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Arch 50th Just Four Years Away

October 28, 2011 Downtown, Events/Meetings, Featured, History/Preservation Comments Off on Arch 50th Just Four Years Away

Four years from today is the 50th anniversary of the topping out of the Gateway Arch.

ABOVE: The final piece of the Gateway Arch was set into place on Thursday October 28, 1965

The City+Arch+River folks have much to accomplish in such a short about of time: build over I-70, create new west-facing museum entrance, rethink parking, etc. Given the current political landscape in Washington D.C. getting funding for improvements to this National Park Service site may prove nearly impossible.

The grounds aren’t as old as the Arch itself. Here is a video of a 1982 trip to the riverfront starting at 4th & Market. As you will see the trees are very young, the garage the will be removed from the north wasn’t yet built, and Lenore K. Sullivan Blvd hadn’t received the current improvements.


Thanks to Merrill & Matt Bauer for the footage!


Sunday: Dutchtown Harvest Festival

Sunday is the Dutchtown Harvest Festival:

Bring your appetite for food, knowledge and fun!

October 23, 2011, 11am to 5pm

Marquette Park* in Dutchtown

Mayor Slay’s Vanguard Cabinet and the Downtown Dutchtown Business Association present the first ever St. Louis Food Day celebration!

Think Earth Day but all about producing, preparing and eating FOOD! This new national holiday is dedicated to addressing problems with food production, distribution, access and education and is being championed by folks like Michael Pollan and Alice Waters. Our hope is to invigorate the blossoming food culture of Dutchtown within the context of St. Louis and the Midwest.


Features include a kids zone, locally produced food, cooking contest, cooking demos, nutrition education, live music and food vendors. 

The location is the beautiful Marquette Park in south St. Louis (Google Maps). Some scenes in the 2005 film The Game of Their Lives were filmed in Marquette Park.

– Steve Patterson


Readers: Open Streets is a Good Idea

Readers think St. Louis’ “Open Streets” is a good idea, I personally fall into the second group on last week’s poll:

Q: St. Louis’ “Open Streets” events a good idea?

  1. Yes, it gets people outdoors 44 [61.11%]
  2. Yes, in theory more than practice 19 [26.39%]
  3. No 4 [5.56%]
  4. Unsure/no opinion 4 [5.56%]
  5. Other: 1 [1.39%] “Yes, it lets people see urban STL from a different view.

If these continue hopefully the city will learn and improve. Some of the crew hired to work the last one didn’t even know what the event was — I had to explain it.

The next event, the last for 2011, will be held on Saturday October 29th. This will differ from past events by being held from 3pm-9pm, rather than in the morning. As you might expect, it will have a Halloween theme.

ABOVE: Map for Oct 29th (click to view in Google Maps)

Closing the street in front of numerous gay bars on the Saturday before Halloween? That’s like closing roads to the mall the day after Thanksgiving. Open Streets is over at 9pm so hopefully Manchester will be opened quickly — and barricades won’t block pedestrian access.

Weather permitting, I will do this event.

– Steve Patterson


Poll: St. Louis’ “Open Streets” Events a Good Idea?

Yesterday I did the Open Streets event in Old North. I saw people I knew, enjoyed the beautiful weather, etc. But as I wrote yesterday, these just highlight the fact that many of our streets aren’t good for walking or cycling.

In terms of cycling, most city streets are more than fine though. If anything, they are too wide which encourages motorists to drive too fast. But events like Open Streets does encourage people to get out where they might not otherwise do so.

ABOVE: SUV blocked my path to & from the Open Streets route

The sidewalks in Old North can be iffy but I know those along North Market are good — I only had to go two blocks east from the bus stop at N. Florissant Ave. However, I barely had enough room to get around the SUV shown above.

ABOVE: Connecting structure over alley between Hebert & Palm at 14th

I did manage to take quite a few pictures on my hour round trip. That’s not sufficient reason to close streets for four and a half hours. The poll question this week wants to see what you think of Open Streets — a good idea? The poll is in the right sidebar.

– Steve Patterson


Open Streets Event Today Highlights Cars Dominate St. Louis Streets Rest of the Year

Today, Saturday October 8, 2011, St. Louis will block off a few streets so that pedestrians and cyclists can safely traverse them:

October 8, 2011, from 9:00 AM – 1:30 PM:
This Open Streets route will wind through Old North St. Louis. Connecting to the Old North Farmers’ Market and the Riverfront Trail, this route is excellent for serious cyclists as well as those who simply want to visit Crown Candy Kitchen, stroll through the marketplace, or see the community’s acclaimed revitalization of historic properties. This event will feature Healthy Living activities such as yoga and Zumba, as well as some of St. Louis’ favorite food trucks, live music, and art, active living, and culinary demonstrations. View the Old North St. Louis route at http://bit.ly/nNJOpx 

The other 364 days a year just drive.

The Open Streets events are somewhat interesting, gives me a chance to photograph buildings and streets from a position I might get only from within my car.  Still it would be nice seeing more people out walking and biking all year.

The two I did last year had starting points in downtown — one right outside my front door. Today I must travel to reach the route. Naturally the MetroBus I take to get to Old North has a reroute because of the event:

#30 Open Street- 14th closed at St. Louis Ave and 13th closed at N Market


Due to Open Street, 14th street will be closed at St. Louis Ave. and 13th street will be closed at N. Market. The following reroutes will be in effect Saturday, October 8 from 9 a.m. unil 1:30 p.m.


#30 Soulard NORTHBOUND

Regular route to 13th and Monroe, left on Monroe, right on N. Florissant, left on St. Louis Ave to regular route.


Regular route to St. Louis Ave and N. Florissant, right on N. Florissant, left on Monroe, right on 13th to regular route.

I’m a visual person to I had to look at a map to figure out the reroute. OK, I can get within a couple of blocks of the Jackson Circle, one of the endpoints of the event.

It would be nice if they showed the bus routes on the map. From the “getting there” page:

Since Open Streets closes streets off to cars, we recommend alternative methods of transportation:

Mass Transit: Open Streets is conveniently accessible by MetroLink and MetroBus.

They provide a link to “Get to the Oct 9th Open Streets via public transportation” which targets 14th & St. Louis Ave — Crown Candy Kitchen. The #74 isn’t affected by the event but the reroute isn’t shown on Google Maps.  This intersection is over 2 niles from the nearest MetroLink station! That means anyone wanting to participate using mass transit will ride the #30 or the #74, both of which can be boarded at the Civic Center station. But for novice bus riders it would have been nice of them to spell it out clearly.

I’m not yet sure if I will go but I am interested in photographing along the route.

– Steve Patterson