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November 4, 2014

West End Word

St. Louis, MO (November 4, 2014) St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay on Oct. 30 unveiled one of the historical markers installed on seven downtown streets which have existed since 1764. These streets bear new signs with their original French names.

The new signs and historical markers are a 250th Anniversary gift from Les Amis ("The Friends"). This French heritage preservationist organization represents the mid-Mississippi River Valley's unique Creole culture.

"Restoring the early character of the founding village to the busy thoroughfares of today reminds us of our unique identity formed from the French and Spanish Colonial periods. These signs will remind residents and tourists alike of our heritage," Mayor Slay noted.

Watercolorist Daven Anderson has spent the past four years negotiating this project through many civic agencies. Robert Moore, Ph.d, Historian for the National Park Service, created the English texts for the markers.

The original French street names to be added near their current names are:

La Grande Rue, la Rue Royale - First Street
La Rue de l'Eglise - Second Street
La Rue des Granges - Third Street
La Rue de la Tour - Walnut Street
La Rue de la Place - Market Street
La Rue Missouri - Chestnut Street
La Rue Quicapou - Pine Street

"One thinks of the signage in the French Quarter in New Orleans," said Anderson. "The historical markers tell in both French and English how any given street name reflected its function or location. For example, rue de l'Eglise, (Church Street or Second Street) led to the original church in the center of the village."