“It’s just too short,” says St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, “It’s holding back our skyline.“. Slay cited monuments in other cities that a considerably taller such as Paris’ much older Eifel Tower, Seattle’s Space Needle and Toronto’s CN Tower. Not as tall but able to accommodate more people is the London Eye.
One concept floated in the cigar filled backrooms of city hall is to recreate a 19th century riverfront, complete with a walkable compact street grid and cast iron storefront buildings. “It would be so retro,” exclaims Barbara Geisman, Slay’s Deputy Director of Development, making reference to the 40 city block of warehouses the city tossed aside in the 1940’s.
Geisman continued, “We have simply run out of historic structures to demolish. The Arch was next on our list.”
Alderman Phyllis Young is not to keen on the walkable grid idea, “I drive a hybrid Prius so why would I walk anywhere. What the area needs is more drive-thrus like a Starbuck’s and a Walgreen’s.” The St Louis Development Corporation has already awarded the project to Steve Stogel. When SLDC director Rodney Crim was asked if an RFP (Request for Proposals) had been issued he simply responded with, “Oops, we forgot. Too late now.”
Stogel’s concept is for the world’s tallest parking garage with a McDonalds on the top level. “Take away one Arch,” Stogel said, “and replace it with two arches and parking for 2,000 cars. Imagine driving right into the monument and enjoying Chicken McNuggets while watching East St Louis flood!”
Obviously I’m having a bit of satirical fun, the Arch isn’t going anywhere. However the second of two public meetings on the future of the Arch Grounds will be held Tuesday July 1st, starting at 3pm at the Old Courthouse.
From the Post-Dispatch:
The National Park Service will hold the second of two open houses Tuesday to gather input on proposed improvements to the Arch grounds.
The open house will run from 3 to 6:30 p.m. at the Old Courthouse, 11 North Fourth Street. Ideas range from better connections to the surrounding city to a major new museum.