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A repost of Wade & Bea Crowders’ Wine Garden on McPherson

This is a reprint of a post from late summer, 2010. It’s Part 2 of  today’s “Remembering Wade Crowder.

” Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder
Bea and Wade Crowder, whom you may remember as the operators of a wildly popular pop-up shop on Euclid during the holiday season, are the kind of neighbors who have a perpetual welcome mat at their back gate. In fact they, and some of the same neighbors who drop by regularly for movie nights and impromptu gatherings, have created a wine garden in their backyard on McPherson.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder

If you look closely through the iron entry gate laced with tiny white lights (above), catch a glimpse of Mark Crowder (Wade’s brother) sculpture in the side yard.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder

From details such as the handsome architectural artifacts hanging on a garage wall and the back of the house, to the beautiful plantings, I was charmed by the clever use of space.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder

For instance, I assumed that the elephant ear surrounded by greenery next to the backsteps (above) was planted in a bed. Instead the plants are in pots and arranged to look as if they are in-ground.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   <

A fashionable buddha with a sweet potato vine skirt sports a stylish head wrap and amber-colored beads.
Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder

The Crowders have lived in their house on McPherson since 1988. When they decided to invest energy into transforming a rather desolate backyard, they cleverly invited the neighbors to help. Wade had six pallets of brick delivered to the alley, and fourteen people showed up to pitch in. The men carried the bricks, while the women put them in place. Four hours later they were toasting the fruits of their labor with glasses of wine.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder St. Louis MO Mark Crowder Central West End Bea Crowder

Wade was also a very talented artist. This is a drawing I photographed during that visit.

Remembering Wade Crowder

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Uncategorized Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder Straub's Markets Central West End Association Bea Crowder

I keep thinking about Wade Crowder, above, and our occasional encounters at Straub’s, where I last saw him about a month ago. We chatted about recipes and how much we both loved to cook, and that turned into a discussion about some bit of neighborhood news. That’s the kind of man Wade was, an easy conversationalist, whether the topic was gardening, art, fashion, and especially the CWE.

Judging from the huge number of people who gathered at Brennan’s BeeHive June 1 to celebrate Wade’s life and shower their love on Bea and their daughters, it was apparent that many friends came from all over the St. Louis area. There were former neighbors from the 4400 block of McPherson where the Crowders lived for 27 years, and where Wade became known as the “Mayor of McPherson.” There were people Wade met while tending gardens, or would-be-gardens, at the cul-de-sacs at Maryland & Boyle and McPherson & Taylor, and those who got to know Wade through the annual holiday pop-up shops he and Bea operated each holiday season. Those pop-ups, which began in 2010, were the first ones CWEnders experienced in the neighborhood. The boutiques surfaced in a different CWE location each year. This past winter, Wade transformed what had been Herbie’s cafe into a colorful bazaar of wonderful blankets, scarves, hats, gloves, etc., at unbelievable prices. See previous posts on the pop-ups here and here.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Uncategorized Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder Straub's Markets Central West End Association Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Uncategorized Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder Straub's Markets Central West End Association Bea Crowder

The photo above was taken for a 2011 post: “The final picture in today’s post shows Zhu Wei’s China China sporting appropriate red scarves from Bea and Wade Crowder’s pop-up shop, above, located next to Starbucks.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Uncategorized Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder Straub's Markets Central West End Association Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Uncategorized Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder Straub's Markets Central West End Association Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Uncategorized Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder Straub's Markets Central West End Association Bea Crowder

Photography by Cheryl Tadin

In January 2015 Wade, photographed with CWEA past president Doug Teasdale, was presented with The Polk Award at the 56th Annual Meeting of the Central West End Association. 

Each year the CWEA presents two awards at the annual meeting. The Polk Award is presented to an individual who has exhibited outstanding support and/or contributions to the betterment of the neighborhood. This year the Polk Award was presented to Wade Crowder, above left, “for his singular dedication to the enhancement and ongoing maintenance of the streetscape in the Cathedral Square District. Examples of the many initiatives undertaken by Crowder include: Refurbishment of the historic-style lamps & posts throughout the district; cleanup and ongoing maintenance of the vacant and overgrown lot on the northwest corner of Maryland & Boyle; and beautification of numerous overlooked patches of ground by creating and maintaining new gardens.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Uncategorized Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder Straub's Markets Central West End Association Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Uncategorized Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder Straub's Markets Central West End Association Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Uncategorized Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder Straub's Markets Central West End Association Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Uncategorized Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder Straub's Markets Central West End Association Bea Crowder

Wade, a gifted artist, emailed in April 2011 that I should stop by to see Mona McPherson, whom he had just painted on his garage. Read post on alley art here.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Uncategorized Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder Straub's Markets Central West End Association Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Uncategorized Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder Straub's Markets Central West End Association Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Uncategorized Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder Straub's Markets Central West End Association Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Uncategorized Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder Straub's Markets Central West End Association Bea Crowder   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Uncategorized Urban Gardens  Wade Crowder Straub's Markets Central West End Association Bea Crowder

I regret that this last photograph of another of Wade’s drawings isn’t as good as it could be, but it shows another dimension of this talented man.

In Wade’s honor, Bea Crowder and her daughters are planning to plant several trees around the neighborhood, which seems a fitting tribute for a wonderfully generous and engaged CWEnder.

Rest in peace, Wade.

Update on successful 46th Annual CWEA Home and Garden Tour

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Urban Gardens  Fullerton's Westminster Place Central West End Association

Last weekend the CWEA Home and Garden Tour, which had been on hiatus for a year, returned with gusto to stunning Fullerton’s Westminster Place. Kelly Waters, president of the association, reported that 1800 people toured 10 stately mansions in the 4300-4400 blocks of Westminster, Saturday and Sunday, June 10 & 11. In addition, 150 people attended the preview party on Friday evening, June 9, where they received an advanced peek at the homes plus 1 that was open for that evening only. Neighborhood restaurants that helped make the preview party a success were Wildflower, which provided food for the guests, and Bar Louie, which provided the drinks.

Without the generosity of the residents of Fullerton’s Westminster Place, especially the 10 homeowners who worked for months in advance to get their homes and gardens ready, the board of the Central West End Association, which devoted countless hours to planning the event, and the assistance of 288 volunteers, who guided tour-goers throughout the historic homes and gardens, this stellar event could not have occurred, or been the success that it was. Last weekend’s picture-perfect weather was certainly a contributing factor to the huge turnout.

Shown under the welcome tent, above left, are Kelly Waters, president of the Central West End Association, and Jess Batchelor, director, right.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Urban Gardens  Fullerton's Westminster Place Central West End Association   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Urban Gardens  Fullerton's Westminster Place Central West End Association

At the preview party, Mayor Lyda Krewson dedicated a plaque commemorating the 125th anniversary of Fullerton’s Westminster Place. The plaque is located at the intersection of Westminster Place and Newstead Avenue.

The 2017 home and garden tour was presented by Shriners Hospitals for Children & BAM Marketing Agency. Sponsors included Paul and Amy Mittelstadt, Bissinger’s, Straub’s, PNC Mortgage, Citizen Park, Powers Insurance, CWE North Community Improvement District, Whole Foods, Town ‘n Style Magazine, Bar Louie, Lawrence Group, and Enterprise Bank & Trust.