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Exploring St. Louis Neighborhoods~Lafayette Square

From its beginnings as a public parade ground for the Union Army in the 1830s, Lafayette Square is credited for being St. Louis' first suburb.  The city's wealthiest citizens would come to the park to hear music, watch the swans and feel the spray from the fountains.  In fact, due to its popularity,  the neighborhood grew so busy that the influential of St. Louis retreated to St. Louis' newest and upcoming area,  Central West End.

In the early 1900s, the Square fell into disrepair and these homes were about to be leveled. In the 1970s a concerted effort was made to start drawing people to the area to refurbish Lafayette Square.  The annual homes tour was started (still goes on today) to try and bring awareness to this once beautiful area. The strategy worked, and today Lafayette Square is home to the Painted Ladies, Victorian mansions that outline Lafayette Square Park.  In 2012,  The National Paint Quality Institute identified Lafayette Square as one of the Prettiest Painted Places in America.  

It was Lafayette Square that we decided to spend on Sunday afternoon.  We parked our car along the square and walked in front of many of the painted ladies.  These grand and stately homes have charming iron fenced gates that grace the sidewalks where dogs and their people, walk.  There are a number of wonderful places to eat, Bailey's Chocolate Bar, 1111 Mississippi, and a fairly new restaurant named Polite Society.  We grabbed coffee at Park Avenue Coffee where they are known for their 70+ flavors of a St. Louis favorite: Gooey Butter Cake.

Polite Society, a restaurant, bar and gathering place (as stated on their website) have a  that menu changes with the seasons. Our daughter and her husband enjoyed the restaurant and plan to take us with them the next time they go.

If you are planning a trip to the Saint Louis area, plan to spend an afternoon or a day exploring Lafayette Square.  If you love Victorian homes, follow them on Instagram at @lafayettesquarestl

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