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Thirtieth Anniversary of Richard Serra’s Twain

May 1, 2012 Downtown, Featured, Popular Culture 51 Comments

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the dedication of ‘Twain’ by Richard Serra, easily the most hated or misunderstood art in St. Louis (depending upon your viewpoint).

ABOVE: Construction of "Twain" in 1981. ® Robert Pettus, used with permission

I tried to arrange a party for tonight to celebrate the anniversary. I had  a lighting designer and manufacturer willing to temporarily light the sculpture. But nobody with deep pockets or art world connections were willing to lift a finger. We’ve got abandoned buildings  galore but we also have an abandoned city block with art by a well known artist.

ABOVE: Is this how we want to present ourselves to visitors?

Being inside Twain is amazing, the sense of enclosure changes your perception of the surroundings. People do wonder inside and when they do they get it also.

ABOVE: Once you pass through one of the narrow openings the inside is spacious.

Below is from dedication day, May 1, 1982. Original film footage by Merrill Bauer.


Hopefully some day we can connect this block to Citygarden to the east.

– Steve Patterson



Currently there are "51 comments" on this Article:

  1. RyleyinSTL says:

    There is nothing inviting anyone inside this thing.  I bet most out-of-towners (or locals scared of/disinterested in downtown) look at this thing and see some kind of unfinished public works project. Your picture of the muddy puddle highlights the problem.  Regrading, lighting and perhaps some signage would help to make this thing relevant but ultimately I’d like to see City Garden expanded onto this property. 

    • Chris says:

      Serra supposedly refused to allow anyone to change the current design, including lighting.

  2. Boterosculpture says:

    Nobody from C.A.M. or S.L.A.M. wanted to help you recognize this ‘work’? Shocking! Haaaaahaaaaa….

  3. JZ71 says:

    The best solution (short of scrapping it) would be to encourage graffiti piecers to improve it / use it as an “approved” canvas for their artistic endeavors . . . .

  4. RobbyD says:

    The thing should be removed.

  5. Msrdls says:

    We studied Serra’s ‘TWAIN’ in graduate school. Actually we studied the foundation structure. Our assignment was to develop an alternate foundation support system based on several different soils conditions, yet achieving identical wind-loading and load bearing capabilities. Most of us paid little attention to the art form. 

    A high school art teacher once commented that the attractiveness of art/sculpture, be it what it may, lies very much in the eyes of the beholder, as we’ve all heard forever, but he went on to mention that what one observer can live with, another would detest. Therefore, the true artist creates because he has to. He creates that which he likes. He does not create for the general public–his creations are personal. According to this teacher, art has never been solely concerned with the true, the good, the beautiful. Throughout history, art has depicted the gruesome and the grotesque. Look at the paintings of Bosch and the wood cuts of Durer for proof.

    He asked us to alway remain open to a new/different art form–because all art, to some extent, is a reflection of what goes on around it. By necessity, the ugliness must be recorded alongside the beauty. Without one, one cannot know the difference.

    Ever read much of Emily Dickenson? 

    • bailorg says:

      Except this isn’t in an art museum or dedicated sculpture park, it’s taking up an entire downtown city block.  Even if the site was well-maintained, the sculpture itself, with its rust-tinged, discolored metal, just is too off-putting for such a prominent location.   

      • Msrdls says:

        @bailorg: This isn’t going to make you like or dislike the Serra artwork  any more, but the steel is not necessarily discolored. The steel specified is called “weathering steel” (sometimes referred to as Cor-Ten steel) fabricated from a group of steel alloys developed to eliminate the need for painting. It develops a rust-like appearance (some who like it refer to it affectionately as a sort of patina) once it is exposed to the weather. Actuallly the “weathering” forms a protective surface, preserving  the steel below the surface from additional deterioration.  The good news/bad news is that it will last almost forever….and forever is a long, long time!!! …..talk about enduring art!!

        • bailorg says:

          I realize that the look is intentional and while I don’t actually hate the work per se, I just don’t think the positive aspects of the work outweigh the negatives.

          The primary negative is that the structure itself just isn’t at all inviting unless you are one of the few people who is attracted to “the gruesome and grotesque”.  I could easily see how people could walk right by and think Twain is just some abandoned project that didn’t get finished.  Good public art should attract and engage, not repel.

          The second is that many of the views that the gaps in Twain were meant to frame just aren’t there anymore due to certain buildings going down and others going up.

          Third, even if you do decide to explore Twain, you almost need someone there to explain it to you and/or point out how to approach it.  It seems like nearly everyone who appreciates Twain on any level had either studied it in a class or had someone walk them through it. Good prominent public art shouldn’t need to be explained.

          • It wasn’t meant to frame a specific building, it was meant to frame the city. The person parking on the street, a group walking by on the sidewalk, etc. We’ve failed the piece by not keeping it illuminated and maintained.

          • Eric says:

             Illumination only matters at night… The grass get mowed, the metal is supposed to look dull. So except for mud pools in the corners, what maintainance is needed?

          • Not much. The ground is very uneven inside and out, it needs to be regraded to create a level walking surface. Extend the “hallway” from Citygarden and that’s all it needs other than the lighting. Connecting to Citygarden along with an artist statement to explain the piece would do wonders for the public perception.

          • JZ71 says:

            And what should happen to the trees?  They don’t appear to have been a part of the original installation.  (Are they like ivy on architecture, aimed at hiding expensive visual mistakes, or are they a traditional “park” response for a non-traditional art installation?)

          • I’m fairly certain the groupings of trees were part of the original plan. We can do some research and since Serra is still living we can simply ask for his input.

          • Msrdls says:

            Honestly, I suspect that 90% of visitors walk past ‘Twain’  and fail to give it a second thought. It’s just there, and only the really curious visitor or resident might go out of his way to explore it. I know for certain that I am one person who would likely have walked past the piece the first time I saw it in person, had I not been more familiar with some of its hidden parts. To place a sign next to the “thing” to explain how to use it….or how to enjoy it…seems almost insulting to Serra. To illuminate it seems like a good idea to me, but some artists types would probably object to such a dramatic reshaping of their creations. (I’ve often wondered if “someone” might have rolled over in his grave the first evening when the Arch was illuminated!) The last time I visited the Serra Sculpture with my family, the temperature outside was in the high 90s, and we could detect a strong urine odor. So I figured the wall was serving some purpose afterall.

          • Twain was illuminated on the day it was dedicated.

          • Lisa says:

            “Only the really curious visitor or resident might go out of his way to explore it.” Fabulous! The reason I first ventured inside was to follow my elementary aged boys. I immediately understood that it was something more special than the upkeep would suggest. If it could become a part of CityGarden, then an explanation of how to use it would be included in the brochure. A little regrading to eliminate the puddles and care of the surrounding landscaping would go a long way to making this an inviting space.

          • JZ71 says:

            I agree.  The site today:  http://g.co/maps/dcu5y

      • samizdat says:

         That is CorTen steel, which has a slightly higher percentage of copper included in the mix. The “rust” you see is actually a patina, designed to protect the metal from corrosion. Having said that, there have been instances where the product has been misapplied, and has corroded anyway.


        I think one of the problems with this site is the positioning of the work at grade, not only from an aesthetic point of view, but from the vantage of seeing how poor maintenance of the grounds has caused the site to decay to the condition we see in the photograph.

        I believe the one of the reasons which lead many people to dislike this and other such large-scale public works is that the human mind is unfamiliar with these abstract shapes. We are much more comfortable with flowers, mountains, bowls of fruit, our own reflections as humans in a painting or sculpture. We even recognize the peculiar shapes of Picasso as ourselves, but what do we do with this sculpture? We have a difficult time processing the types of fabrications we see in the works of Serra and others (though I do admit to often feeling perplexed by a number of the works of Dadaists, and the efforts of many of the so-called Post-Modernists from the eighties just seem lazy, and they piss me off).

        In the end, I suppose that seeing the human mind at work in this piece and most works of art is a gratifying and pleasant experience. Our capacity to create is a beautiful thing, and in most respects it can be extremely rewarding. Unfortunately, we have seemed, over the last one hundred years or so, to devote a considerable and dangerous amount of human capital on implements, actions, and tools which can destroy only, and often in the space of a milli-second.

        Frankly, I’ll take this sculpture, in all of its abstract mystery, over a “Stealth” bomber or the slaughter of innocents by drone attack (a war crime, BTW, Mr. Obama; no need to worry though: it would appear that in this Age the powerful and the wealthy–and those in law enforcement and politics who aid and abet their crimes–are not subject to the rule of law). It would seem that we have forgotten as a species who we really are, and the creativity of artists of all types is a reminder to us as a species that developing weapons that could wipe out civilizations, and despoiling the planet for profit–at the expense of human and other animal life–is an aberration, an abhorrent defect, or anomaly, of modern humans. Sadly, the Destructors and the Criminals seem to be winning. Unfortunately for the bulk of humanity, their prize is oblivion.

        If you need me, I’ll be standing in front of a Max Beckmann piece in the Art Museum, giving thanks to the memory of the artist, and Morton D. May.

        • bailorg says:

          You do realize that the world is a less violent place than it ever has been, right?


          • samizdat says:

             Violence comes to us in many forms. The application of force by physical means is only one of the ways by which violence is visited upon humanity.

        • Msrdls says:

          Interesting point you brought up, Samizdat, about misapplication of Cor Ten, resulting in corrosion. I assume by “corrosion” you are suggesting that the surface corrosion has not protected the underlayers of the steel, and those layers have continued to corrode. I talked a few minutes ago with an engineer I know with Thyssen-Krupp in southern Alabama, and he knows of no instances where this is happening. While use of Cor Ten is Serra’s trademark,  its use would probably be discouraged adjacent to a sidewalk due to potential surface-water-runoff and subsequent  sidewalk staining. And certain architects in Southern California, who tend to specify Cor Ten frequently, have found that, if used in areas where certain types of birds fly over frequently, the Cor Ten tends to patina more irregularly than they had hoped for. It was used by Drake Partnership, a once prominent St. Louis health-care architectural firm, for the exterior face of a bridge that (once) linked Bethesda Hospital with SLU Hospital. I believe the bridge can now be visited only in the architectural history books.

          • samizdat says:

             With regard to CorTen, I had read a few online tracts about this product (I’m kind of a nerd about this sort of thing) and had read of a few instances where there was actual corrosion, but these were rather few in number. It is possible that I misinterpreted the articles, but nonetheless, whatever the case may be, I am a fan of CorTen. There’s a kind of beauty in the notion of time adding to the aesthetic appeal of the steel. We see patina on copper and brick, and stone, but the CorTen seems to defy our notions about what should happen to ferrous metals over time. I actually wouldn’t mind having a simple sheet of CorTen, say, oh, about two inches thick, six or eight feet tall, two feet wide, standing guard, much like the Monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey, in my front yard. Don’t suppose your engineer friend could hook me up, could he? Cheers.

  6. Wqcuncleden says:

    This thing in my opinion is just as ugly as that rusting piece of CRAP at the entrance to the zoo.  There’s another thing we got stuck with just because some old bag wanted to give it too us..  Yea, she GAVE it too us all right, because nobody else wanted it!!!

    • Adam says:

      “we” didn’t get stuck with anything. i think animals always is fantastic, and i love the rusted look of the steel. weathering has actually made it look better, which is more than i can say for twain. i think you’re going to find that a lot of people disagree with you on that one. twain… not so much disagreement.

  7. Ra says:

    Anyone who considers this to be aesthetically pleasing has to be nothing short of delusional.  

  8. The Sierra sculpture was created with its original context in mind, a context which no longer exists.

    • Msrdls says:

      Interesting point. Can you expand?

    • Wrong Herbie. Look at the 1981 photo, the context was nothing. The intent of Serra was to be inside the piece and look outward to view the city through the slots. Serra knew surrounding blocks would change over time.

      • JZ71 says:

        Wrong Steve – the context HAS changed and evolved.  Whether the artist anticipated the changes and developed his installation to respond to them is open to discussion, but both the block the piece is located on and many of the surrounding blocks have seen significant changes.  For one thing, the sculpture was originally located on a treeless block; the block is now a veritable forest.  For another, both Citygarden and the AT&T building were constructed, while several other, older structures were demolished.  Going from “nothing” to something IS change.

      • If Twain was built to accommodate a significantly changing urban environment, then moving the sculpture won’t destroy its artistic vision.

        • Eric says:

           Depends how the environment has changed though. All said, it’s a pretty low and flat sculpture – you could say it contrasts well with the tall buildings surrounding it. And standing inside, you can see tall buildings much better than short ones. Throughout the sculpture’s lifetime it has been surrounded by tall buildings, and presumably that was intentional. If you moved the sculpture anywhere outside downtown, there wouldn’t be tall buildings next door. So maybe that would take away from the artistic vision. And moving it somewhere else in downtown doesn’t sound like much of an improvement.

        • Serra has said it was designed for that block, based on the slope of the land. It is pointing toward the river. It is site specific, moving it is to destroy it.

  9. GMichaud says:

    Typical St. Louis, some people don’t like the sculpture so it should be demolished or defaced. No wonder St. Louis is considered a backwater. There is nothing but a bunch of hoosiers here, I guess if it is converted to another fab parking lot everything will be okay then.
    (Notice they don’t complain about and ask for demolition of the inordinate number of parking lots, I guess they fit the hoosier aesthetic to a T).

    • RyleyinSTL says:

      You could choose to look at it that way but I don’t think you’d find anyone here that would rather see it replaced with a parking lot or car park.

      Downtown is one of the few places in this city with increased population growth.  Perhaps it’s time to remove such a large art piece, one that has been forgotten/neglected, and give the land a chance to serve the population in a more fulfilling way.

      Yes it’s true that St. Louis, like many other US cities, did a disservice to itself by destroying much of it’s historic urban density. Perhaps the very thing that made it interesting and vital.  You might feel that the removal of this art would be metaphoric of these past errors.  Or perhaps it is a sign that we are learning from our mistakes and wish to return the and to more urban friendly purposes? 

    • Eric says:

      Parking provides a service to people. Yeah, I know there’s already too much parking, but I don’t think the average commuter to downtown thinks that. You’d have to explain it to him and even so he might have different priorities. Whereas the sculpture obviously has no practical use. Its only justification for remaining is artistic value, but most people here seem to think it doesn’t have any.

      • GMichaud says:

         My response about parking was tongue in cheek, leave to the people in St. Louis to embrace the idea of parking at the site of the Twain Sculpture. The past errors are in autocentric designs and the consequences. Leave to hoosier St. Louis to embrace parking while ignoring art and culture. It would all generate a huge laugh if it was not so sad.

  10. JZ71 says:

    Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.  Much of modern art stretches the definitions of traditional “art”, and this piece certainly does that.  I don’t find it to be particularily attractive, and I certainly don’t really “understand” it, but I see no great need to remove it, either.  It’s one of many backdrops for urban living, it adds something “important” to the city, and it’s not offensive.  Until a better use is defined for this block, we’re better leaving it alone than just having another non-descript, grassy, vacant parcel in the heart of our fair city.

  11. loki03xlh says:

    Move it to the urban prarie of North City.

  12. GMichaud says:

    In response to Herbie and in general I will build upon a few things Steve has been saying. The shape and footprint of Twain is an artistic interpretation of the existing foundations of the Arch.
    In fact the very shape of Twain not only mimics the Arch it is the only block in the Gateway Mall that is totally dedicated to the language of art in speaking to and relating to the Arch.
    In many ways Serra does a far better job of urban connectivity than the City of St. Louis itself. Twain validates the Gateway Mall in a way that Kiener Plaza, nor the Citygarden could ever do.
    Twain and Serra are speaking directly to the Arch, other projects are only designed for external use and could be located anywhere, not so Twain which is intimately connected in shape, form and meaning to the Arch.
    But let me continue, has anyone ever been inside a sculpture? Twain offers that experience and it is the ability to see through frames as Steve called them, to the windows of the changing city. It does not matter if there are trees, tall buildings, short buildings, traffic, winter and other seasons, people looking in or walking by, all of humanity is framed by the openings in Twain. They are the windows to urban life. Yet the interior of Twain is also a meditative place.

    Of course it takes imagination to see any of this and to see the foundation of Twain connecting to the Arch, but that is exactly the intention of the artist Serra, to make Twain a part of the Arch through the unspoken and unseen continuation of Twain through space.
    Msdrls does a great job of explaining Cor-Ten steel, but even there the contrast, the respect given to the Stainless Steel Arch and its permanence is contrasted artistically to the rust of Cor-Ten. It speaks to the impermanence of man, to life and man’s objects. (Will the Arch be in place in 1000 years?, how about Twain?)
    I could go on trying to explain how I feel Twain enhances the Arch and the Gateway Mall, there is no doubt in my mind that it does and it cannot be moved or destroyed without destroying its value as a sculpture and diminishing the Gateway Mall as an urban concept. What’s worse the destruction of Twain  weakens the value of the Arch upon the city. It would make the Arch a disconnected and almost meaningless monument if Twain was removed or destroyed.
    I realize there are people only can only relate to traditional forms, for example lets say Mayor Slay on a horse with armour around his body. That would satisfy the traditionalists, but at the same time it would not have the same soaring meaning to St. Louis, to the Arch and to humanity.

    • Msrdls says:

      Wow!, GMichaud, your explanation is as succinct and articulate as anything Kate Turabian ever tried to get us to express when we took Freshman English Comp 101 in college. Thanks for your explanation. I was wrong (above comments) when I suggested that to post an explanation of  the piece of artwork would cheapen it. Your explanation suggests that the art and artist are a product of his time and culture, reflected in the work he produces. Good art should produce a strong sensation, although the specific interpretation is subjective. If a piece of art produces a universal sensation, how you personally interpret this sensation depends on your life and memories. But if you take the time to learn the “story” of the piece, the artist’s point will become more evident. Next time I’m near the sculpture, I’ll enter the enclosure, turn off my cell phone, and try to find a place to sit. Maybe like Ralph W. Emerson would do.

    • bailorg says:

      “Msdrls does a great job of explaining Cor-Ten steel, but even there the contrast, the respect given to the Stainless Steel Arch and its permanence is contrasted artistically to the rust of Cor-Ten. It speaks to the impermanence of man, to life and man’s objects. (Will the Arch be in place in 1000 years?, how about Twain?)”
      This I suppose highlights both the positive and negative aspects of the piece to me.  The rust, the view of Twain as a sort of a broken, irregularly-shaped arch, and just the time in which it was built all in contrast to the early-1960’s gleaming optimism of the Gateway Arch makes it difficult for me to view Twain as anything but a monument to urban decay. Yes, Twain makes a powerful artistic statement to me, but ultimately I just find it depressing.

    • JZ71 says:

      GM – in your explanation, you state several times that the Serra piece makes references to the “shape and footprint” of the arch.  Knowing to look for that, I agree.  But much like spending significant time in architecture creating patterns and making subtle links in plan form, most of us don’t experience the world that way, in 2D.  We’re looking ahead, not down, and all most of us see, here, are 8 flat pieces of rusting steel (of equal height), stuck in the ground, kind of, but not precisely, in the shape of a triangle.  The only way to really “understand” Serra’s arch allusions, apparently, is to view the piece from an upper floor in an adjacent building, and that’s simply not an option for most of us.

      Call me dense, call me a Luddite, but subtle allusions in art, especially public art, usually escape me – I like (or not) what I see and I don’t need a lot of back story.  So, for me, IF the pieces were more precisely set in the shape of triangle, the allusion would be clearer.  IF the piece were adjacent to the arch grounds, not eight blocks away, the allusion would be clearer.  IF there weren’t buildings separating the piece and the arch, the alusion would be clearer.  But I really don’t need the allusions, I want something that is attractive, and the biggest symbolism I get out of rusty slabs of steel is an homage to our faded, industrial past, not any sort of engagement with its urban surroundings or “a soaring meaning to St. Louis” nor any optimism for the future.

      • GMichaud says:

         I am able to walk around Twain to discern the shape, nor do I have to hang from the sky to see the footprint of the Arch, you don’t make any sense.
        I get it: you don’t want to think or make an effort. You apparently want public art to be like watching one of your TV shows, mindless and effortless.
        I don’t really care, that’s on you, its not my cup of tea though.
        What is ridiculous is how some comments call for the removal of Twain, it might be one thing if St. Louis was packed to the brim with great architecture and public spaces. Instead, even downtown is loaded with vacant and underused property.
        In reading some of these comments it is not hard to see why St. Louis is a backwater and been in continuous decline for almost 6 decades.

        • JZ71 says:

          And that’s the beauty of art – we all don’t need to agree, we all don’t need to “understand” in the same way(s).  Where I see creativity and beauty may or may not be the same place or thing as you.  We’re both entitled to our opinions, although you apparently believe that your opinion is somehow superior to anyone else’s.  The two real issues in play here are whether any “art”, especially “public” art, can (or should) ever be modified, moved or removed and who gets to decide?  Are public art installations like graveyards, with something staying unchanged for centuries?  Or, is art ephemeral, destined to have a birth, a life and a dignified death?  Should the city be painting over graffiti, which many argue is art, while others argue it’s vandalism?  Can new generations second-guess and revisit the choices and decisions of previous generations?  Many of us bridle against “too much” regulation, some of us chafe at the tyranny of the majority.  Is change even a good thing?  Do cities evolve (and stay relevant) or do they (choose to) become stuck at some arbitrary point in time (and fade away)?

          • GMichaud says:

             You think I feel my opinion is superior to anyone else? You are too much, just how how does that work?  To say you don’t like a piece of art is one thing, it happens everyday, but to advocate it’s demolition because you don’t like it is the height of arrogance.
            That is what is happening here, people who have such a high opinion of themselves they don’t think anyone else should be able to enjoy the art installation of Twain.
            Why don’t you call them out? 
            Every major city that I have visited has numerous “abstract” sculptures. It is what makes cities diverse and livable.
            Yet in spite of all your high sounding rhetoric, you stand silent.

  13. JZ71 says:

    Denver made a similar investment in starchitecture when they retained Lawrence Halprin* to design Skyline Park (a 3-block urban park not all that dissimilar to this site) in 1974.  He was similar in stature to Richard Serra, only in landscape architecture and urban park design, not large-scale art installations.  Over the years, the context changed and the decision was made in 2003 (3 decades later) to remove many of the original signature elements and to redevelop the park to more closely align with current user needs and desires.  We face a similar situation here.  Just because something was once cutting edge, expensive, created by a name artist and/or widely published doesn’t mean that it is, or should remain. untouchable, in perpetuity.  Times change, expectations change, context changes.

    The dynamics here ARE different than they were in Denver.  In Denver, there were advocates for change, plans for something different and funds to make it all a reality.  Here, we probably have a consensus that the Serra piece is either misunderstood or hated by most locals, but we have nothing to replace it with, nor any resources to make any significant changes.  I agree with Steve that the best solution, in the short term, is to probably both integrate this block with Citygarden and to provide one or more educational avenues to help people understand a very cerebral piece.  Still, in the long run, I would have no qualms if the piece were removed and replaced with something “better” (and I have no idea what that might be) . . . .



  14. Kevin B says:

    A debate for the ages, isn’t it? As its biggest proponent (Steve) is on the Mall Board, the chances of seeing this sculpture removed are slim to none.

    Personally, I want it to go. I’ve walked through it and I’ve even sat in it (carefully, as there were several…ahem…organic additions) just to try and figure out exactly why it should stay. Nothing about the sculpture encourages people to explore/view it — and yes, regardless of your high artistic definition, art is meant to be viewed. 

    I did the looking out through the cracks thing and quickly realized that the unobstructed view of the City I get on the outside is much more meaningful than the “interpretive” view inside.

    Remove the Serra sculpture. Turn the lot into an assembly square — allow protesters to do their thing there (6am to 6pm) so they can get off of Kiener Plaza. Use it as a location for announcements and conferences. And, of course, as a lunchtime seating area for courthouse employees/visitors/workers/etc.

    • The Gateway Mall Conservancy board consists of big money folks who are trying to get private investment in the mall, as was done with Citygarden. I’m on the separate Gateway Mall Advisory Board that looks at said proposals and advises the city’s parks dept on the comparability of proposals with the Gateway Mall Master Plan. It’s guidance is to look at integrating the block & sculpture with Citygarden.

      • Kevin B says:

        I think that’s the best plan (excepting full removal). Do you think, Steve, that the site could be better served if the grounds of the sculpture’s interior were paved or tiled? 

        And if so, would it affect the “artistic purpose” of the work if the paving itself were artistic? I’m thinking soft glow lights underneath — possibly colored.

        Looking at the satellite view, it looks like the only way to successfully activate Twain would be to have, as you said, a continuation of Citygarden’s pathways aimed directly at the triangle’s corners. It’s passive purpose has proved unsuccessful, based on its lack of visitors. Just putting the walkways in will at least tell people that yes, this is a thing you’re supposed to go to. 

    • GMichaud says:

      I guess you an art expert. You spent time with Twain, have you spent time with man on a horse by Botero on Wydown Blvd? It has been heavily criticized also. Nor am I sure people really seriously view the St. Louis statue in front of the art museum. Hell if you get on a roll you probably recommend the removal of all public art in St. Louis, being an expert and all. St. Louis could finally claim the mantle of the most useless and boring city in the United States by following your obvious wisdom.
      By the way London has bathrooms scattered all around downtown on the streets. I know all of the haters of Twain never would consider that problems of urination etc could be a governance problem, but with the number of tourists around the area, maybe, just maybe St. Louis could learn from other cities.
      Here is a story about framing views. There was a Japanese man who built a house with magnificent views of Mt Fuji, but when his guests arrived they were surprised the house didn’t have windows facing Fuji.
      Then one of the guests went to the bathroom and bent down to wash their face and hands. They looked over over and through a small window they could see Fuji. Bowing and washing their hands before Mt Fuji could be viewed, great symbolism of respect.
       I know this is the anti thinking crowd I’m speaking to here, but there is meaning in art if you look for it.
      If you have a predetermined, negative attitude then you might as well stay at home. In case you didn’t notice there are tons of other spaces for assembly squares downtown. But wait, that requires thinking also, sorry, I forgot you want to get rid of Twain, your predetermined, negative solution.


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