In the Central West End, the world’s largest chess piece stands in front of the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Central West End

As St. Louis prepared for the 1904 World’s Fair, development began in the Central West End, located on the eastern edge of Forest Park. Many of the city’s wealthy residents gravitated toward the neighborhood, building stunning single-family homes that add a welcoming feel to the bustling mixed-use district today. Famous literary figures, including Kate Chopin, T.S. Eliot and Tennessee Williams, and notable business leaders, including Dwight Davis, Albert Bond Lambert and Joseph Pulitzer, all lived here.

Over the years, the neighborhood has maintained its elegant feel and eclectic attitude. Modern-day visitors can enjoy a variety of amenities and attractions – from cozy coffee shops to fine-dining restaurants, old-world bookstores to contemporary boutiques and world-class art to entertaining live music – all within a walkable distance. While you’re here, have your photo taken next to the world’s largest chess piece, which stands 14 feet tall in front of the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Boasting endless energy, the Central West End also hosts a legendary Halloween street party, which kicks off with daytime activities for the whole family and continues late into the evening with an adult-only bash.

The charming people and independent establishments evoke a feeling of community and create a sense of place throughout the neighborhood, and we invite you to experience it for yourself. After all, the American Planning Association did rank the Central West End among the top 10 neighborhoods in the country.