Bankers are not often asked to be a co-author of a book with urban scholars. Nor do many of us encounter the opportunity to take part in meetings so broadly based and forward looking as the Cities' Congress on Roads to Recovery. The visual evidence of a resurgent downtown with the promise of more redevelopment to come helped create confidence in the city's future and made it easier for those who still had faith to persuade the doubters. Some people believe that a city's downtown and its neighborhoods are locked into a zerosum contest and that any public incentives to downtown revival and growth must be at the expense of neighborhoods. Soulard is believed to be the oldest intact neighborhood west of the Mississippi. Traditionally it has housed immigrants. The need for patience and perseverance has been amply demonstrated in a major downtown project that the Mercantile Bank initiated.