The Central West End Neighborhood (CWE) is located in the center of the city of St Louis. The borders of the neighborhood are formed by a short section of Lindell Blvd along Forest Park and Interstate 64 on the South, Vandeventer on the east, Delmar to the north, with the western border being formed by Union Blvd, between Delmar and Lindell, and Kingshighway, between Lindell and Interstate 64.
The streets in the Central West End and the neighborhoods close by are named for those who acquired the land after the Louisiana Purchase. Some of those names include Peter Lindell, William McPherson, Nathaniel Pendleton Taylor, Pierre Chouteau, Jr, Jules De Mun, John C. Cabanne, Thomas K. Skinker, William Forsyth and James C. Kingsbury. One of these landowners, John C. Cabanne, owned a large dairy farm that was located on the land that now sits between Lindell, Kingshighway, Delmar and Union. By the 1880's, these large tracts of land were subdivided for residential use.
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis is located in the Central West End. It known as the "new" Cathedral compared to the "old" Cathedral located in Downtown St. Louis on the Arch grounds. Archbishop John Glennon began the new cathedral construction in 1907 and it took 80 years to complete. On his visit to St. Louis in 1997, Pope John Paul II gave the designation of "Cathedral Basilica" to the cathedral. It is a St. Louis City Landmark.
Other churches in the area include First Church of Christ, Scientist, Second Baptist Church, St. John's Methodist Church, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, and many others. The Second Presbyterian Church is also located in the CWE and was designed by Theodore Link, the designer of St. Louis Union Station. It is designated as a St. Louis Landmark.
Forest Park, the gem of all St. Louis parks, is located on the western end of the Central West End. It was founded in 1876 and was the site of the 1904 World's Fair. Forest Park has many St. Louis attractions including the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Muny, the Missouri History Museum, Steinberg Ice Skating Rink, the James S. McDonnell Planetarium, the Norman K. Probstein Forest Park Golf Course and many other park features.
Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the flagship hospital of the BJC Healthcare System, is located in the Central West End. Two hospitals, Jewish, which was established in 1902, and Barnes, which opened in 1914, merged in 1997 to form this hospital, the Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
The Central West End Neighborhood has a variety of educational institutions located within its boundaries. The neighborhood is served by the St. Louis Public School District. The district has two schools located in the neighborhood, Metro Academic and Classical High School and the Stix Early Childhood Center, a Kindergarten through 2nd grade school. Also in the neighborhood is the Cathedral Basilica School of St. Louis, a private Catholic co-ed school with grades Preschool through 8th grade. The Catholic all girls school, Rosati-Kain High School, is also located in the Central West End. It was formed by the merger of the Rosati Center and the Kain High School in 1912. One other school is the private, independent New City School that offers education to students 3 years through 6th grade.
The Central West End had many influential and important residents in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Poet T.S. Eliot lived at 4446 Westminster Place, a home built by his father who was an architect and builder and the president of a local brick company. The novelist, Kate Chopin, lived on McPherson. She is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery. The Lambert family, of Lambert Airport fame, had the home built at 48 Portland Place. The famous St. Louis architect, Theodore Link, built 38 Portland Place in 1905 for the co-owners of the International Shoe Company, Oscar and Irene Johnson. Link also designed the Johnson's home in St. Albans, now the Studio Inn. The Queen Ann style mansion at 39 Portland Place was designed by the St. Louis architect, Albert Knell and was the home of William W. Culver, owner of the Wrought Iron Range Company. The playwright, Tennessee Williams, lived in an apartment building located on Westminster Place.