The Renaissance Award recognizes groups/corporations/associations who have made a positive economic or social impact on the survival or comeback of the CWE. The Renaissance Award was named initially to honor Leon Strauss, who is well known for his revitalization efforts throughout the City of St. Louis. Mr. Strauss’ transformation of Pershing Place and its adjoining streets between Union and DeBaliviere made him the prominent choice as our inaugural Renaissance Award recipient.

Past Renaissance Award Recipients


1993 Leon Strauss, Pantheon Corporation (for the DeBaliviere Place development)

1994 BJC Health System & Washington University

1995 Central West End Houses of Worship

1996 McCormack Barron (for Westminster Place development)

1997 St. Louis University

1998 Alderman Dan McGuire

1999 Doorways (for their HIV/AIDS programs)

2000 Chase Park Plaza

2001 New City School

2002 Herb Balaban (in recognition of his contributions to the success of the CWE) and Julius Polk

2003 Baskin Robbins, Bissinger’s, Café Balaban, Coifferes by Shawn, Duffs, Fellenz, Left BankBooks, Majestic, New Market Hdwe, Norton’s Fine Art, Rossino’s, Rothschild’s, St. Louis Shade & Hardware, Salad Bowl, Martin Schweig Studio, Straubs, Thirty-four Club, West End Word, West Pine Pharmacy

2004 Forest Park Forever, City of St. Louis Dept. of Parks

2005 Central West End Bank

2006 Central Reform Congregation

2007 Central West End Family and Friends

2008 Koplar Properties for the development of Maryland Plaza & Pete Rothschild and Jim    Dwyer for the development of Maryland Town homes

2009 The Eleven, Inc; St. Louis Actors’ Studio; West End Grill & Pub

2010 St. Louis Chess Club

2011 John McPheeters, Bowood Farms

2012 Doug Auer and Jim McKelvey , Third Degree Glass Factory

2013 Wade Crowder

2017 The Royal Vagabonds

2018 The World Chess Hall of Fame