History of The Ville
The Ville and Greater Ville neighborhoods located in St. Louis, Missouri are two of the most historically significant African-American neighborhoods in the United States.
At its prime, the community was an enclave for working and middle-class African-American families who made significant contributions towards the growth of the city and their professional fields. Lifelong residents and newer residents alike regularly express how much they value the preservation of the community’s history as well as new opportunities for investment, development, and resident engagement.
4theVille, a partnership between Northside Community Housing and multi-generational residents of the Ville, described the neighborhood in this manner:
“The Ville is a historic African-American neighborhood located in St. Louis, Missouri with a rich history of African-American education, business, and art. Prior to the United States Civil Rights movement, the use of restrictive covenants and other legal restrictions prevented African-Americans from finding housing in most areas of the city. As a result, the African American population of St. Louis became heavily concentrated in and around the Ville. The neighborhood became home to a number of important cultural institutions for the black community, including Sumner High School, Poro College, Lincoln University Law School, Stowe Teachers College, Simmons Elementary, Tandy Rec Center, Sarah-Lou Cafe, Annie Malone Children’s Home, and Homer G. Phillips Hospital.”
The 2011 American Community Survey reports that the area has the following characteristics:
- Population of 9,784
- There are approximately 4,300 households
- The average household size is 2.39 people