The Central West End (CWE) is a term used to describe a specific portion of St. Louis, Missouri, stretching from Midtown’s western edge to Union Boulevard, bordering on Forest Park with its extensive selection of free cultural institutions today. The CWE is home to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, also known as the New Cathedral, on Lindell Boulevard at Newstead Avenue, which is proudly home of the largest collection of mosaics in the world.
Three aldermen represent the CWE as it sits in the 17th, 18th, and 28th Wards of the city (St. Louis, MO).
The CWE Commercial District
Within the CWE, people will find a robust commercial district that exists mainly along Euclid Avenue, stretching from Forest Park Parkway on the south to Delmar Boulevard on the north. Within this section, restaurants are clustered in the Euclid/McPherson area, the Euclid/Laclede area, and Maryland Plaza. While strolling the section, tourists will find elaborate turn-of-the-century lampposts and cobblestone streets that add to the atmosphere of the neighborhood.
There are some residential areas, however, in the CWE that are included in the National Register of Historic Places. One example includes Fullerton’s Westminster Place, home to large, lavishly decorated homes that were built between 1890 and 1910. They have been named as some of the finest 20th century streetscapes in the United States today.
History of Central West End, St. Louis, Missouri
The CWE was first established in 1904 when the World’s Fair set up shop in adjacent Forest Park. Following the fair, more people began to settle into the area and found local businesses, restaurants, and entertainment venues that created a draw for individuals nearby. Coupling it with the old-school cobblestone streets and architecture, it became the city’s nicest area to enjoy some shopping, food, and historical appreciation all in one.
The CWE was named by the American Planning Association as one of America’s Top 10 Neighborhoods, featuring a mix of St. Louis’ best dining, entertainment, shopping, and nightlife.
A full directory of activities, events, and businesses located in the CWE can be found here.
CWE has been the birthplace of some American greats we know and cherish today. Playwright Tennessee Williams grew up in the CWE, as well as T.S. Eliot, renowned poet. Beat writer William S. Burrough spent his childhood hood right on Pershing Avenue. Lastly, George Julian Zolnay, the Hungarian and American sculptor known as the “Sculptor of the Confederacy” lived in the CWE during the early 1900s.
A list of public facilities located within the CWE include:
- Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
- Central West End MetroLink Station & MetroBus Center
- Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis
- Engineers’ Club of Saint Louis
- Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College
- Regional Justice Information Service
- Saint Louis Public Library Schlafly Branch
- Shriners Hospitals for Children
- St. Louis College of Pharmacy
- Washington University Medical Center
- World Chess Hall of Fame
Central West End Organizations
Within the CWE, visitors can find a plethora of established organizations, including:
- Cathedral Square
- Fullerton’s Westminster Place
- Washington Terrace
- 4200 Washington POA
- Laclede Place Neighborhood Association