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View Poll Results: Which city is better?
St. Louis, MO 79 67.52%
Indianapolis, IN 38 32.48%
Voters: 117. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-04-2010, 09:14 AM
 
976 posts, read 1,874,823 times
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grandmasterb-- there are inner-ring suburbs of st. louis that are leaps and bounds more urban than just about any place in the city of indianapolis, and are virtually indistinguishable from stl city proper. sure, once you get that and into the mid-ring suburbs they are all pretty much the same, but st. louis's urban area is vastly larger than than of indianapolis. this is not something anyone can challenge. st. louis was a much bigger city for a much longer time and its development reflects that. indianapolis does not have suburbs like university city, clayton, maplewood, pine lawn, shrewsbury, richmond heights or affton, almost all of which have MetroLink rail access. those suburbs are all more urban than most neighborhoods in indianapolis proper. i've been to indianapolis many times on my way between st. louis and philadelphia and can tell you with authority that there is simply no comparison between the urban environments of the two cities. st. louis is far and away larger and more urban, and its urban footprint covers a much, much larger area.

sense of place means whatever you want it to mean. to me, describes a place that tells a story. st. louis's historical narrative is one of the most interesting of any american city. indianapolis is a relative amateur to major city status. it just doesn't have the texture of older cities.

Last edited by slengel; 11-04-2010 at 09:42 AM..
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:24 AM
 
976 posts, read 1,874,823 times
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case in point:

clayton (suburb of st. louis):


university city (suburb of st. louis)


and it goes on and on. if i had more time i could post a million pics of st. louis suburbs that have more urban character than anywhere in the indianapolis metro area. it is just so silly to compare the urban fabric of these two cities. st. louis was the 4th biggest city in 1900 and peaked in 1950 with 860,000 in 61 sq. miles. indianapolis is primarily suburban in nature and never had the density that st. louis has in abundance; st. louis has a very distinctive and historic urban atmosphere.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Fishers, IN
6,495 posts, read 10,780,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slengel View Post
case in point:

clayton (suburb of st. louis):


university city (suburb of st. louis)


and it goes on and on. if i had more time i could post a million pics of st. louis suburbs that have more urban character than anywhere in the indianapolis metro area. it is just so silly to compare the urban fabric of these two cities. st. louis was the 4th biggest city in 1900 and peaked in 1950 with 860,000 in 61 sq. miles. indianapolis is primarily suburban in nature and never had the density that st. louis has in abundance; st. louis has a very distinctive and historic urban atmosphere.
Please save the bandwith. I don't need the photos. I have family in the St. Louis area and have, hence, been there many times. I generally enjoy the city. And, yes, St. Louis is a substantially older city, which is reflected in her architecture and layout.

But having a bunch of buildings close together does not make for an urban fabric alone. Given the depopulation of St. Louis city over time, how much of this is now abandoned, particularly in north city (I recognize that south City has been doing better)?

As for the supposed uniqueness of certain St. Louis neighborhoods, the architecture and feel you find in many St. Louis neighborhoods can be found in many of the older river cities like Louisville and Cincinnati, or in NYC boroughs like Brooklyn. The shotgun-style housing I saw in The Hill neighborhood can be found in New Orleans (no surprise, given the common influences of both cities). I'm not saying any of this to slam St. Louis. I just always chuckle at the way so many on C-D try to paint their cities as so "unique," when, in fact, they're not. And certainly as it pertains to post-WWII development, there's a lot of sameness throughout this country. There are many housing developments around the outskirts of Indy that are indistinguishable from those in north County. Chesterfield, MO, might as well be Carmel, IN. Webster Groves might as well be Meridian-Kessler, and so on.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:55 AM
 
976 posts, read 1,874,823 times
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be it known that st. louis is not "my city," i just live here while i'm in school. i am from philadelphia but st. louis has impressed me very much, and i find it to provide a very satisfying urban experience.

st. louis, like many cities of its age, has lost population, but you'd be very surprised how many old inner-city neighborhoods are intact and inhabited.

no argument on your "suburbs are all the same" point. from 1950 on, most suburban development is the same from city to city. it's that pre-automobile fabric that is different, and st. louis has it in spades, and it extends far beyond just the city limits. that is a major difference between st. louis and indianapolis. your point about webster groves (a st. louis suburb) being very similar to meridian-kessler (a central indianapolis neighborhood) illustrates this point. most of indianapolis proper looks like st. louis's middle ring suburbs.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:12 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 2,111,572 times
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One issue in terms of depopulation that has to be considered is that the same timeframe is average household size shrunk while no new housing units were built. That can explain a large portion of population loss in most places.
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:02 PM
 
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No contest for me, St. Louis wins, and I have actually lived in both cities. I know the word culture has been overused in this thread, but it is so true. I mean, the area was first being explored and settled by Europeans (French) in the 1600's, and since then has been influenced by so many cultures that have left their mark. The history is abundant, from the Germans who settled Bevo and the Italians who settled on The Hill, to the current influx of Bosnian immigrants that are bringing their traditions. I also enjoy the archtecture and restaurants more in St. Louis. I agree with a previous poster, when have you ever heard of an "Indianapolis" style anything? St. Louis has way more cultural flair.
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:26 PM
 
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Typical answers from everyone.... St. Louis is only the "popular one". Its been given more attention to in American Culture... Indianapolis will always have the negative stigma of being in Indiana as a small town however; in all reality Indianapolis has more to offer then anyone will ever give credit. It's okay if you personally like St. Louis better but don't feed stereotypes.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:14 AM
 
3,644 posts, read 8,978,198 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbadkins View Post
Typical answers from everyone.... St. Louis is only the "popular one". Its been given more attention to in American Culture... Indianapolis will always have the negative stigma of being in Indiana as a small town however; in all reality Indianapolis has more to offer then anyone will ever give credit. It's okay if you personally like St. Louis better but don't feed stereotypes.
And you don't think St. Louis has negative stigma? Give me a break. St. Louis probably has a lot more negativity attached to it than Indy. People view Indy as the up and coming city, people view St. Louis as ghetto and dangerous.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:55 AM
 
Location: Cleveland Suburbs
2,554 posts, read 5,985,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smtchll View Post
And you don't think St. Louis has negative stigma? Give me a break. St. Louis probably has a lot more negativity attached to it than Indy. People view Indy as the up and coming city, people view St. Louis as ghetto and dangerous.
Very true, and I am from Indiana living in Cleveland. I was just in St. Louis for a month working. I love the built environment of the city, but was shocked by the urban fields on the northside. Almost had a Detroit vibe to it. But besides that, St. Louis had a lot going on, and plenty of awesome cultural institutions many cities could only dream of.

St. Louis is a lot like Cleveland, it has so much to offer that most people refuse to see. If they only knew what these cities had to offer, they wouldn't have any room to talk. From light rail, heavy rail, awesome museums, great park systems, and inner ring suburbs that give other cities just as big a lesson in urbanity.... St. Louis and Cleveland are two of the nation's top underrated cities in the country. Pittsburgh and Milwaukee are right up there too.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis (St. Louis Park)
5,991 posts, read 8,291,054 times
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Originally Posted by Traveler87 View Post
Very true, and I am from Indiana living in Cleveland. I was just in St. Louis for a month working. I love the built environment of the city, but was shocked by the urban fields on the northside. Almost had a Detroit vibe to it. But besides that, St. Louis had a lot going on, and plenty of awesome cultural institutions many cities could only dream of.

St. Louis is a lot like Cleveland, it has so much to offer that most people refuse to see. If they only knew what these cities had to offer, they wouldn't have any room to talk. From light rail, heavy rail, awesome museums, great park systems, and inner ring suburbs that give other cities just as big a lesson in urbanity.... St. Louis and Cleveland are two of the nation's top underrated cities in the country. Pittsburgh and Milwaukee are right up there too.
Agree completely!
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