Studio Project

Dividing the City: Race-Restrictive Covenants in St. Louis and St. Louis County

Dividing the City documents the scope, timing, and geography of private racial restrictions on property in St. Louis and St. Louis County. Such restrictions were a key mechanism of racial segregation in the first half of the twentieth century. After the Supreme Court struck down explicitly racial zoning in 1917 (Buchanan v. Warley), local realtors, developers, and homeowners turned to the race-restrictive deed covenant as the next-best strategy.