Nearly a Quarter of St. Louis Households Underserved by Transit


 Last month Streetsblog USA had a post that caught my attention: Where should your city aim to add transit service? The places where more buses and trains will be most useful are areas where lots of people live or work, but there’s not enough service to meet the demand. A new …

Sunday Poll: Any Issues With ‘In God We Trust’ on Wentzville’s Board of Alderman Dais?


 The opening of new buildings can sometimes be controversial, but using things like proportions, materials, colors, etc.  Wentzville’s new city hall opened last year and 12 letters are sparking protest & debate. From earlier this month: Dozens of people packed Wentzville City Hall on Wednesday night to rally behind a display of …

Aldermen Approved Failed St. Louis Centre Forty Years Ago


 Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s also the 40th anniversary of the start of one of St. Louis’ worst decisions: St. Louis Centre This Day in St. Louis History, March 17, 1978: The first step towards St. Louis Centre The St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved three bills that …

Opinion: Video Gaming Would Be a Mistake For Missouri


 Remember back to 1994 when gambling in Missouri was limited to actual boats? Two riverboat casinos recently opened in Missouri despite the state’s ban on slot machines and many other games of chance. The President Casino on the Admiral is permanently moored on the Mississippi River, just north of the Gateway Arch. …

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Goodbye Twenty Seventeen, Hello Twenty Eighteen

January 1, 2018 Featured Comments Off on Goodbye Twenty Seventeen, Hello Twenty Eighteen
Fireworks on July 4 2012, with the Arch and St. Louis skyline in the background. Taken with an iPhone 4S.

The ten year period 2000-2009 made sense to start off with  “Two Thousand…” when saying the year. For the last 8 years (2010-2017), however, it made more sense to start off with “twenty…” These last few weeks it seemed like I’ve been hearing more reporters, anchors, commercials saying “twenty” than “two thousand..”An exception was Jane Pauley hosting CBS Sunday Morning yesterday. she said every year as “two thousand…”

This is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

Still, I know many of you will continue saying “two thousand…”  But in two years it’ll be 2020. Will you say the obvious “twenty twenty” or the awkwardly long “two thousand twenty”?


Regardless of how you say it, have a great 2018!

— Steve Patterson

Sunday Poll: Should Parking Stay Within The Treasurer’s Office?

December 31, 2017 Downtown, Featured, Politics/Policy, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should Parking Stay Within The Treasurer’s Office?
Please vote below

When St. Louis voted itself out of St. Louis County in 1876 it became an “independent city” with city & county elected offices. In the years since this has produced conflicts as “county” office holders are elected independently and don’t answer to the mayor or aldermen. Sometimes lawsuits are filed.

A lawsuit that’s been moving steadily through the courts since January questions whether the Parking Commission of St. Louis should even exist under Missouri’s constitution. In August, a member of that commission — Jeffrey Boyd, who heads the board’s streets, traffic and refuse committee — became a plaintiff suing the state and the city. Another plaintiff in the suit is James J. Wilson, the former city counselor under Mayor Vincent C. Schoemehl Jr. (Post-Dispatch)

The court case ix 1722-CC00338 – JAMES WILSON ET AL V CITY OF ST LOUIS ET AL (E-CASE). It can be found on Missouri This bags the question about who should be in charge of parking and the revenues it generates?

Here is the last non-scientific poll of 2017;

This poll will close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

A Review of Posts From 2017

December 29, 2017 Featured, Site Info Comments Off on A Review of Posts From 2017

This is the next to last post for 2017. Including a new poll on Sunday, I will have posted 190 times this year. Today I’ve listed a quarter of these — from each month — as my favorite posts for 2017. The reasons why I selected each vary, but I think they represent why I continue writing this blog — now in its 14th year.


There’s A New Sheriff In Town

Senior Apartments To Be Built Adjacent To Swansea MetroLink Station Parking Lot

Annual Look At Changes Along St. Louis’ Dr Martin Luther King Drive

Accessibility To Food Trucks Is Often Lacking Due To Location Issues



Finally Visited The National Blues Museum

New Arch To Riverfront Ramps Are A Great Improvement

Marti Frumhoff 1957-2007

Tonight: My Last Night In My 40s Happy Hour @ 360 St Louis, 4pm-7pm


MARCH 2017

Grocery Delivery: Easy & Convenient…But Costly

Moral Crusader George Peach Charged In Prostitution Sting A Quarter Century Ago

Safety Expert Killed Crossing 4th Street 15 Years Ago Today

APRIL 2017

Trump Tweets Gateway Arch Should Be Changed To Gold Color

Opinion: Neoliberalism at City Hall Will Continue to Fail St. Louis

Lyda Krewson Is The 5th Mayor Since I Moved To St. Louis

MAY 2017

Richard Serra’s ‘Twain’ Is 35, Remains Unloved By Most St. Louisans…Including Arts Patrons

Learn From Embarrassing History, Don’t Brush It Under The Rug

Remembering The Old Kiener Plaza

A Look At The New Kiener Plaza (Photos & Videos)

Confederate Memorial in Forest Park Built During A period of High Racial Tensions in St. Louis

JUNE 2017

Crossing Hampton At Elizabeth

50 Years Since Unanimous SCOTUS Decision In Loving v Virginia

Autonomous Vehicles Will Change Urban Areas



JULY 2017

Judge: Special Business District Did Not Comply With State Law, Board Members Failed To Disclose Conflicts of Interest

Pine @ Tucker Treated Different Than Locust @ Tucker

Opinion: Razing Vacant Buildings A Short-Term Strategy With Negative Long-Term Consequences

16th & Market Curb Ramp Slightly Less Shoddy Than It Was



The Gateway Transportation Center Is Now Amshack #3

Opinion: Missouri GOP Gutted Missouri’s Civil Rights Law

The Civic Center MetroBus Transit Center Reopens Today…Smoke-Free!

St. Louis Does the Opposite of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)

The Total Eclipse In St. Clair MO

Wheelchair Users Locked Out Of St. Louis Public Park


One Building On Locust Being Renovated While Another Awaits Demolition

‘The Walk’ Two Decades Later

Bus Stop Design In The St. Louis Region De-Prioritizes Transit




Taco Bell Sans Drive-Thru

Opinion: Our Gas Prices Are Way Too Low

Opinion: Professional Lobbyists Shouldn’t Be Aldermen

Opinion: Doubtful St. Louis Will Be A Finalist For Amazon’s HQ2…And That’s OK

13th Anniversary Of UrbanReviewSTL


Opinion: St. Louis Should Legalize Marijuana

Land Reutilization Authority Selling Vacant Lot That Is Less Than An Inch Wide

The LRA’s 10 Smallest Properties For Sale

Opinion: Generations of Shortsighted Decisions Continues To Dog St. Louis Region. Will Likely Continue



Opinion: Shake Shack Kinda A Big Deal For St. Louis

Opinion: Downtown Needs More Residential Units — Apartments Are Right for the Times

Many Holiday Gifts Came Likely Came From St. Louis’ Jaccard & Co Jewelry

Opinion: Tax Bill Xmas Gift a Lump of Coal for Many


Like every year, 2017 had ups & downs — this is true for me personally, and for the city & region. Twenty-eighteen will also have highs & lows.

— Steve Patterson


Opinion: Tax Bill Xmas Gift a Lump of Coal for Many

December 27, 2017 Featured, Taxes Comments Off on Opinion: Tax Bill Xmas Gift a Lump of Coal for Many

The recent non-scientific Sunday Poll asked about the Fair Tax Act of 2017. I made it the Xmas-eve poll topic because of the president characterizing it as a gift.

It’s a gift alright…for the wealthy. For the rest of us it appears like a gift…but within a decade it turns to coal.

In trying to justify the Republican tax bill, conservatives are quoting Bernie Sanders, of all people. The problem is that they’re taking the Vermont senator out of context.

In an interview last week, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Sanders, “Next year, 91 percent of middle-income Americans will receive a tax cut. Isn’t that a good thing?”

“Yeah, it is a very good thing, and that’s why we should have made the tax breaks for the middle class permanent,” Bernie replied. “But what the Republicans did is make the tax breaks for corporations permanent, the tax cuts for the middle class temporary.”  (Conservatives take Bernie Sanders out of context to justify their tax bill | Salon)

Yes, those cuts designed to thrill Trump’s base are minor and temporary. He’ll be out of office before they realize what happened..if they realize it even then.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has nothing to do with economics. It is pure politics. Economists struggling to understand the unwieldy legislation are like biochemists attempting to explain contemporary ballet. Nobody seriously believes that the bill will boost growth. Everybody knows that it will massively increase the deficit; the only argument is whether it will be by $1.5 trillion, or just $1 trillion. The legislation has been drafted at breakneck pace, with few opportunities for costings or analysis: a recipe for errors. Senator Elizabeth Warren joked that she spent more time choosing her new refrigerator than the Senate managed for tax reform.  (The new tax plan is the worst Christmas present for the middle class | Brookings)

Me in front of the White House, October 2001. I wore a watch and on my belt a case for a point & shoot camera!

But it’ll help the middle class…

There are elements of the bill that help middle-class Americans. It nearly doubles the standard deduction—the amount taxpayers can deduct from the annual income figure on which they’re taxed—to $24,000 for families and $12,000 for individuals. At the behest of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the final version of the bill hikes the child tax credit, allowing parents to subtract $2,000 per child from your tax bill. (Both changes are temporary, set to expire along with the individual tax cuts in 2025.)

But ultimately this is a bill for businesses and the people who own them. “The most important part of this tax reform is the corporate tax reform,” says Dr. Wayne Winegarden, an economist with the Pacific Research Institute, a free-market think tank. “How each individual is going to fare will depend on their unique circumstances.”

Many small businesses in the United States known as “pass-through” companies—after the way income “passes through” to their owners—are currently taxed as individuals. The tax bill will grant these businesses a 20% deduction. But the jury is out on whether the windfall for businesses will contribute to significant economic growth as Republicans claim, or whether corporations will pump their profits into hiring more employees.

In other words, the new bill will be a test of trickle-down economics, the Reagan-era economic policy that many experts now consider a flawed theory. Even some Reaganites are unimpressed by the legislation.
(The GOP Tax Bill Isn’t for the Middle Class. And It Was Never Meant to Be | Time)

Many know trickle-down doesn’t work…just look at Kansas for a recent example:

For five years, Kansas’s Republican governor, Sam Brownback, conducted the nation’s most radical exercise in trickle-down economics — a “real-live experiment,” he called it. He and the GOP-controlled legislature slashed the state’s already-low tax rates, eliminated state income tax for most owner-operated businesses and sharply reduced vital government services. These measures were supposed to deliver “a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy,” Brownback said.

It ended up being a shot of poison. Growth rates lagged behind those in neighboring states and the nation as a whole. Deficits mounted to unsustainable levels. Services withered. Brownback had set in motion a vicious cycle, not a virtuous one. 

Last week, finally, the legislature — still controlled by Republicans — overrode Brownback’s veto of legislation restoring taxation to sane levels. The nightmare experiment is coming to an end.
(Trickle-down economics is a nightmare. Kansas proved it. | The Washington Post)

The poll results:

Q: Agree or disagree: the massive federal tax cuts “will be an incredible Christmas gift for hard-working Americans.”

  • Strongly agree 4 [12.9%]
  • Agree 2 [6.45%]
  • Somewhat agree 2 [6.45%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 2 [6.45%]
  • Somewhat disagree 1 [3.23%]
  • Disagree 3 [9.68%]
  • Strongly disagree 16 [51.61%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 1 [3.23%]

This tax code change will be a disaster for those of us not in the top income brackets.

— Steve Patterson

Many Holiday Gifts Came Likely Came From St. Louis’ Jaccard & Co Jewelry

December 25, 2017 Downtown, Featured, History/Preservation, Retail Comments Off on Many Holiday Gifts Came Likely Came From St. Louis’ Jaccard & Co Jewelry

Many of you will likely be giving and/orreceiving gifts today. Some of those gifts may include jewelry.The following post was started about two months ago, it seemed appropriate to finally finish it for today.

Like many, my husband and I are fans of PBS’ Antiques Roadshow program. We watch each new episode and, if nothing else is on, we’ll watch a repeat. Such was the case on Saturday October 14th. That night we watched the 2nd of a 3-part program from Detroit (Season 18 Episode 5). When it started I didn’t anticipate it would take me on a long dive into St. Louis history..but one appraisal did just that.

The appraisal titled 1900 Diamond Brooch with Dranwing was brought in by a man whose grandfather had it custom made in 1900 for his grandmother. His grandparents were living outside of Cincinatti but commissioned a jeweler in St. Louis.  Appraiser Peter J. Shemonsky says “they were a very well-respected and well-know jeweler at the time period.” On the internet I quickly find the segment to watch again so I can catch the jeweler’s name.

Receipt from E. Jaccard Jewelry Co

So I have the name and location (Olive and Sixth), should be easy, right?

My search led me to the bio of David Constant Jaccard, which explained many company name changes:

At the age of eleven, David began serving his apprenticeship to the watchmaker’s trade. After his graduation he taught school for a year and then came to the United States to join his relatives Louis and Eugene Jaccard, who were already in business in St. Louis. Louis founded the house under the name of Jaccard & Recordon. Six years later Eugene Jaccard became a partner in the firm, the name of which was changed to Jaccard & Co. In 1844 they sold their establishment, but regained possession of it a year later. Eugene became the sole owner in 1849. In 1853 he admitted to partnership with him A. S. Mermod, and in 1855 D. C. Jaccard, under the firm name of E. Jaccard & Co. The business was continued under this name until 1862. D. C. Jaccard and A. S. Mermod then joined forces and purchased a jewelry establishment under Odd Fellow’s Hall in St. Louis, founding what became one of the most famous jewelry houses in the United States. In 1873 the firm name was changed to Mermod, Jaccard & Co., followed by the name of Mermod & Jaccard Jewelry Company in 1883. The house had its own watch manufactory in Switzerland as well as in Paris and various other cities in Europe.

In 1868 Mr. Jaccard was appointed vice-consul for Switzerland in St. Louis and later acted as consul for that country for two years. During the Civil War, as treasurer of the “Societe du Sou par Semaine,” he distributed over twenty thousand dollars to relieve the wants of those who suffered from the effects of the great struggle then going on, without regard to their sympathies either with the North or the South.

I found a photo of their beautiful building in Washington University’s Eames and Young Architectural Photographs collection.

E. Jaccard Jewelry Company Building – Eames and Young … Washington University in St. Louis E. Jaccard Jewelry Company Building – Eames and Young Architectural Photographs. This building was located on the northeast corner of Broadway and Olive, the future location of the National Bank of Commerce Building, then the Monward Realty Company Building.

But wait, this 1880 photo indicates it’s located on the NE corner  of Broadway & Olive. Broadway is the name used instead of 5th. I hope to learn more about St. Louis’ famous jeweler. Since this post was started we’ve seen another segment with an item from Jaccard — see 1898 Kansas City Fire Chief Presentation Badge.

I’m no stranger to famous local jewelers, everyone who’s lived in Oklahoma City knows BC Clark Jewelers has been around since 1892 — 15 years before statehood. Megan Mullaly even sang their jingle to Jay Leno. I’d still like to know what happened to the Jaccard store.

Have a great day today!

— Steve Patterson