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Opening Reception for American City: St. Louis Architecture: Three Centuries of Classic Design Friday June 10th


Click image for PDF with details of opening reception

Tomorrow night will be a great event, the “opening night reception with photographer William Zbaren and architectural writer Robert Sharoff, creators of American City: St. Louis Architecture: Three Centuries of Classic Design.”  Both the reception and exhibit are free.

The reception is Friday June 10th from 5-7pm at the Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard. You can use this address link to check transit routes in Google Maps.

ABOVE: Photographer Zebaren (left) and writer Sharoff (right) at Macy's last month

I reviewed their book in January and had the pleasure to meet both last month at the reopening of the downtown Macy’s. I can’t wait to see the images in large format at the exhibit.  If you can’t make the reception tomorrow be sure to get to the exhibit by August 21st.

The authors also have two book signings scheduled: Saturday June 11, 2011 @ The Missouri Botanical Garden 11am -1pm and June 12, 2011 @ Left Bank Books 399 North Euclid from 4-6pm

– Steve Patterson



“Lingering Not Loitering” – Dan Burden


ABOVE: Dan Burden (right) leads a "walking audit" on Delmar just west of Union. Photo credit: Lou Tobian/AARP

“Lingering Not Loitering” was the phrase I heard most often from walkability expert Dan Burden when he visited St. Louis recently, his response to University City attempting to keep pedestrians moving (story). I agree, we need more pedestrians lingering on our sidewalks.  Thankfully University City official voted down this controversial bill yesterday (story).

So who is this expert?

He Takes Back the Streets for Walking

Burden, 58, puts bloated thoroughfares on what he calls a “road diet.” In cities as large as Las Vegas, Toronto and Seattle and hamlets as small as Sammamish, Wash., he has trimmed lanes and filled the space with bike routes or a grassy buffer between the asphalt and the sidewalk to ease walkers’ stress. Of course, motorists tend to react to Burden as they might to a jackknifed manure spreader directly in their path. “They say ,’We already have a traffic problem,'” says Burden, “‘and now you want to take lanes away?'”

That’s exactly what he wants to do. But Burden isn’t an autocrat. His preternatural calm — he was a National Geographic photographer before founding Walkable in 1996 — sets people at ease. He knows that slimmer roads are “leaner, safer and more efficient,” and that they take some of the stress off drivers too. “We tend not to like open, scary places, and we try to get through them quicker. Somehow the canopy effect of tree-lined streets slows traffic.” Burden can’t eliminate road rage. But for some drivers, riders and pedestrians across the country, he can create road repose. (Time Magazine)

Burden is now the Executive Director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute.

ABOVE: 26th Ward alderman Frank Williamson (left) with Dan Burden (right) pointing out an issue to everyone.

I joined Burden and residents on the two walking audits conducted on Tuesday May 24th. The starting point for both was ConnectCare located at 5535 Delmar Blvd.  That morning we went north on Belt Ave, west on Cates Ave, south on the Ruth Porter Mall and east on Delmar back to ConnectCare.

ABOVE: St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay (center) joined for part of the morning walk. Here we are on Belt Ave across from Ivory Perry Park.

So what were his comments on the audits and the presentation the night before?

  • Design standards dictate how roads are designed, but within the same standards you can get very different results. Most often we get roads that create poor pedestrian environments  — excessively wide lanes with the resulting fast traffic.  But the design standards also allow for roads that work well for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists alike.
  • Lanes are often too wide – say 12ft rather than 10ft.
  • Paint is cheap, a right stripe to separate the  outside lane from the parking lane is a cost effective way to slow traffic.
  • Roads that have had diets often still move as many cars as before.
  • “bulbs” at corners can help cut the distance pedestrians must walk to cross a road in half.
  • On-street parking is good because it slows traffic.
  • Buildings must watch over sidewalks so pedestrians feel safe.

Here is an excellent video featuring Dan Burden:


It was a pleasure meeting him and his staff, it has inspired me to do more.

– Steve Patterson


Groups Raising Money for Memorial Honoring Soldiers Killed During Recent Wars


ABOVE: St. Louis' memorials to WWII, Korea & Vietnam

Memorial Day is a somber day for many who’ve lost loved ones to war:

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation’s Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to honor the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers. (History.com)

St. Louis’ war memorials stop at the Vietnam war but we’ve clearly been involved in more wars since so we have more men & women to honor.  The Missouri Military Memorial Foundation is working to raise money for  a memorial to honor Missouri soldiers who have lost their lives during recent wars:

We consist of a group of dedicated volunteers (family & friends of fallen military personnel) raising money to build a memorial for our fallen heroes of Missouri. This will be in downtown St. Louis, Missouri in front of Soldiers Memorial (location has been approved). Join us in creating something beautiful to remember our fallen soldiers, of Missouri, who were Killed in Action or a casualty of War during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom or the Desert Storm/Desert Shield Wars.

The MMMF is working in conjunction with the American Gold Star Mothers to raise the funds for the memorial.  Veteren’s Day is November 11th.

– Steve Patterson


Cinco de Mayo on Cherokee Street Saturday May 7th

Tomorrow is the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration on Cherokee — one of St. Louis’ most interesting streets.

The 2011 Cinco de Mayo festival will feature live entertainment on two stages, DJs, and roaming street performers. Over ten bands will perform throughout the course of the day. The main stage located at California & Cherokee will feature traditional Mexican performances while the Gringo Stage located at Oregon & Cherokee will showcase local bands selected by the St. Louis Secret Sound Society.

If you’ve not experienced the food & fun on Cherokee tomorrow is a good day to do so.

– Steve Patterson


Dine Out For Life Today

April 28, 2011 Events/Meetings Comments Off on Dine Out For Life Today

Today numerous restaurants throughout the region (list) will be donating at least 25% of the check to help fight AIDS in St. Louis:

Dining Out for Life is an international event that has raised over $2.3 million since 1990 to help Saint Louis Effort for AIDS provide education on the prevention of HIV/AIDS and comprehensive support services for those affected by the disease. It’s an incredibly important event that not only helps nourish the community…but also the soul. We sincerely hope you’ll dine with us at one of our participating Dining Out For Life restaurants when at least 25% of your check will be donated to support the work of Saint Louis Effort for AIDS.

This is an excellent opportunity to try a new restaurant, possibly even a new neighborhood.  I plan to eat out for breakfast, lunch & dinner to help as much as possible.  I’ve decided on Rooster for breakfast and Bridge Tap House for lunch, owner David Bailey donating 50% at both as well as Baileys’ Chocolate Bar.

If you have a MasterCard be sure to use it to pay for your meal:

“As presenting sponsor for the local event (a role we’ve played since 2000), MasterCard will be matching all payments made with a MasterCard at participating St. Louis restaurants (up to $20,000).” (source)

Dinner might be Atomic Cowboy because they are donating 100%!

– Steve Patterson