What to Know about Living in Tower Grove South, St. Louis

Updated

by Jacob P

Tower Grove South has something for everyone, making it a top pick for those who love city living.

Its location puts everything within reach for residents:

  • Grocery stores
  • Medical facilities
  • Restaurants
  • Cafes and breweries

Let’s take a look at why this St Louis Neighborhood is one of the best places to live for St Louisans.

Homes in Tower Grove South

Location and Neighborhood Boundaries

Located in the heart of south St. Louis, Tower Grove South is a neighborhood bordering Tower Grove Park.

  • North: Arsenal St 
  • East: South Grand Blvd 
  • South: Chippewa St 
  • West: South Kingshighway Blvd
Map of Tower Grove South

Tower Grove South is right next to Tower Grove East and just steps away from Benton Park, another popular St. Louis neighborhood.

The History of Tower Grove South

Tower Grove South was an agricultural area outside of the city. The land was divided into common fields and sold to anyone who would farm the land.

The Russell family bought up a large portion of the land and called their estate Oak Hill.

Historic home in Tower Grove South

The Russells discovered coal on their property and founded the Parker-Russell Mining Company. They employed many people in the community. 

The cholera epidemic of 1849, coupled with the diminishing coal supply, contributed to the closure of the mine. 

To preserve the business, Parker-Russell Mining shifted gears and started extracting fire clay.  

The successful brick industry brought jobs attracting German immigrants to the locale in the 1850s, which was growing into a thriving suburb of St. Louis.

Tower Grove Park opened in 1872 and with it, real estate speculation surged. 

This led to the construction of larger, more impressive homes.

In 1876 St Louis expanded the city limits to include what would eventually be Tower Grove South.

Historic image of Tower Grove Park

In the 1920s, development continued with the construction of small Cape Cod-style houses to accommodate workers. 

Meanwhile, South Grand began to flourish with the addition of banks, groceries, a movie theater, bakeries, and more!

Historic South Grand Business District

After a decline in the 1970s, the South Grand Business District became an attractive destination for new Vietnamese immigrants who opened shops and restaurants in the vicinity.

Tower Grove South Grand Business District

Since then Tower Grove South (including the South Grand business district) has seen the additions of coffee shops, specialty shops, boutiques, and restaurants. 

These additions have transformed Tower Grove South into the vibrant and popular district it is today.

Tower Grove South vs Tower Grove East

Tower Grove South and Tower Grove East have their own unique charms. Tower Grove South features a mix of historic and modern homes. Tower Grove East is known for its classic architecture and diverse community vibe.

Homes in Tower Grove South St. Louis City

Tower Grove East sits on the eastern border along South Grand Blvd and extends east to Nebraska Ave.

Map of tower grove east and south

Tower Grove East has about half the population of Tower Grove South, and its active Neighborhood Association prioritizes building community connections. Homes closer to the park generally have higher property values. 

Neighborhood entrance Tower Grove South

The houses are mostly 2 and a half stories with details like stained glass and intricate staircases. 

A lot of the area fell into urban decay in the mid-1900s but started to see a comeback in the 1980s and 90s.  

The area also boasts a variety of businesses and eateries.

Business in Tower Grove South

The Houses of Tower Grove South

Many of the historic houses were built from the 1860s to as late as the 1930s. 

Brick Houses in Tower Grove South

There is a mix of the Italianate style and Victorian brick homes we often associate with St Louis. 

Italianate style and Victorian brick homes

In the 1920s, Cape Cod-style houses were constructed, while older shotgun houses were prevalent in the western part of the neighborhood.

Small shotgun homes in St. Louis
Small shotgun homes in St. Louis Tower Grove

You’ll also find some modern buildings in the mix, especially along Morganford Rd.

Modern Development in Tower Grove South

A Little Bit of Everything

Whether you’re looking for a modern apartment, a renovated condo, or a modest multifamily building, this neighborhood has a little bit of everything.

Multi family homes in Tower Grove South

Tower Grove Heights

Tower Grove Heights, situated within Tower Grove South, extends from Tower Grove Park to Utah Street.

Tower Grove Heights, St. Louis

This part of Tower Grove South is characterized by its single-family brick Victorian houses and has its own distinct identity, complete with its own branding and neighborhood association.

New Developments in TGS

Jema and AHM Group recently completed a 3-story mixed-use building at 3172 Morgan Ford. Its original plans combined new construction with a rehabbed building from 1902. 

Building revitalization in Tower Grove South

Jema and AHM Group applied to build a boutique apartment building along the same corridor. This would have resulted in the demolition of three historic houses. The St Louis Preservation Board voted against it. There is currently no news on whether this project will apply to be built elsewhere.

Tower Grove Park

When discussing why Tower Grove South is a beloved neighborhood in St Louis, it’s impossible to overlook the park that lent its name to this historic neighborhood. Being nearby makes it easy to go for a scenic walk or enjoy one of the many events that take place there. 

Tower Grove Park, St. Louis, MO

A Gift to the City

Henry Shaw had already established the Missouri Botanical Gardens when he approached then-Mayor James S. Thomas in 1866 with a plan to donate land that would be open for everyone to enjoy. His gift came with conditions:

  • It “shall be used as a park forever”
  • An “annual appropriation” be made by the city “for its maintenance.”

Today, this park is the only one in St Louis that is managed by an independent Board of Commissioners and Staff.

Aerial photo of Tower Grove Park

Festivals, Food and Shade

Tower Grove Park has a lot going on, from annual festivals to weekly events to just being a great scenic place to take a walk in the shade on a warm summer day. 

The Tower Grove Farmers Market is well-known throughout the city. 

It’s every Saturday from 8am to 12:30pm April 6th through November 2nd. 

You’ll find food trucks and vendors selling anything from hand-woven baskets to soaps to t-shirts. 

And, of course, a wide selection of vegetables, fruits, meats, and baked goods. 

There is a winter market that recently moved to a parking lot adjacent to the park.

Tower Grove Farmers market

Food Truck Fridays: Check out their site for dates and times, this monthly event that takes place April- September and features a diverse offering of foods from different local food trucks. You’ll find folks making a picnic out of it and there’s often live music!

Food trucks at farmers market

Festival of Nations: This annual event is one to put on your calendar if you like cuisine from around the world, dance, and music from different cultures and global wares.

The streets are often shoulder-to-shoulder with people who are there to take part in this unique and diverse celebration of world culture. ​​ ​​

Festival of nations in Tower Grove Park

Artscope: Artscope is a non-profit that offers art classes, camps, and workshops to the residents of St Louis. Their programming is mostly for children and their home is a small cottage surrounded by nature.

ArtScopeSTL in Tower Grove

Sports Facilities:  There are athletic fields, tennis ball/pickleball courts, horseshoe pits, and recently opened a brand-new outdoor basketball court. There are also Two playgrounds and a splash pad. Not to mention paved paths that are great for jogging or taking a leisurely stroll. 

Pavilions

When locals think of Tower Grove Park, they often imagine the Historic Pavilions scattered throughout the park, perfect for picnics, family gatherings, events, and more.

Pavilion in Tower Grove

 These stunning structures are National Historical Landmarks and can be rented for private use or enjoyed at your leisure when not in use.

Historic pavilion in Tower Grove Park

Exploring Tower Grove South: Beyond the Park

The parks are just one of the perks of being a resident in this St Louis neighborhood. With South Grand Blvd on one side and MorganFord Rd running through the middle, you’re guaranteed to find great food, places to meet friends, and new neighbors or spots for shopping.

South Grand Business District

The South Grand Business District is a lively center of St. Louis’ international community, featuring a wide array of culinary and retail options, complemented by a diverse range of cultural events, convenient services, and thriving shops.

Restaurants: South Grand is known for its international cuisine, ranging from Asian fusion and Thai to Vietnamese and Mexican cuisine.

Restaurants along South Grand St. Louis
  • There’s also Terror Tacos, a vegan taco joint with a heavy metal vibe.
  • Steve’s Hotdogs serves up hotdogs piled high with a variety of toppings.
  • Gotham and Eggs offers diner food in a whimsical setting.
  • Services: There are optometrist offices, an Urgent Care, a UPS store, a Public Library, Banks, Salons, a Gas Station, Dry Cleaners, and more.

Shopping: This area will host several artist markets throughout the year in addition to having boutique gift shops, Dunaway Book Store, and other shops that are fun to visit on a Saturday afternoon.

Shopping in Tower Grove Park

Discovering Morganford Rd 

Morganford Road, which runs through Tower Grove South, offers a variety of restaurants, shops, services, and bars.

Morganford Road in Tower Grove South

When the weather’s nice you’ll see people sitting outside enjoying a cold drink or visiting one of the specialty shops that line this historic neighborhood. 

Local businesses in Tower Grove South

Other Offerings in Tower Grove South

Tower Grove South features a range of businesses contributing to its convenience for day-to-day living. Schnucks, Aldi, and Home Depot are nearby, so running errands is a breeze.

Civil Life Brewery, Tower Grove South

Alpha Brewery and Civil Life Brewery call this neighborhood home, offering perfect spots to unwind with friends. Many of the brewpubs and bars host live music, open mic nights, trivia nights, and bingo for added entertainment.

Tower Grove South encapsulates the vibrant spirit of St Louis living, offering a diverse array of amenities, cultural events, and community connections that make it a cherished neighborhood for residents and visitors alike.