Detailed updates about the construction of the NextNGA West site.
April 3, 2017: All abatement activities and one demolition contractor package are complete. Two additional demolition packages are underway, with three additional contractors beginning next week. Construction safety fence is 40 percent erected. Additional RFPs will be available soon for the remainder of the site work.
March 9, 2017: Visible Progress Happening on Site of Next NGA West Headquarters Historic Home Moved; Demolitions Begin
ST. LOUIS -- While significant progress has been ongoing at the site of the Next National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) West Headquarters on the Near North Side, some of the most visible work is currently underway. Ms. Charlesetta Taylor's historic brick home has been moved to its new location, and today it will be set on new foundation along St. Louis Avenue, the northern border of the 97-acre NGA site. Demolitions also have begun to clear the land and ready it for the NGA, which has committed to the City of St. Louis to build a new campus and to move its 3,100 employees to a new facility on the Near North Side. NGA's program cost totals $1.75 billion.
The St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) has promised to deliver a clean and clear site to the NGA in 2018. The site is bounded by Cass Avenue, N. Jefferson Avenue, the alley south of St. Louis Avenue, and N. 22nd Street. The City has controlled the site since December 2016, and since then work has begun on the process to move remaining businesses, remove utilities, vacate streets, demolish structures, clear debris, and re-grade the site.
A timeline is as follows:
- 6.3.15 - NGA released its Record of Decision, choosing the City of St. Louis
- 6.6.16 - City launched Project Connect to coordinate public and private initiatives
- 10.7.16 - Brownfield application approved for Voluntary Cleanup Program
- 12.1.16 - Completed archaeological site investigation
- 12.16.16 - Completed City real estate closings on all 551 parcels within the site
- 1.4.17 - Properties vacated; building inspections completed
- 1.10.17 - Bond financing for site work approved
- 2.10.17 - Streets vacated via aldermanic approval
- 2.16.17 - Abatement of structures began
- 2.27.17 - Ms. Taylor's home moved out of site to new location in neighborhood
- 3.8.17 - Demolitions begin
- Jan 2018 - Land scheduled for delivery to United States Air Force
June 2016: An archeologist is currently on site to uncover your neighborhood's history. The intent of this data recovery project is to understand how this community has evolved over time. The archeologists will be looking for prehistoric remains as well as more recent artifacts. This area was originally inhabited by African-Americans and German and Irish immigrants, many of whom worked in factories. The ends of the blocks housed businesses and shops owned by mostly middle-class families.
June 9, 2016: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote about the history uncovered at the future NGA site. A crew of 10 archeologists will be working until September 1, and, according to the article, "they've bagged all kinds of bottles, dolls, dishes, cups, marbles, animal bones, hygiene products and other odds and ends such as silver rings and a gold tooth." Federal construction guidelines require a preliminary archeological dig to preserve the history of the area. At the future NGA site, researchers are digging up clues about daily life in St. Louis Place more than a century ago. "It would be a great travesty if the building went in and nobody documented these things," said Joe Harl, the project's principal investigator.
June 27, 2016: Last week the archeological crew unearthed some interesting remnants of the history of the St. Louis Place neighborhood. Among today's buried trash and many smashed glass bottles, investigators found old Listerine and hair bleach bottles, which were probably sold at a neighborhood pharmacy. But, as is often the case, the biggest finds came in the unlikeliest of places. A water storage tank contained an ornate glass tray and a 1915 Major League Baseball schedule preserved in a plastic sheet. And an emptied sewage line revealed a lapel pin with a federal shield, a diamond-shaped glass pendant, and a tin child's toy in the shape of a pirate ship.
July 5, 2016: This past week, archaeologists discovered cisterns, water closets, and wells and learned more about water usage and industry in the City's past. Almost all of the original homes in the St. Louis Place neighborhood were built before piped water was a common technology, so they were equipped with water storage tanks that the archaeologists discovered. Evidence from this week's digs suggests that around the time of the 1904 World's Fair, when filtration was perfected and water began to be piped directly to homes, residents stopped using the storage tanks. The dig also shed light on an old clay quarry, a remnant of the brick industry that was very important to St. Louis's early economy.
July 8, 2016: The archeological investigation is moving forward as scheduled, and is turning up new information about the history of St. Louis Place every day. Investigators planned 25 sites for inspection, and 5 sites have been completed. A sixth site will begin next week. Concurrently, there is a team assessing environmental conditions in the soil and surrounding areas.
July 18, 2016: As a next step, a traffic study will begin today in order to understand existing traffic patterns to inform the design of streets around the future NextNGA West site. The study will include the temporary installation of traffic equipment that will be moved intermittently around the study area from now until mid-August. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the project team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aug. 3, 2016: The archaeological investigation continues to discover new and important information about the history of the St. Louis Place neighborhood. Though the dig was rained out on Monday, this past week was still a productive one. Archaeologists discovered privies, outhouses, and water closets, some filled with debris and some filled with historical artifacts. They also found clues about the history of the Zion German Evangelical Church, an important historical community church, and evidence of its rectory.
August 15, 2016: This past week, archaeologists investigated the location of two former schools, Olivet Mission Sunday School and Howard Elementary. The limestone and brick foundations of the schools were located in large pits, which were filled with silt and modern construction debris. The silt was dark and muddy, which suggested that the area held a prehistoric lake. Investigators also noticed remnants of old houses and businesses, such as foundations and cisterns.