I feel compelled to respond to the sound-off writer in the Dec. 5 issue of the BND who expounded that “the west end of Belleville is a mess and destined to be another East St. Louis ...”
I’m not sure what areas of the west end they drove through to make such an assessment, but I’m in the west end nearly every day and see a lot of hope for a great future there.
The writer should attend a meeting of one of the community improvement organizations in the west end – like Top of the Hill, Signal Hill Neighborhood Association, or the West Belleville Promotional Committee, to name a few.
They might drive through to see the beautiful homes in Country Club Estates, Powder Mill, Juanita Place, Oak Knoll Place, and others. See what’s being done to improve shopping centers on the 6000 block of West Main Street. Four of the most successful restaurants in Belleville (4204, Fletcher’s, The Abbey, and Jefferson’s) are located in the west end.
Check out successful businesses like Artiste de Fleurs, Don Rogers Clothiers, The Cheesekeeper, and more. Investigate what our own organization is doing to develop the only Midcentury Modern Architectural Museum in the St. Louis area.
Mayor Mark Eckert and the west end aldermen deserve a lot of credit for tackling and resolving many issues in west Belleville. It’s certain that one naysayer’s opinion after leaving town is not going to discourage those of us who are working hard to revitalize the west end of our city.
Larry Betz, Belleville Historical Society President