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Lindbergh Links: Creve Coeur History and Future Tied to the Boulevard

The Creve Coeur segment of Lindbergh Boulevard has a dangerous history, but improvements are still on the horizon.

The longest road in the St. Louis area, Lindbergh Boulevard runs roughly 30 miles through north, central and south county, touching nine of our Patch sites. On this anniversary of namesake Charles Lindbergh's death, we wanted to take a look at this road from our nine different perspectives. Each Patch editor has a different take on how Lindbergh touches that community. Drive along with us through our Lindbergh Links — and we hope you'll add your own observations along the way.

Approaching the 37th anniversary of aviator Charles A. Lindbergh’s death on Aug. 26, Creve Coeur’s “commercial corridor” that shares its namesake with the Spirit of St. Louis pilot has its own noteworthy history and future.

Lindbergh Boulevard (Highway 67) was originally named Denny Road after the prominent Denny family, who resided in South St. Louis County in the 1800s. The 30-mile stretch of road has been reshaped and expanded over the years after a long-standing term as one of the most dangerous roads in the county.

Mayor Harold Dielmann recalls the fatal statistics generated by a section of Lindbergh called “Deadman’s Curve.”

“These two sharp turns had caused a lot of accidents by the 1980s,” Dielmann said. “Within a short period of time, 27 people had been killed.”

With a majority of the land surrounding Lindbergh owned by the road was eventually widened to become a three-lane “suicide highway” between Olive Boulevard and Page Avenue. This widening of the road led to the addition of a median barrier and made Lindbergh a safer commute, but hurt Lindbergh businesses, Dielmann said. Now the barrier separates the road with two lanes on each side.

Lindbergh is known for its commercial occupants. The world headquarters of Monsanto, a retail store, , and homes for the and the are among sites that line Lindbergh. The Creve Coeur strip houses office and medical space and some retail markets.

Barry Glantz, a candidate for mayor in 2012, and most recently a member of the city's planning and zoning commission, has taken notice of the frequent "for sale" and "for lease" signs dotting Lindbergh’s available space.

“It’s an area ripe for redevelopment,” Glantz said. “The barrier down the center has had a significant impact on businesses. It’d be nice to see an investment from these businesses to revamp their locations.”

Some Lindbergh businesses are taking that step. , located on the north end of Lindbergh, recently gained city approval for something of a building facelift that includes an outdoor deck and lighted columns to add visual interest.

“It’s a corporate community,” Glantz, an architect with an office on Lindbergh, said. “Residential and commercial entities need to work in conjunction with each other.”

To go along with asphalt walking paths installed by the Missouri Department of Transportation along parts of Lindbergh, Dielmann said Creve Coeur has been seeking funding for more than two years to provide renovations to the boulevard. This project is specifically known as the “Lindbergh Boulevard Sidewalk/Median Enhancement Project” as part of Creve Coeur’s Comprehensive Plan.

“The paint’s chipping off the dividers, there’s rust on the traffic signals…it’s just not very attractive right now,” Dielmann said.

“Funding obviously is a major challenge, especially in this economy,” said Laura Bryant, a former city council member who is also in the race for the mayor in 2012. “But experience has repeatedly shown that sales-tax-funded transportation development projects can be seriously compromised by a fundamental lack of accountability.”

City Administrator Mark Perkins said the city has “not been successful with funding.” Perkins said the plan includes more pedestrian pathways, landscaped medians and decorative lighting.

“We will continue to look for grant opportunities in the future,” Perkins said.

SEE MORE LINDBERGH LINKS STORIES
- Drive north to Maryland Heights Patch: From Here to Dbai, Classic Car Dealer Sells to the World
- Drive south to Ladue-Frontenac Patch: Shriners Hospital for Children, an Icon on the Boulevard
- Link to all our Lindbergh stories and videos
- History: A Long Boulevard, a Lengthy History

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