Rock Hill is a beautiful little municipality located in St. Louis County, closest to it’s neighboring cities Kirkwood and Webster Groves. The majority of the homes were built in the 50’s and have been updated and maintained beautifully. Rock Hill is bursting with great restaurants, and shops just minutes away!
In business since 1890, Trainwreck Saloon on Manchester is the oldest continually operated bar in St. Louis County.
Business first developed east of Deer Creek. Windom was the Rock Hill area serviced by railroad east of the river bounded by Brentwood Boulevard and Litzinger Road. Windom stop, later “Mentor”, had a post office where mail was delivered weekly. West of Deer Creek a number of dairy and produce farms developed.
The Hacienda restaurant building on Manchester Road was the home built by steamboat captain Mils T. Redmon in 1861. In 1951 the house became a restaurant called Chalet De Normandie, owned by the Ledait family, and later Parente’s Italian Village. In 1968, it was St. Louis’ first full-service Mexican eatery. It was called Oliver’s until 1977, when it became Hacienda.
In July 1997 Landside Resources Inc. began constructing McKnight Crossing, a $5.5 million 40,000-square-foot mixed-use space anchored by Hollywood Video. In April Landside had agreed to purchase the Fairfax House from the Rock Hill Improvement Association and pay for its restoration and relocation across the road to Rock Hill Presbyterian Church.
In May 1999 the Board of Alderman selected Sansone Development over Landside Resources for redevelopment of McKnight and Manchester. In October Sansone withdrew from the project. Sansone told Rock Hill later that year it wanted to scale back the development area from 25 acres to 16, just the northwest corner. After the city reopening the bid process Rock Hill agreed in April 2000 to allow Sansone to develop 16 acres, financed by up to $7 million in tax-increment financing. Sansone withdrew its proposal again in September 2000 citing city delays that meant surrounding development projects had progressed so much as to make the 16-acre proposal infeasible. The city re-bid the projects and received 40-acre plans from Regency Realty and THF Realty and an additional 25-acre plan from Regency. In April 2001 both developers retracted their bids amid a firestorm of resident opposition against the proposals.
In 2001 RSI Kitchen & Bath purchased the three-acre former Stivers car dealership property on Manchester for construction of its main showroom. In December 2000 Quebecor World began talks with city officials to acquire the city hall for a potential expansion of the adjacent Sayers Printing Company. In August 2002 Quebecor World Sayers closed its 3.5-acre property.
In January 2004 the Board of Aldermen selected Novus Companies to develop 36.9 acres at the southwest and northwest corners of Manchester and McKnight roads. In March 2005 the Board of Aldermen approved the $95 million mixed-use development, called Market at McKnight. The buy-out area targeted 126 properties on the north corner, and 48 properties, including 15 homes, on the south side. Demolition began in August 2006. In May 2007 Rock Hill sought a second request for proposals when over half of north-side property owners were unsatisfied with Novus’ buy-out offers and Novus sought an additional $7 million in TIF. In December 2007 the Board of Alderman replaced Novus with Miller Weingarten and Hutkin Properties on the northwest redevelopment site and increased the TIF from $18 million to $26.7 million. The south Market at McKnight opened in November 2007. By January 2010 the development area was 60 percent leased. In April 2014 Novus announced its second anchor for the development, 27,000-square-foot Lucky’s Market.
In June 2005 the Board of Aldermen approved Mills Properties’ request to build an 84-unit apartment complex on 7.7 acres on McKnight Road.
In 2006 Rock Hill joined the Webster Groves/Shrewsbury Area Chamber of Commerce.
In December 2008 Target delayed its plans for a store on the northwest development by nine months, citing the global credit crisis. In March 2009 Target canceled its planned location. Miller Weingarten ended its involvement in May. The 27-acre north development area was reduced to 2.9 acres in October 2010.
The recreation program was set in motion in 1971 by mayor Lincoln Wagner. In June 1972 mayor Jess Stroup created a citizen parks and recreation commission to build a city park. One of the recreation commission’s first acts was to create a summer day camp program for children. By October 1974 the city signed a contract to begin construction of a half-acre park. Dedicated in June 1975, the two-acre park had two tennis courts, two handball courts, two shuffleboard courts and horseshoe pits. In 1976 the city hired Genie Zakrzewski to direct the parks and recreation program. By June 1982, the city had added four more parks:
The five parks cost $325,000 to build, with three quarters of the amount coming from federal and state programs.
After the Rock Hill Parks and Recreation building was demolished, the tennis courts at Rock Hill park remained until the park was closed and dismantled in 2017.
Two additional parks have also been built:
Over half of residents had visited a city park in that last year, according to a 2009 survey commissioned by the city. Seventy-six percent of respondents felt the parks needed improvements. Oakhaven Park was the most used, followed by Stroup Field.
The Rock Hill Presbyterian Church was built by slaves in 1847 at what is now Manchester and McKnight roads. It was the oldest operating Presbyterian church west of the Mississippi River until 2010 when its congregation left. The United African Presbyterian Church congregation occupied the building until 2011 when the Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery sold the property to a gas station. In July 2011 the Board of Aldermen approved construction under the condition that the gas station owners attempt to rehome the church. In April 2012 Cedar Lake Cellars began moving the church at its own expense to its winery in Foristell, Missouri.
Three time capsules were buried on the church property between 1845 and 1958. The later two (from 1935 and 1958) were recovered and opened in May. The third, its location having never been recorded, was never found.
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