MLK Drive 2016 | St. Louis Public Radio

MLK Drive 2016

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.

The Wellston Loop structure, most recently a burger joint, is where city trolleys would turn around to head back east toward downtown St. Louis.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This is the second of a three-part report on the past, present and future of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.

Shavette Wayne-Jones was in her office early the first working day after the long New Year’s weekend.  A caller suspects that is not unusual for her.

Wayne-Jones is executive director of the Hamilton Heights Neighborhood Association, a community improvement organization whose work encompasses three north side neighborhoods, including the western stretch of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive where it runs into the city of Wellston.

She was reared in north St. Louis and at times she resembles a mother mockingbird, so fierce is she in her defense of her home turf. She regards the questions about the death of her neighborhoods as risible as well as wrong. She envisions the world on and around Dr. Martin Luther King Drive with a sense of possibility, a belief things will go right.

Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, as seen from atop the old  J.C. Penney building between Hamilton and Hodiamont Avenues.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This is the first of three reports looking at the history, present and future of Martin Luther King Drive.

Today is the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Had he lived, he’d be 87 years old. About four years after the shooting death of King in Memphis in 1968, two contiguous north St. Louis streets were renamed in his honor and his memory.

This renaming followed a by-then well-established practice in the United States — one that eventually spread abroad. St. Louis wasn’t the first or the last to join this tradition. The first street named for King was South Park Way in Chicago; that memorial was initiated about four months after his death.