The Central West End (CWE) is a St. Louis neighborhood bound by Delmar Boulevard to the north, Lindell Boulevard and I-64 to its southern region, Vandeventer to the east and Kingshighway and Union Boulevard to its west. It is represented by three aldermen – sitting in the 17th, 18th, and 28th Wards. Encompassing no more than 1.89 total square miles, its population, as of the 2010 census, was calculated at 14,473 residents. Famous residents of Central West End include playwright Tennessee Williams, American and Hungarian sculptor George Julian Zolnay and the homes of poet T.S. Eliot and beat writer William S. Burroughs.
Central West End’s history begins sometime during the late 18th century when the region was part of a Spanish land grant made to Madame Marie Louise Papin. She had a specific request for an area to farm on the banks of the River des Peres. Shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, her holding was surveyed and contained a full 2,720 acres of land. Towards the eastern portion of Kingshighway, the present area of Central West End was comprised of a sequence of extensive French farm land.
Urban expansion in the region began in the eastern portion of the land during the mid-1880s. The commercial district within the region began a rising development into the early 20th century thanks to the formation of neighboring suburban areas and travel routes. Throughout the area’s growth, streets carrying streetcar lines generated immense commercial strips and stores at each individual transfer section. Central West End began earning a reputation as a notable hotel center thanks to its geographical convenience to the city of St. Louis, being nearby major streets as well as the close proximity to Forest Park – a popular St. Louis destination after the 1904 World’s Fair.
Residents of Central West End are served by the St. Louis Public Schools district.