Located within the southern region of the City of St. Louis is the neighborhood of Holly Hills. With a population of 3,701 residents, at the time of the 2010 census, and a total land area of 0.4 square miles, the city is neighbored by Dutchtown and Bevo at the north, Carondelet at the east and south and portions of Boulevard Heights to its west. Holly Hills is represented by one aldermen sitting in the 11th ward.
The history of Holly Hills began sometime in the mid-1700s when a traveling Frenchman by the name of Clement Delor de Treget settled into an area of common fields that would eventually become the village of Carondelet. The area encompassing current-day Holly Hills neighborhood was divided into long narrow strips of land assigned to a growing number of villagers. During the end of the 19th century, Carondelet became a fast growing, bustling city and eventually was acquired by the City of St. Louis.
In the early 1920s, three developers by the name of Don Livingston, Gus Arendes and William Federer purchased a large portion of land within the upper northern region on Carondelet and planned to develop their own residential area. According to records, their plan was to turn the region into something that would mirror the “elegance of Hollywood” … hence where the name of Holly Hills came from.
Although construction began in 1926, the effects of the Great Depression forced production to scale back from the original vision. A year later, the Holly Hills Improvement Association (HHIA) was formed and remains the oldest active neighborhood organization within the entire city of St. Louis. Major development for Holly Hills continued throughout the 1950s bringing in the expansion of a church, school and housing construction.
Residents of Holly Hills are served by the St. Louis Public School District.
Opened in the summer of 2007, the Holly Hills Community Garden was originally a weedy, jungle-like vacant lot owned by the St. Louis Sewer District. Holly Hills resident and local gardener Tim Bolt secured a lease for the lot and along with 25 other Holly Hills residents, they helped clean and clear the lot to build a garden. Gateway Greening, the outreach arm of the Missouri Botanical Garden, helped get funding to pay for the materials to build garden beds. Since the garden’s development, HHIA has donated money to build a variety of beds and purchase a storage shed.
Though not technically within the boundaries that make up Holly Hills, nearby Carondelet Park is well known for being St. Louis’ third largest park. It boasts a boathouse, walking paths, tennis courts, ball fields, horseshoe pits, playgrounds and an abundance of spaces for events.
Unique restaurants within Holly Hills include Turkish restaurant Royal Kebab and Chimichanga’s Mexican Restaurant.