McRee Town/Botanical Heights Neighborhood
The Botanical Heights Neighborhood was formerly called McRee Town. It is located in the near South side of St. Louis city, just north of the Missouri Botanical Gardens. The Botanical Heights Neighborhood is bordered by Interstate 44 on the south, Chouteau Avenue on the north, Vandeventer Avenue on the northwest side and 39th Street on the east. Surrounding neighborhoods include the Tiffany Neighborhood to the east, Shaw to the south, the Midtown Neighborhood to the north and Forest Park Southeast to the west.
The residents of the neighborhood are served by the St. Louis Public School District. Although the district does not have a school located within the boundaries of the neighborhood, there are several located close by. In the Forest Park Southeast on Tower Grove Avenue is the Adams Elementary School. The Mullanphy Investigative Learning Center Elementary School, located in the Shaw Neighborhood on Shaw Blvd, is a Magnet School that serves students in Preschool through 5th grade. Its specialty or focus is "Math, Science and Technology" and "Gifted Enrichment" is available. In the Hill Neighborhood, on Wilson Avenue, is found the St. Ambrose Catholic School, a private elementary and middle school.
Major demolition, as well as rehab, has begun to transform the once deteriorating McRee Town into the new Botanical Heights Neighborhood. Newly constructed residential buildings in many different styles are now what compose the eastern half of the Botanical Heights Neighborhood. The area also contains the newly designated Liggett and Myers Historic District which includes the former Liggett and Myers Tobacco Plant, built in 1896, on Folsom Avenue. The District is located in the western part of the neighborhood, including everything west of Thurman, as well as most of Park and Folsom. It includes a large number of residential buildings that were built in many architectural styles between 1890 and 1930. Some of the oldest are found on McRee Avenue west of Tower Grove.
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