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Downtown Belleville's evolution sometimes looks like death, but buds keep growing

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Downtown Belleville has been "dying" since Oct. 31, 1974. That's when St. Clair Square mall opened in Fairview Heights. In 1977 the city decided to save its historic business district by reducing sign clutter, planting trees and trying to create an outdoor mall feeling. In 1985 a couple of indoor mini-malls were going to save downtown.

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