Clayton | St. Louis Public Radio


A new report recommends that Clayton officials strengthen policing relationships.
File Photo | Flikr

A new report recommends that Clayton officials participate in more extensive police and community engagement opportunities as a way of improving relations.

Released Wednesday, the Strategic Plan for Clayton, MO: Community Engagement and Reconciliation report lists several recommendations, including more community interactions and gatherings between the Clayton Police Department, business owners and residents.

Clayton greets smoking ban with relief and resignation

Jul 1, 2019

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 1, 2010 - With Clayton's smoking ban begining today, smoke and mixed feelings filled the air in many of the municipality's bars and restaurants Wednesday night. 

While many restaurant customers and employees support the ban that prohibits smoking in Clayton restaurants, several oppose it, saying the ban infringes on their individual rights.

Psychologists say racial profiling can cause physical and mental health issues including anxiety attacks, insomnia and nightmares.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

When Washington University student Teddy Washington and nine other black incoming freshmen were stopped by Clayton police officers in early July, the group followed the officers’ orders to prove they were not the perpetrators of a recent “dine and dash” at the nearby IHOP.

Several of the students presented their receipts to the officers before they walked back to the restaurant around midnight on July 7, with police vehicles alongside them. The manager of the IHOP confirmed to the officers they were not the suspects and the students were free to leave.

The City of Clayton has apologized to the 10 black Washington University students involved in the July 7 incident.
File Photo | Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated July 20 at 4:15 p.m. - STLPR journalists Holly Edgell and Chad Davis joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to provide context and analysis about this story.

Original story from 7/19:

Clayton City Manager Craig Owens, Clayton Police Chief Kevin R. Murphy, and other officials met with several black students who were falsely accused of “dining and dashing” at an IHOP in Clayton.

Owens said the meeting was “emotionally powerful.”

“In hindsight, it is clear to us that we mishandled the interaction with these 10 Washington University students and lacked sensitivity about their everyday reality,” he said in a statement.

Washington University's Brookings Hall
Washington University | Flickr

Updated at 2:20 p.m. on July 17 with information on the city's apology. Updated on July 16 at 4:15 p.m. with comment from Clayton Police Chief  – Washington University asked the city of Clayton to apologize to 10 black incoming freshmen for an incident on July 7, and the city has complied.

The city posted a statement including the apology on its website.

Donna Rogers-Beard, Emma Riley and Rev. Doris Graham joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the history Clayton's historical, displaced African-American neighborhood.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Picture the affluent St. Louis suburb of Clayton. Great schools. Flourishing businesses. A lively restaurant scene.

But how Clayton came to be synonymous with such commercial affluence is entwined with a little-known part of the suburb’s history.

From the 1800s to the 1950s, Clayton was home to a flourishing African-American community. The area’s black residents were pushed out of the area through rigorous “urban renewal” zoning policy to make room construction of the vaunted commercial center of the suburb. The black community in Clayton all but disappeared.

A print by Mitchell Eismont, cut from linoleum depicts noted physicist Albert Einstein above the words "Einstein was a refugee."
Courtesy of the St. Louis Artists' Guild

Ohio-based artist Mitchell Eismont’s interest in the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis developed while he was producing posters for East Coast musician Chadwick Stokes' “Forced to Flee” tour. Inspired by Stokes' dedication, Eismont began work on a series of prints supporting immigrants and refugees, featuring cultural figures like the Dalai Lama, Jesus and Albert Einstein.

“I think it’s probably the crisis of our generation,” Eismont said of the crisis, which stems from a long-running civil war. “I think it’s important to try and help with the situation.”

Centene groundbreaking, Clayton, April 21, 2017
Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

Centene has taken another big step in expanding its downtown Clayton headquarters. The managed care company for Medicaid recipients held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for the $770 million project.

The event featured officials from throughout the region, including new St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger and Missouri Gov. Eric Grietens. While preliminary work on the project has been underway for months, Friday marked the ceremonial start of construction.

Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Feb. 15 with city's rejection of petition - A group of Clayton citizens is dealing with a setback in its effort to bring a massive expansion project directly to voters. The city has rejected a petition essentially calling for the more than $770-million Centene headquarters expansion to be put on the ballot.

Rendering of Centene's expansion proposal in Clayton
Provided by Centene

Updated 12:05 p.m., Sept. 28 with Board of Aldermen approvals - Members of the Clayton Board of Aldermen have approved elements of a massive expansion plan by Centene.  Rezoning and a special development plan for the multi-million dollar project were passed Wednesday night. Individual phases of the project still need to go through an approval process.

The Artist Guild building in Oak Knoll Park
From the Artist Guild website

St. Louis’ 129-year-old Artists' Guild is in the midst of relocating. But the move won’t be far.

The Artists’ Guild is moving in late May into the old Famous-Barr building, which is owned by Washington University, in downtown Clayton.

Protesters March In Clayton 101 Days After The Death of Michael Brown

Nov 17, 2014
Protesters gathered in Clayton today - 101 days after the shooting death of Michael Brown in August.
Emanuele Berry//St. Louis Public Radio

It has been 101 days since the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and protesters continue to call for justice.

About 50 protesters gathered Monday in Clayton for the “Carnival of Injustice,” a theatrical protest that organizer Elizabeth Vega hoped would engage people in activist satire and start a dialogue.

"You know the tension is palpable," Vega said. "This is the carnival of injustice, so if we don't laugh we'll cry."

The third annual Shakespeare in the Streets starts Sept. 16.
Shakespeare in the Streets

Each Shakespeare in the Streets production starts the same way: Interviewing people in the community where the play will be performed.

“We never know what play we’re going to adapt; we never know what we’re going to find,” playwright Nancy Bell said. This is the third year for the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis program.

“We find out why (residents) live there, why they came, why they left and what they want,” director Alec Wild said. This year, those interviews led to Clayton High School.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Raising the minimum wage would be a big help for people like Shnette Hooker, an employee at a McDonald’s in Spanish Lake. Hooker said, it would allow people “to save a little money,” “take care of their kids” and “get off the assistance that everybody is on.” 

But more than just that, Hooker said boosting the minimum wage is a matter of fairness.

Schoolchildren brought signs to a meeting of the Clayton Board of Aldermen expressing concern that a former school could become high-density housing.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Clayton residents have launched a “pre-emptive strike” on any effort to transform the grounds of a former public school into high-density housing.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 17, 2013 - Jake Leech doesn't have a draw. As the industry defines it, a draw is what makes a performer or group worth booking, an estimate of how many people will attend a concert. Venues in larger cities will often ask potential entertainers what their draw is before they sign them on for a show.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Richard Stith's mother gave away his clothes while he was flying unarmed transport planes during World War II because she never expected to see him alive again. When he died Sunday (Feb. 10, 2013) of lung cancer, he was 93.

After returning from the war a decorated pilot, he became a successful insurance executive, served two terms as mayor of Clayton and helped found the Independence Center, a place where mentally ill adults learn self-sufficiency. The center, like the legion of civic and charitable organizations he led, benefited from his prominence in the community.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 27, 2013 - Although Proposition P – or the “Arch tax” – is the best-known issue on Tuesday’s ballot, it’s really part of a crowd.

Dozens of contests are on St. Louis County ballots, including school board and fire district elections, proposed bond issues, and battles for city council and aldermanic seats – and mayor.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Although Proposition P – or the “Arch tax” – is the best-known issue on Tuesday’s ballot, it’s really part of a crowd.

Dozens of contests are on St. Louis County ballots, including school board and fire district elections, proposed bond issues, and battles for city council and aldermanic seats – and mayor.

Former Daniele Hotel In Clayton To Get New Life

Oct 12, 2012
(Equis Hospitality Management)

The former Daniele Hotel in Clayton will reopen soon as a Hampton Inn and Suites.

The Daniele has been shuttered since 2007. But Equis Hospitality Management in St. Louis says it will spend about $16 million to renovate the hotel on North Meramec Ave. The new hotel will have 106 rooms, including 25 suites, and underground parking.

Equis co-owner Greg Mullenix says they will add a fifth floor to the hotel and they’ll feature a restaurant and bar at street level.

Mark Scott Abeln

In April 2013, Clayton, Missouri will celebrate 100 years as a municipality.  Host Don Marsh talks with author Mary Delach Leonard, who also writes for the St. Louis Beacon, about her new book, Clayton, Missouri: An Urban Story. Leonard traces the beginning of the community from a rural outpost to a progressive metropolitan hub.  Mary Delach Leonard also highlights important city leaders who shaped Clayton and includes historic and contemporary photos of the community.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 17, 2012 - Clayton is known today for its quiet, tree-lined neighborhoods of architecturally splendid homes that co-exist with a bustling business district dotted with towering skyscrapers. The seat of St. Louis County has, indeed, come a long way from the scruffy place that incorporated as a city 100 years ago.

The story of how Clayton took that big step forward in 1913 is related in "Clayton, Missouri: An Urban Story” ($35 Reedy Press), a book that will be released this fall, just in time for the city’s centennial bash in 2013.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 2, 2012 - According to a recent report from Coldwell Banker, Clayton is the top place to live in Missouri for social seekers, “or those who are hip, trendy and fun at heart,” according to the press release. The report is the first in a series of five that looks at categories such as “suburbanites, adventure-seekers, leisure lovers and culture cravers.” 

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated with details from press conference, comments from city officials.

Calling smoking a fundamental right in America, attorneys have filed a federal legal challenge to Clayton's ban on smoking in outdoor  public places.

Chesterfield has been named among the top-ten towns in the state by Missouri Life magazine.

Joplin was listed as the number one town, and was closely followed by Chesterfield, which ranked second.

Notes by the author: From an earthquake to Clayton

Feb 5, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 5, 2010 - In “From New Madrid to Claverach: How an Earthquake Spawned a St. Louis Suburb,” author James Sherby traces the development of a St. Louis county suburb that has its roots in a 200-year-old earthquake in the “bootheel” region of southeastern Missouri.

The fight to ban indoor smoking moves to the ballot

Aug 27, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 27, 2009 - As the patchwork effort to ban smoking in most indoor public places continues across the region, the battle could be moving to the ballot box. And while some supporters of the smoke-free campaign say that taking the issue to voters is the next logical step, others who favor the smoking restrictions, as well as many who don't, argue that these votes are unnecessary.

Clayton passes a ban on indoor smoking

Jul 15, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 15, 2009 - In what was largely a formality, Clayton’s Board of Aldermen unanimously approved Tuesday night a ban on smoking in many indoor public places. Clayton joins Ballwin as the only municipalities in St. Louis County to pass such restrictions.

In Kirkwood, the city council voted Thursday against an initiative brought about by supporters of a ban on smoking, and voters will have the final say in November.

Commentary: Smoking: Ban it everywhere indoors

Jun 23, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 23, 2009 - Clayton is close to having a ban that would take effect in July 2010. Ballwin is already smoke free. What about the rest of the area? Health considerations should count there, too.

Three weeks ago, the Clayton City Council voted 5 to 1 in an initial vote to have all indoor businesses become smoke-free. Only one alderman voted against the measure, and he wanted to see a stronger ordinance that added Clayton's parks and green spaces to the bars and restaurants in the bill. The City Council will have a second and final vote in July, and the ordinance will, if passed, go into effect in July 2010. Clayton residents overwhelmingly supported the ordinance, and many came out to hear the verdict.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 29, 2009 - Clayton officials have given the initial thumbs up to an ordinance to ban smoking in many public places, and they seem poised to finalize the bill this summer. But there are still lingering questions: Will the Board of Aldermen make more concessions to restaurateurs beyond allowing smoking on patios? Might the next draft expressly address lighting up in public parks and other green spaces? How will the city follow through on its promise to help ease the transition for business owners?