The Central West End, or CWE, is one of St. Louis’ many beautiful, historic neighborhoods. Its development began in the late 1800s, following the dedication of nearby Forest Park — a sprawling urban park that remains the city’s crown jewel to this day. Development continued as St. Louis prepared for its 1904 World Fair, and many of the city’s wealthier citizens gravitated to the area to build stunning single-family homes. Local business owners arrived soon after.
A modern-day visit to the CWE reveals a rare collection of turn-of-the-century architecture that has been upheld by zoning regulations and the independent preservation efforts of many. One can also see the influence of the many famous literary figures — such as Tennessee Williams, Kate Chopin, William S. Burroughs, T.S. Eliot and Sara Teasdale — and notable business leaders — such as Albert Bond Lambert, Joseph Pulitzer, Dwight Davis and the founders of A.G. Edwards and Ralston Purina — who’ve called the neighborhood home.
While the Central West End has certainly seen its share of struggles, the neighborhood has always maintained its elegant origins and eclectic attitude. Thanks in large part to the efforts of the individuals who live and work in the area, the CWE remains one of the busiest neighborhoods in St. Louis.