Delmar Divine, in my hometown of St. Louis, is a project that is near and dear to me. Located on Delmar Boulevard, the project is currently underway turning the original building of St. Luke’s Hospital into a community hub for at least 30 of St. Louis’s nonprofit organizations. Beyond that, it will be the epicenter for the transformation of an entire community. It is a rare example of a project that doesn’t necessarily excite me from a building perspective, but because of the potential it has to positively impact a community that has long been neglected. 

The building itself has a symbolic significance in the neighborhood. St. Luke’s was important historically because it was a catalyst for hospitals becoming a place of training, research, and medical advancement. In the same way, Delmar Divine proposes to be a place of social innovation and advancement. It will do so by providing the space and the resources to nonprofits who are doing important community work. St. Louis is a national leader in terms of nonprofits, and Delmar Divine will help to increase their impact and bring about shifts in the neighborhood. It will not, however, be a space solely for nonprofits — Delmar Divine will also have a community meeting space, 150 residential units, and a cafe for the tenants, residents, and surrounding community.

The name is a reference to the infamous “Delmar Divide” which is what Delmar Boulevard has been called, due to the fact that historically it has been the street that marks a racial and economic divide in St. Louis. Maxine Clark, who is spearheading the project, came up with the name Delmar DivINe, with the ‘IN’ standing for INvestment, INnovation, and INclusion — three of the most important things the project brings to the neighborhood. 

I believe in St. Louis and care deeply about it reaching its full potential, and not just for those who already have privilege and opportunity. St. Louis is a city that can enable everyone to prosper, and it is projects like Delmar Divine that will help make this vision a reality. Construction is already underway and it is slated to open sometime during the fall of this year, 2021. 

Photo by Lou Bopp

To read more about this fascinating project, check out this article from Sophisticated Living St. Loius.