Lynn Marie Alexander

St. Louis
About the Speaker

Lynn Marie Alexander is the Director and Archivist of The Hill Neighborhood Center, a tourist resource and neighborhood repository of verbal and material Hill history (2016-present). She authored The Hill: St. Louis's Italian American Neighborhood (Reedy Press, 2020) currently in its second run. She earned a Masters in British History at UMKC (2011), and a Masters at Keele University, Staordshire, UK in International Relations (1989). She was an adjunct professor at KCK Community College (1991-2015), Johnson County Community College (2008-2015), UMKC (2010-2011) teaching courses in American history and government and political science.

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Underwritten Presentations Available

The Hill: Yikes! We're trendy now?

The presenter provides a brief history of The Hill's growth as an Italian immigrant community beginning in the 1890s. The neighborhood's institutions such as St. Ambrose serves as the neighborhood's anchor while its restaurants draw customers from all over the region. The questions this presentation explores are how did The Hill turn from a night out couples' dinner into a tourist destination with buses full of people from areas outside of the metro area spending an entire day?  Is The Hill community losing identity because of it's own success or is the neighborhood on the cusp of a new kind of opportunity? There are small communities throughout Missouri that are experiencing similar dynamics who can relate and bring insight into the questions posed.

The Hill: Its History and Its People

St. Louis' Hill neighborhood is one of the last in-tact Italian American enclaves in the United States. The presentation explores the neighborhood's origin, even before the Italian immigrants arrived, through more than one hundred years' worth of challenges and opportunities. Numerous people came from The Hill including accomplished and professional athletes, opera divas, a nationally recognized priest, authors, poet laureate, chefs, and business families three and four generations deep. The Hill continues to tell the stories of the immigrant experience at its best.

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