Beloved Streets of America

A mural sits along a garden wall on Wells Avenue, behind the old J.C. Penney building on Martin Luther King Drive.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This is the third of a three-part series on the past, present and future of Martin Luther King Drive.

The day we showed up at Dorothy’s TV, Furniture & Appliance, the weather outside was like Florida, and Dorothy Davis’ brother sent us inside to meet his sister, who juggled taking care of business and talking to us and answering the phone. We came to talk about crime on her street, Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, and about why she’s chosen to stick it out there.

Lauer Architecture

If all goes according to plan, a hydroponics factory could soon be located on Martin Luther King Drive. It’s the newest effort by St. Louis nonprofit Beloved Streets of America to revitalize the street.

At first the factory would be located at 5901 MLK, in the back of Beloved Streets headquarters.

“It’s a big building that can be used for multiple purposes,” Beloved Streets president Melvin White said.

Lauer Architecture

A few years ago, St. Louis non-profit organization Beloved Streets of America conducted a study about streets throughout the country which bear the name of Martin Luther King Jr.

The study found the majority of MLK streets are unsafe and crime-ridden.  Many are “located in distressed neighborhoods, considered areas where predominately poor blacks live, and viewed as places where whites and non-blacks seldom travel,” according to the organization.