places like Benton Park West, Gravois Park, Dutchtown East and Mount Pleasant. Two of those four neighborhoods now rank as South City’s most dangerous. And, the stabilizing neighborhoods next to them (Tower Grove East, Benton Park, Carondelet) are faced with the same dilemma once shared by those of us in Shaw and Southwest Garden.
Leveling McRee Town solved the Botanical Garden’s immediate problem, which was that there was a slum next door. But it actually exacerbated St. Louis’s long-term problem: the shortage of safe neighborhoods for low-income people to live in.