Marine Villa is a neighborhood in St. Louis City. It is located south of downtown, from Cherokee Street (north) to Meramec Street (south) and from Jefferson Street (west) to the Mississippi River (east).
The name and boundaries of this tiny enclave came into existence in 1968, the name evidently chosen as a tribute to the large number of rivermen that once had their own community in the area. The old Marine Hospital, one of several hospitals authorized by an act of Congress in 1837 for the treatment of sick and disabled rivermen, was located at Marine and Winnebago Street, a site currently occupied by the National Record of Archives. At Winnebago and Jefferson can be found the Concordia Publishing House, founded in 1869 as part of the Concordia Seminary, now located in Clayton. The publisher remains one of the nation's leading producers of religious texts.
Marine Villa also lies within what was originally the southern end of the St. Louis Commons, French-owned Indian reservation land whose sale was authorized in 1836. The Lemp Mansion, now serving as a restaurant and inn, and the hulking shell of a brewery complex offer two glimpses into the community's history as home to the City's largest brewer at the end of the nineteenth century. Developed gradually from the northeast, the north-south streets of Marine Villa were named for states of the Union, while the east-west streets bear names of various Native American tribes. By 1875, housing was fairly dense north of Chippewa Street, while sections to the West and South were rural in character, including farm plots, orchards, and grape arbors.
The Marine Villa Improvement Association, Inc., was founded in 1968 and has since served residents as a means of maintaining and improving living standards, communicating with government agencies, and ensuring that zoning and housing regulations are enforced strictly within the neighborhood.
Other neighborhood organizations include the Chippewa Business Association, the Antique Row Business Association, the Chippewa Broadway Jefferson Development Corporation, and Churches Committed to Community Concerns.
The Salvation Army Hope Center for Children, established in 1977, provides residential and outpatient services for abused and neglected children from birth through age 12 and is the only agency in Missouri-and one of the few in the country-that offers a comprehensive continuum of services specifically designed to meet the needs of very young children.