Continuing our look a the intersection of Cherokee Street and California Avenue, let's seek part of the evolution of present La Vallesana. The home of the "Taco Stand" was actually the site of a home. 2801 Cherokee Street had a two and half story late 1800's home. As Cherokee Street transitioned into commercial buildings, several of the larger homes were converted to commercial purposes. By the 1930's, 2801 Cherokee was home to Lillian Rae Beauty Shop.
Photo: Looking west on Cherokee at California on April 19, 1932.
Photo: April 19, 1932. 2801 Cherokee, side entry sign reads, "Lillian Rae Beauty Shop".
As time moved on, the house was demolished. The D&W Snack Shop was built in 1950 at 2801 Cherokee Street. D&W Snackshop was owned by Leo White. It was named after Delaney and White and White bought out Delaney.
Photo: D&W Snack Shop in the 1980's.
Photo: Interior shot of D&W Snackshop.
Mr. White retired from the sandwich shop in 1985. His retirement was short lived as he was kidnapped from his Compton Heights home (3020 Hawthorne Blvd) and murdered in June of 1991. His body was recovered in East St. Louis.
The D & W building was significantly remodeled in 1987. The new version of the building had several uses over the years such as a travel agency, video rental, general store, ice cream shop, and restaurant. La Vallesana was the last owner of the building.
La Vallesana (The Taco Stand) was demolished and replaced with a new, larger restaurant designed by Killeen Studio Architects in 2011.
Photo: La Vallesana after reopening in 2011. Killeen Studio Architects
The new building makes better use of the land and is considered a local attraction. It's wonderful to see a significant investment in our growing community.
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