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One Year Until 50th Anniversary of Last Piece of Arch

October 28, 2014 Downtown, Featured, Parks 2 Comments

The big 50th anniversary of the day the final piece of the Arch was lowered into place is one year from today. CityArchRiver 2015 has been working for a few years now to complete a big update to the Arch grounds for a huge celebration, but don’t expect to see everything you remember from the winning design completed in the next year. The balance of the work will be finished after this anniversary, well after in some cases (cough: gondola).

Here are some future anniversaries, opportunities to celebrate:

  • June 10, 2017: 50th anniversary of the Arch opening to the public
  • May 25, 2018: 50th anniversary of the inauguration by VP Humphrey
  • May 30, 2022: 75th anniversary of the opening of the design competition
  • February 18, 2023: 75th anniversary of the jury selecting Saarinen’s design the winner
  • December 15, 2033: 100th anniversary of the idea for a riverfront memorial
  • May 28, 2037: 50th anniversary of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • February 12, 2038: 75th anniversary of the start of construction
  • October 10, 2039: 100th anniversary of the start of demolition to clear the historic riverfront
Luther Ely Square will be extended over the highway, but the new museum entrance won't be open
Luther Ely Square will be extended over the highway, but the expanded museum won’t be open until Spring 2017
Work on the highway lid has moved quickly, though it remains a mess currently.
Work on the highway lid has moved quickly, though it remains a mess currently.
View of the south side of the lid
View of the south side of the lid
Lid view from the Arch side
Lid view from the Arch side
What we've known as the entry/exit areas will become exit-only once the new museum opens
What we’ve known as the entry/exit areas will become exit-only once the new museum opens
The ash trees will be cut down to be replaced, the grounds are expected to be complete by May 2016
The ash trees will be cut down to be replaced, the grounds are expected to be complete by May 2016
View looking north from south of the Arch
View looking north from south of the Arch
Trees to the south have already been tagged for removal.
Trees to the south have already been tagged for removal. Click image to see video from May 1982 when these trees were young
Works is progressing on the riverfront, this should be complete by a year from now.
Works is progressing on the riverfront, this should be complete by a year from now.

I suspect a year from today I’ll be both impressed and disappointed by what is finished.

— Steve Patterson

 

Chouteau Park Just Getting Started

October 20, 2014 Environment, Featured, Parks 3 Comments

Chouteau Park is the newest city park, created by ordinance in 2008, as compensation for the future loss of Hudlin Park to BJC. The fate of Hudlin Park was a hot issue in the Spring of 2006. This new 2.8 acre park is intended to replace the 12 acre Hudlin Park.

Chouteau Park is just largely a graded empty lot right now, awaiting funds to become a fully realized park space. The design was done by H3 studios in 2009.

Revised renderings from the H3 2009 design include a shaded promenade, adventure playground, spray fountain and park cafe.

Update January 1, 2014: the classic St. Louis park sign has been added and trees are being planted. (St. Louis w/design & revised design)

As you might expect, parks don’t happen overnight. Every park in the city was once newly created and not looking like much. Citygarden, opened in 2009, is a rare exception because it was privately funded. Construction on Chouteau Park began in the fall of 2011.

Corner of Chouteau & Newstead Avenues
Corner of Chouteau & Newstead Avenues
Gap in the sidewalk along Newstead & Chouteau may be because of the future park cafe on the corner.
Gap in the sidewalk along Newstead & Chouteau may be because of the future park cafe on the corner.
The colorful mounds will be great for kids once not surrounded by standing water & mud
The colorful mounds will be great for kids once not surrounded by standing water & mud. No telling what will end up inside he orange one
The largest encourages climbing
The largest encourages climbing
View from the top of the hill at the east end
View from the top of the hill at the east end

One sidewalk going up the hill just ended, I’m not sure of the future intent. A number of sewer inlets handle water runoff, hopefully in the future this water can be captured and refined onsite.

It’ll be fun to see this new park develop and mature over the years.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Light Pollution Negatively Impacts Citygarden at Night

September 15, 2014 Downtown, Featured, Parks 4 Comments

Busy weekend, the post I’d planned for today will appear later this week. Today I thought I’d share a recent pic from Citygarden.

Citygarden on September 8, 2014 @ 8pm
Citygarden on September 8, 2014 @ 8pm

The bright light on the right is the new Saint Louis University School of Law. I tend to take photos of Citygarden this direction, the other direction the Peabody sign on the Gateway One building is too bright. When Citygarden first opened in 2009 the Peabody name wasn’t on the building, the park was much more pleasant at night. Now the signage is overpowering.

For a future post I’ll try to get a decent nighttime shot to illiterate my point, to contrast with older photos from before the sign went up on the building.

— Steve Patterson

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Urban Land Banking Prairie In Chicago

August 19, 2014 Environment, Featured, Parks, Planning & Design, Real Estate, Travel Comments Off on Urban Land Banking Prairie In Chicago

Yesterday’s post was about an interesting parking garage in Chicago, today is the story of why I went up to the top of the garage.

A long block was a prairie with native grades & flowers, it looked well kept because a wide border was mowed.
A long block was a prairie with native grades & flowers, it looked well kept because a wide border was mowed. A concrete curb separates the natives from the tidy lawn.
From the top of the adjacent parking garage you can see fenced-in prairie.
From the top of the adjacent parking garage you can see fenced-in prairie. Click image for map link. 

My assumption is this is a way of land banking until Northwestern decides to build on the land. The block held a large zig-zag 1940s/50s building, razed sometime within the last decade. The block is fenced, it isn’t used as a park. Land here, between Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue, is much too valuable to sit vacant. The campus map doesn’t identify it.

The result is a very neat looking, but easy to maintain, block.

— Steve Patterson

 

Readers: Allowing A 7-9 Year Old Child To Play At A Local Park Is NOT Child Neglect

August 13, 2014 Featured, Parks, Sunday Poll 1 Comment
Children's playground in Lucas Park
Children’s playground in Lucas Park

In the poll last week most readers agreed the two moms arrested the week before shouldn’t have been arrested, letting their kids play in the park wasn’t child neglect. To refresh your memory:

In South Carolina a mom was arrested after allowing her 9-year old daughter to play in the park unsupervised:

She spent 17 days in jail, temporarily lost custody of her girl, thought she lost her job, and still faces 10 years in prison if convicted of felony child neglect. (CBS News

A very similar case reported in Florida the next day when a mom allowed her 7-year old to play in a park:

Dominic was playing when Port St. Lucie Police pulled up. Police took him home and arrested his mom charging her with child neglect. (source)

Here are the poll results.

Q: Is allowing a 7-9 year old child to play at a local park ‘child neglect’?

No 120 [71.43%]
Maybe 35 [20.83%]
Yes 9 [5.36%]
Unsure/No Opinion 4 [2.38%]

Comments on the post raised valid questions, such the time frame between letting a kid play and neglect; apparently one mom had her kid play in the park while she was at work.  I don’t know that we can put at time frame applicable to every kids. I know I was away from home for hours at a time as a child. My concern is those who answered “Yes” and “Maybe” might be too over protective.  As kids get older they need the freedom to gain independence.

A Psychology Today post titled Parenting: Raise Independent Children, Are you raising responsible or contingent children? addresses the issue:

One of your most important goals as a parent is to raise children who become independent and self-reliant people. Certainly, in early development, your children count on you. As infants, they rely on you for nourishment, cleaning, and mobility. As your children grow, they become more independent in these basic areas of living, but still depend on you for love, protection, guidance, and support. As your children reach adolescence and move toward adulthood, they become less reliant on you and gain greater independence in all aspects of their lives. This process of separation prepares your children for the demands of adulthood. But this progression toward adulthood is not inevitable and is often stymied by well-intentioned, but misguided, parents.

Contingent Children

Contingent children are dependent on others for how they feel about themselves. Some parents want to foster this dependence. These parents act on their own needs for power and use control and coercion to ensure that they remain the dominant forces in their children’s lives. Contingent children can be recognized in the following ways:

Depend on others to provide them with incentive to achieve.
Depend on others for their happiness because they have no ownership of their lives and little responsibility for their own thoughts, emotions, and actions.
Reinforced with inappropriate rewards and no limits, and regardless of their behavior.
Poor decision makers because their parents hold the belief that they always know what is best and make decisions without soliciting their children’s wishes.

Independent Children

Independent children differ from contingent children in several essential ways. If your children are independent, you have provided them with the belief that they are competent and capable of taking care of themselves. You offered them the guidance to find activities that are meaningful and satisfying. You gave your children the freedom to experience life fully and learn its many important lessons. Independent children can be recognized in the following ways:

Intrinsically motivated because they are allowed to find their own reasons to achieve.
Were given the opportunity and guidance to explore achievement activities of their own choosing.
Parents use extrinsic rewards appropriately and sparingly.
Collaborative rather than a controlled relationship with their parents in which the children’s ideas and wishes are solicited and considered.
Good decision makers because they were allowed to consider various options and, with the support and guidance of their parents, make their own decisions.

The world is no worse than it was 20-30-40 years ago, we just have more news outlets with time to fill. Keep your kids safe, but please make sure they learn how to become independent.

— Steve Patterson

 

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