Home » Steve Patterson » Recent Articles:

St. Mary’s Razed Original St. Mary’s Hospital Building

Over my years in St. Louis I’ve visited St. Mary’s Hospital on Clayton Road a few times, always to visit others. However, six years ago today I arrived at St. Mary’s Hospital from Saint Louis University Hospital to begin physical rehab following my stroke. I don’t remember arriving, but I do remember leaving a month later.

I took this photo of the original hospital building the day I left, March 21, 2008
I took this photo of the original hospital building the day I left, March 21, 2008
When I returned for a visit 4 years ago today I took this pic of the original hospital building
When I returned for a visit 4 years ago today I took this pic of the original hospital building
By October 2010 the building had been razed.
By October 2010 the building had been razed.

The original building was likely poorly suited for modern medicine but it had much more going for it: quality materials, great proportions, etc. Not every great old building can or should be saved. The problem is I think too many decision makers assume the old must go away without exploring options for reuse. Assumptions can cloud what should be a non-biased analysis.

What replaces the old is usually a disappointment.

— Steve Patterson

 

My Memories of the 2008 Kirkwood City Hall Shooting

Six years ago today a tragic shooting took place in the Kirkwood City Hall during a city council meeting:

After storming the meeting and killing five people Thursday night, Charles Lee “Cookie” Thornton was fatally shot by law enforcers. Friends and relatives said he had a long-standing feud with the city, and he had lost a federal free-speech lawsuit against the St. Louis suburb just 10 days earlier. At earlier meetings, he said he had received 150 tickets against his business. (CBS News)

Mayor Mike Swoboda was severely injured, he died 7 months later:

Mr. Swoboda’s health deteriorated following a fall he took in early May, according to his son. He also had cancer. Mr. Swoboda was moved to a hospice on the campus of St. Anthony’s Medical Center on the Tuesday prior to his death. (Webster-Kirkwood Times)

I don’t remember news of the shooting because I was in the intensive care unit at Saint Louis University Hospital, my doctors had put me into a drug-induced coma on the 2nd, after my stroke the day before.  I first learned of the shooting when I transferred to SSM Rehab at St. Mary’s on February 25th. At this same time the news was reporting Swoboda would be transferred to a rehab hospital, like the brain injury unit where I’d just arrived.

I spent nearly a month at the brain injury rehab unit at SSM/St. Mary's
I spent nearly a month at the brain injury rehab unit at SSM/St. Mary’s

Swoboda ended up being treated for his brain injury at another facility.  Not all patients in therapy had brain injuries, some had been in car accidents, had limbs amputated as a result of diabetes, etc.

I thought of the Kirkwood shooting when I recently read last month about Castle Rock, CO now allowing guns to be openly carried into public buildings & parks:

The Castle Rock Town Council heard several hours of public comment on Tuesday concerning the repeal of the firearm open-carry ban before its vote of approval.

According to the Denver Post, Town Manager Mark Stevens favored repealing the ban. A majority of the police department and town staff were opposed to the repeal. (Source)

A good way to discourage public participation.

 — Steve Patterson

 

A June 2014 Wedding

The old Illinois capital building in downtown Springfield IL
The old Illinois capital building in downtown Springfield IL

Monday night on KDHX I announced that my boyfriend and I got engaged last month. We didn’t plan to go to any of the 14 states, or Washington D.C., to get married. We wanted to get married in Missouri (where we live) or Illinois (his state of residence until this past February). We knew that meant a possible long engagement but we also knew there had been talk of the Illinois General Assembly approving a same-sex marriage bill most of this year. As late as a week or two ago it didn’t look like a vote would happen this year but 2014 looked promising.

Then suddenly, Tuesday morning, we hear the vote will happen. By the end of the day both the chambers passed the bill, sending it to the governor! To pass the measure the sponsor removed the paragraph making the law effective in 30 days. The law becomes effective on June 1, 2014.

Gov. Pat Quinn (D) said in a statement Tuesday that he would sign the bill into law, although he did not specify a date. The House, which had adjourned in May without passing a Senate bill legalizing same-sex marriage, approved the measure Tuesday by a vote of 61 to 54.

“Today the Illinois House put our state on the right side of history,” said Quinn, who campaigned for the measure, which is scheduled to take effect in June. (Washington Post)

So Tuesday night we set a date in June and started a wedding website. Yesterday I began the process of confirming the location. Today we’re going to city hall to register as Domestic Partners.

When I came out 30 years ago I didn’t think marriage would ever be an option…

— Steve Patterson

 

Ninth Anniversary of UrbanReviewSTL.com!

Me pre-stroke in the December issue of St. Louis Magazine. Photo by Dillip Vishwanat
Me pre-stroke in the December issue of St. Louis Magazine. Photo by Dillip Vishwanat

Today marks the ninth anniversary of this blog. I began writing to focus on something other than my dad recovering from a heart attack. During the last nine years over 3,500 posts generated nearly 42,000 comments.

I write because I enjoy sharing my thoughts, many often disagree with me. I like to describe my vision for areas, how they might change in the future. Frequently comments suggest I’m just dreaming, the city’s broke, etc.   Well, change starts when someone dreams up an idea that’s different than the current reality.

Money is tight, but here are some public projects completed during the nine years I’ve been blogging.

  • Washington Ave streetscape east of Tucker
  • Shrewsbury MetroLink extension
  • Rebuild of I-64/Highway 40
  • Jefferson Viaduct
  • Grand Viaduct
  • Jefferson over I-64
  • Grand streetscape
  • Grove streetscape
  • Tucker rebuild

No money, huh? These and other projects weren’t free. Ideas must be generated first, then you seek out funding. No government says they have extra money for the taking, the ideas are put into proper form to see about getting funded. Yesterday I saw a 2002 newsletter which had information on the idea for a new Mississippi River bridge. This idea has been hashed around for years, the scope revised numerous times as two states tried to figure out how to fund the project. It’ll open in 2014.

List of plans for bidders as of yesterday, The four circled are items I might review in the future.
List of Board of Public Service plans for bidders, as of yesterday. The four circled are items I might review in the future.

According to Board of Public Service President Richard Bradley, they annually oversee projects totaling “$30-40 million which includes BPS projects at Lambert Airport.”

So I’m going to continue to share my ideas even though I don’t have a funding plan at that moment.  I know that public infrastructure change often takes 5-20 years from idea to ribbon cutting, with only a small percentage making it to the end.

My tenth year begins tomorrow…

— Steve Patterson

 

Day Trips Are A Nice Getaway

A week ago my boyfriend and I thought it was such a nice day, we should go do something.  We’d bought a Living Social voucher for two to see the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower in Hartford IL, just a 30 minute drive north on Route 3.

This post is about the wonderful day trip that we ended up having through several counties in Illinois, two ferry rides, and returning to Missouri through St. Charles County.

As you approach the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower
As you approach the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower
Cyclists on the trail on top of the levee
Cyclists on the trail on top of the levee
From the top level of the tower (150 feet high) you get a great view of the confluence of the Mississippi & Missouri rivers.
From the top level of the tower (150 feet high) you get a great view of the confluence of the Mississippi & Missouri rivers.
We didn't stop in Alton but we stopped just north to see the Piasa, click image for more info
We didn’t stop in Alton but we stopped just north to see the Piasa image on the limestone, click image for more info
The Village of Elsah is one of my favorite stops along the River Road, click image for more info
The Village of Elsah is one of my favorite stops along the River Road, DFS liked it too!  Click image for more info
We took the scenic drive through Pere Marquette State Park, click image for more info
We took the scenic drive through Pere Marquette State Park, click image for more info
On the Golden Eagle Ferry from Calhoun Co IL to St. Charles Co MO
On the Golden Eagle Ferry from Calhoun Co IL to St. Charles Co MO

We both took many more pictures on our 5+ hour unplanned adventure. I say unplanned because I didn’t think beyond the Tower, we barely had enough cash on us for the mixed berry cobbler at The Cultured Table Bistro in Elsah plus the ferry into St. Charles Co, the Brussels Ferry is free.

We had a great day for very little money! We’re in Springfield IL this weekend, but later this fall I’m going to the DFS on a wine country tour through Augusta & Washington. What’s your favorite day trip from St. Louis?

— Steve Patterson

 

Advertisement



FACEBOOK POSTS

Spotted a vehicle with two tires on public sidewalk, but couldn’t do anything.

20 minutes later heading back home spotted a parking enforcement person who missed it.

Asked her to go back a block to issue a ticket. She did. #stl
... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago  ·  

Archives

Categories

Advertisement


Subscribe