In the mid-1920s through the 1930s, St. Louis City widened several streets in projects that involved tearing down blocks of buildings — sometimes a few dozen feet of the front of the structure and sometimes the entire building. 

In 1923, St. Louisans passed a $87,000,000 bond for public works, including widening streets and purchasing land for new government buildings (including the Stifel Opera House). Work along Market, in the early 1930s, including clearing land for Memorial and Aloe plazas. For all the projects, the city condemned portions of lots along the streets to create room for the expanded roads. Much of the cost for the work was assessed to property owners on or near the roads, as elected officials argued the work would improve property values. 

— Compiled by Beth O'Malley, bomalley@post-dispatch.com