Vandeventer is a St. Louis City neighborhood located in the central western portion of the city with a population, at the time of the 2010 census, of 1,682 residents. Covering a total of no more than 0.47 square miles, the neighborhood is bounded by fellow St. Louis City neighborhoods of the Ville at the north, Central West End towards the south, Grand Center to the east and Fountain Park near the west. It is represented by two Aldermen sitting in the fourth and 18th Ward.
The neighborhood gets its name from founder, Peter Lewis Vandeventer, who came to the St. Louis region in the mid-19th century with brothers William and Henry with dreams of land investment. The three brothers were originally from New York City where they were Wall Street stockbrokers with their own firm. One of their major goals was the development of Vandeventer Place, located in the current-day boundaries of the neighborhood, which would serve as a gated private community with mansions and a one of a kind fountain as the centerpiece. Unfortunately, nearly a decade after arriving to St. Louis, Peter Vandeventer passed in 1879 and most of the money from the development of Vandeventer Place was lost to incompetent lawyers who embezzled much of the money made during the sales of neighborhood lots.
However, most of the Vandeventer family moved to St. Louis following Peter’s death and continued the family dream of establishing the neighborhood. It reached a pinnacle near the turn of the 19th century when several of the area’s most well to do residents lived in the region’s lavish mansions. By 1910, the surrounding city expansion and effluence and loud mining production around the neighborhood proved to be too much costly of an upkeep for the chic neighborhood. Three decades later the Veterans’ Administration would acquire most of the eastern portion of the neighborhood followed by St. Louis City obtaining the western portion in the 1940s. Today, the former gates to the neighborhood are located in the central portion of Forest Park near the Jewel Box.
Residents of Vandeventer are served by the St. Louis Public School District.
Turner Park, found in the heart of the Vandeventer neighborhood, is a nearly 1-and-a-half-acre park named after J. Milton Turner who served as an African American education and civil rights leader in the late 19th century. The park includes a full picnic pavilion, playground and softball field.
The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, whose mission is to “empower African Americans and others throughout the region in securing economic self-reliance, social equality, and civil rights”, has been located in the neighborhood since 1918.