The Central West End (CWE) is located west of downtown St. Louis and comprises 112 city blocks nestled between Forest Park and the St. Louis University campus. In 2014 The American Planning Association selected the Central West End as one of America's Top Ten Great Neighborhoods.
The CWE is home to 14,000 residents. The Washington University School of Medicine and BJC Healthcare campus along the southern border of the CWE employs nearly 30,000. The medical campus, St. Louis College of Pharmacy and the expanding Cortex Innovation District form one of the largest regional centers of employment in addition to being national leaders in medical research and tech startups.
The mixed-use district along Euclid Avenue is popular with locals and tourists. Iconic griffin-adorned lamp posts, cafes and tree-lined sidewalks add to the CWE's pedestrian-scaled amenities and attractions.
The historic neighborhood's housing stock primarily dates back to the early 20th century, built largely in response to the 1904 World's Fair in nearby Forest Park. World's Fair-era hotels, now restored and converted to high-rise apartments, overlook large single-family, architect-designed homes in ornate Classical Revival styles. The CWE is currently experiencing the largest residential building boom in St. Louis in decades.
Famous residents of the Central West End: Tennessee Williams lived in the 4600 block of Westminster Place, and the rear fire escape undoubtedly inspired the opening scene of The Glass Menagerie. Author Kate Chopin lived on McPherson Avenue, and William Burroughs owned a house in the 4600 block of Pershing Place. Poet T. S. Eliot’s family lived in the 4400 block of Westminster Place, and poet Vachel Lindsay courted poet Sara Teasdale at her family’s house on Kingsbury Place. Albert Bond Lambert, who built and lived in No. 2 Hortense Place. He was a pharmaceutical manufacturer who also was a pioneering pilot. He was the initial benefactor of Charles A. Lindbergh’s historic solo flight to Paris, and St. Louis’s Lambert International Airport was named in his honor. Newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer lived on Pershing Place, and Dwight Davis, donor and founder of the tennis tournament’s Davis Cup, built his home and lived on Portland Place.
The Central West End became a historic district in 1974.