The time and place seemed all wrong. But in the depths of the Great Depression, Harry Brinkop emptied the bank to bet on a South Side spot for a new shopping center. He came up all aces. The yet-unpaved intersection Brinkop chose when he started his Boulevard Frontage Company in 1930 was Chippewa Street and Hampton Avenue. Some might have doubted Brinkop’s wisdom when his first building opened at the end of December 1939. But today, Hampton Village remains vibrant.
The story of Harry Brinkop is just one of the tales in the Second Edition of Jim Merkel’s Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch: St. Louis’s South Side. It’s available in bookstores and on line.