Much like its fellow neighbor of Downtown St. Louis, the St. Louis City neighborhood of Downtown West is a central business district within the heart of St. Louis and a true hub for tourism, sports, entertainment and several corporate headquarters. What makes Downtown West so much more different than Downtown, you ask? It’s purely the western portion … simple enough! Bordered by Downtown St. Louis at the east, Downtown West’s other neighbors include Carr Square to the north, Lafayette Square to the south and Midtown to the west. As of the 2010 census, Downtown West’s population was recorded at 3,940 residents. Downtown West is also slightly large in total land size compared to Downtown St. Louis, covering 1.15 total square miles. It is represented by four Aldermen – sitting in the fifth, sixth, seventh and 19th Wards respectively.
To speak of Downtown West’s history is to know of the history of Downtown. French fur trader Pierre Laclède chose the land of St. Louis for forming a city based upon its close river access that allowed for easy trade and transference. Though the settlement was named St. Louis as a tribute to France’s King Louis IX, during the region’s earliest days, it was known as by locals as “Laclede Village” since Pierre served as the head of the community. By 1804, the population had tripled as the Louisiana Purchase from the previous year brought forth a flood of immigrants to the growing community. Thanks to the steamboat’s impact on the area during the early 19th century, St. Louis was quickly becoming a vigorous hotbed for American commerce.
As the early 20th century rolled around, Downtown St. Louis began a shift into expanding for more building construction as businesses were expanding and needing the room to grow. In 2017, residents started referring to the neighborhood as the “Loft District” in an effort to re-brand the area and differentiate it from the distinct downtown neighborhood.
Residents of Downtown West are served by the St. Louis Public School District.