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‘Bridge Bash’ To Start Removal Of St. Louis Centre Bridge Was 5 Years Ago Today

May 21, 2015 Downtown, Featured, Planning & Design, Retail, Walkability 27 Comments

Five years ago today work began on reversing a mistake that had been in place for 25 years. The “Bridge Bash” event started with comments from numerous white men, followed by Mayor Slay operation the wrecking ball, pyrotechnics made breaking glass a little more exciting.  Here’s the video I uploaded from the scene — the action starts at 8:45.

St. Louis Centre was part of the ‘bring the suburbs to the city’ movement. The inwardly focused mall was a killer to the sidewalks downtown — especially under the Washington & Locust wide bridges connecting to Dillard’s & Famous-Barr, respectively.

Looking west from 6th Street on May 22, 2010
Looking west from 6th Street May 2010
Looking east along Washington Ave from 7th, February 2006
Looking east along Washington Ave from 7th, February 2006
Same view yesterday
Same view after the bridge was removed

Removal of this oppressive bridge and facing the ground level retail of the MX (formerly St. Louis Centre) has done wonders for this part of downtown. If only we hadn’t wasted decades trying to be like the burbs.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "27 comments" on this Article:

  1. Mark-AL says:

    “…comments from numerous WHITE men….” Do I sense an agenda here? I’ll go out on a limb and suggest a possible motive for your use of the qualifier. It’s possible that you’re pointing out the absence of any non-white individuals on the stage. IF that was your motive, may I remind you that automobile manufacturers stopped placing hood ornaments on vehicles several years ago when they realized they were nonfunctional and sorta cluttered up the hood. Plus, at times they were downright dangerous!!! In the case of the ceremony featured in today’s blog, it’s likely there were no NON-WHITES who deserved to be on stage–and if so, then there should have been no NON-WHITES on stage. Period! The demolition activities were in the capable hands of a licensed, qualified demolition firm, so it wasn’t necessary to call up to the stage some of the future Ferguson performers just to remind the public that there were NON-WHITES out there who may have been capable of contributing to the bridge-removal task, and that therefore their absence on stage was an oversight.

    • Fozzie says:

      Let me give you the usual response: “I write what I want to write. Deal with it.”

      This blog used to be insightful, but in recent months it has degraded to the point of questionable or nonsensical topics followed by paranoia that anyone dare question opinions to outright hatred of the St. Louis region.

      • Hatred? Huh? I love St. Louis — my home for nearly 25 years. Do I want to see many things change YES!

        If I hated St. Louis I wouldn’t have spent so much time the last 10+ years writing this blog.

      • Mark-AL says:

        I personally don’t find the topic to be nonsensical. It commemorates a milestone that kicked-off an obvious improvement to the STL skyline and to the downtown region in general. I personally find the qualifier to be awkward and almost pandering. But I do respect an individual’s right to scribe whatever he wants in his own blog. But like in the case of Sharon Carpenter’s most recent antics, entitlement sometimes falls short of reasonably offsetting or justifying the ramifications.

        • Deserved? I agree we shouldn’t arrange people on stage to make a pretty rainbow for the cameras.

          The root problem is the table hasn’t been open to everyone.

          • Mark-AL says:

            The table has been set and has been open to everyone for a longer period of time than you are suggesting by your comment. For decades, dinner has been prepared; linen napkins have been placed on the left side of the plates; the drinks have been poured–but the ice is surely melting. Perhaps the problem has been that some of the potential diners have failed to take the initiative to pick up the forks and feed their bellies. A sow can be very convincing when it’s time to convince her runt that it’s time to give up the teat.

          • Yes, the table has been set as you described but all the dining chairs have been occupied for decades. Once someone gets up their buddy takes their place. Those who’ve protested sometimes get a seat at the kiddy table — as long as they don’t contradict what’s being said at the big table.

          • Mark-AL says:

            I wonder when that argument might finally run its course.

          • When white heterosexual males finally stop pretending the playing field is level & open. You’re from Alabama, you must be familiar with Selma and poll taxes. Barriers to entry still exist — you can’t see them because they don’t apply to you.

          • Mark-AL says:

            Again, Selma and George Wallace are all about the past. Since the early 70’s, we’ve been doing things differently, benefiting those who are willing to make a personal effort to be benefited.

    • I always have an agenda — why else would I do this for nearly 11 years?

      Our leadership for decades has been almost exclusively a white straight boys club.

      • Mark-AL says:

        Actually, your leadership for decades has been almost exclusively democratic. Whom they slept with should have no place in the conversation–should it? I respectfully suggest you blame STL’s demise simply on the democrats, not on those whose skin may be light or on those who still prefer to snuggle up to the opposite sex.

        • First, being gay isn’t solely about who we sleep.

          As I pointed out on comment to my post about the Board of Aldermen being all Democrats for the first time, the destructive Comprehensive Plan of 1947 was conceived & approved during the time when Republicans had a majority in the Board of Aldermen and a man in Room 200: https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/archive/1947-comprehensive-plan/

          • Mark-AL says:

            And so what has or hasn’t happened since the republicans were voted out to cause the demise?

            “….being gay isn’t solely about who we sleep (with)…” I’ll bite. If your statement is true, what other things necessarily distinguish you from one of your straight married fellow loft-dwellers?

          • Republicans & Democrats in the St. Louis region get equal blame in my book for the dysfunctionally fragmented government.

          • Mark-AL says:

            I wonder how God’s party might be held responsible for the region’s dysfunctional government. Everywhere you look at both Silly Hall and at the County Government Center, all you see is democrats running around through the halls carrying clipboards, in and out the doors, from one meeting to the next, like sea turtle hatchlings in April, desperately trying to find their way to the water. If you sit-in at an open aldermanic meeting in the Kennedy Board Room at Silly Hall, you’ll get a good glimpse at a group of inarticulate sovereign monarchs, each protecting his own fiefdom, with a few unfortunately running pass interference for their own progeny. So if this represents the region’s “leadership” stock, is there any secret about why the city and county are stagnate? Maybe it’s time to try something different. I’m suggesting giving the republicans a chance. You may be suggesting giving black gays a chance. Whatever, it can’t get any worse. Can it?

            Oh, and just for my personal edification, please tell me what, besides plumbing preferences, distinguishes between my straight lifestyle vs your gay lifestyle.

          • guest says:

            Well, as they say on the Rush Limbaugh show, “somebody has to have the guts to say it!”

          • Mark-AL says:

            I don’t look at it that way. Although I don’t currently live in the US, my parents and siblings and friends do live there, and I plan to return permanently in 3 years. Until then, I’m working on a project very near my hometown in So. Alabama and so I find myself in the US for a few days at a time, at least every three weeks. I have a vested interest in the US. IMO, we can’t improve as a nation until individuals who comprise the nation recognize and implement the values of personal initiative, hard work, and personal responsibility. Welfare can’t continue forever. Absent certain levels of expectation, there are those individuals among us who will continue to travel the easy and familiar path of welfare–a malaise that IMO is the product of the democratic mindset. How can an area or country improve when only X-percent of that nation is contributing and when those who don’t contribute are consistently rewarded?

            Something has to change–and for the better. Whether that change results from republican leadership or whether it comes from gay black leadership at the top makes no difference, in my opinion. But change is necessary, because our country can no longer afford to sustain the sponges of society.

          • guest says:

            Oh brother. You *are* like Rush! Anyone who thinks living on welfare is being “rewarded” is deluded. Welfare is not a “reward”. That’s the sort of myth thinking the right, fueled by the ninkumpoops at FoxNews, keep spreading. “Welfare a reward”. C’mon!

          • Mark-AL says:

            In 2012, 153 MILLION Americans lived on benefits from one or more federally funded welfare programs. That’s 49.5% of the entire population in 2012!!!!! I wonder how the numbers will add up in 2015. This nation cannot afford to sustain the trend. The solution can be found through education. But how can an individual become educated if he refuses to attend school, or if he refuses to accept and abide by the simple rules of order in the classroom? I wonder how many more so-called teachers throughout the country manipulated their own grade books just last year, undetected? So how many “C” grades should have been Ds or Fs. Some time when you’re bored, park your car near a public high school bus drop off around 3:30 on a weekday afternoon. Observe how many “students” get off the bus with a book (or a computer) in their hands? Any homework being done when this happens? My kids do between 2 and 3 hours of homework every weekday evening…even more on weekends. They too would rather hang out on the street corner after dinner, but I as a parent wouldn’t allow it even if they had the time in their schedules. Where are the parents of these “pupils” who refuse to be “students” (there IS a difference)? The result is that so much of this generation of high school students is getting by with minimal or no effort, learning how to beat the system, knowing well that the government will continue to supplement their incomes probably for the rest of their lives because they’re either too ignorant or too lazy to get a job. The government is inadvertently teaching these kids to become swindlers, mountebanks and bilkers!

            Who ever heard of a government that pays unmarried kids to have kids, agrees to support both the mother and the kid with a monthly check until that kid reaches a certain age, then continues with more subsidies through a different governmental department ad infinitum?..then allows the “Dad” to run free to the next cum-drop! Something is really wrong with a system that fails to hold men and women of breeding age accountable for their foolishness and indolent behaviors. And I’m not even commenting on their morals!

            It’s time for change, but it’s unlikely to happen because the recipients of this foolishness outnumber those who try to live responsibly and with dignity. And I blame the democrats. Period.

            Reward? Hell yes all this welfare is a reward. It’s a reward for smoking crack or whatever on the street corner instead of reading an assigned novel. It’s a reward for lazily watching American Idol on TV instead of working through geometry theorems or conjugating complex numbers, or simply learning the difference between “you’re” and “your”, “to, too and two”, or discovering that Sacramento is both a city and a river, or the proper use of “less vs fewer”–just some snip of knowledge to fill the minds of these individuals who think with their dicks.

            No,I don’t apologize for my previous comment. And I don’t watch Fox News.

          • guest says:

            Damn, you sound like an angry man. I think you do watch Fox News!

          • Mark-AL says:

            Is that all you “got”? If the truth sounds angry, then so be it. (And I would venture to say that if the current situation with welfare, education and crime doesn’t make you angry, then you must be among the 153M+ recipients!) I’m NOT! I’m fed up with democrats–doing more and more of the same, knowing fully that that can’t reasonably expect different results!!!!! Their solution is to DUMP more and more of my (and maybe your) earnings into a bottomless pit. And again, I have to be honest: I don’t watch Fox News! Have lots of time to fill in airports, so I read USA Today, STL Post Dispatch, and LA Times–religiously.

          • guest says:

            You think Republicans are better?? Clinton years – boom times. Bush years – wars. Obama years – economic recovery. Next?

          • Mark-AL says:

            No, honestly I don’t think republicans are necessarily better. Maybe we need to seek out some gay black man, as Steve suggested. (Although some maintain that Obama already fills that slot, but I have no interest in pursuing that thought.) I personally made more money on investments during the Bush years vs the Clinton years. Go figure. Honestly, I don’t necessarily fault Obama for some of his economic policies which appear to have been successful, but given the condition of the economy when he took over, frankly the economy had no where to go besides “up”, did it? But I still give him credit. And I don’t really care if a progressive democrat, or a libertarian, or an independent or a republican, or if a gay black man becomes the next president. I don’t care what label he places on himself. I’m interested in a person who doesn’t represent status quo–someone who will legislate policy to deal with the inequities and abuses of the welfare system–of diverting billions of welfare dollars currently being handed to the hedonists among us and wisely allocating some of it to those who may actually deserve welfare assistance. This is the major problem I have with the democrats. They don’t appear to look for solutions for welfare reform beyond throwing more money at the problem! My dad taught me from birth, 34 years ago that when you raise goats, you pay close attention to the odor of their gas. Doing so lets you know that they’re either eating something that they shouldn’t, or they’re not eating enough of something they should, and that awareness alerts you to a problem, and by fixing the problem you can keep the nannies healthy and their milk sweet. Maybe our government needs to do something similar. Maybe we need to elect a “sniffer”.

          • guest says:

            Whatever it is you learned about goats on a farm, it doesn’t sound to me like you learned much about compassion or empathy. My guess is most people on welfare would be happy to trade their station in life with yours, Mark-AL

          • Mark-AL says:

            One thing the goats did teach me is a workable definition of “need”. I have no problem extending welfare/benefits to disabled veterans, and to others (legals) who expend the effort to provide for themselves but just need some extra glue to help (operative word) make ends come together; to legitimate retired citizens who have earned their monthly s/s draw; to the mentally and physically deficient who are incapable (operative word) of working; or medicare assistance (operative word) to those who actually work for a living but cannot afford healthcare coverage. But I draw the line at the doorsteps of career parasites whose idea of work is “working” the system–to those who breed just to increase welfare allotments;to those whose rutting season is daily, and indiscriminate. (Even a nanny goat, unready to breed, will kick a billy in the balls to discourage his interest.) Raising goats and living on a 30-acre farm until age 18 taught me that if you want something done, the shadow in the room wasn’t going to do it, that if you wanted to achieve something, you had to go out and “achieve it”. My father didn’t believe in gas-powered post hole diggers! He said it was important to keep the p/h digger sharpened and to learn to love the stubborn Alabama clay. And at university, there were no teachers waiting in the shadows ready to change a grade at semester just to meet some government standard. Take away all the sponges who are receiving welfare benefits, use that money to improve educational opportunities to students (vs pupils)(operative word) who have earned (operative word) a seat in the classroom.

          • JZ71 says:

            While I tend to agree with many of your sentiments, one big group that I think that you’re unfairly slandering as welfare queens (and a big part of the 49.5%) are Social Security and Medicare recipients, those retired Americans in their 60’s and above. Most of those “sponges” spent decades paying to support a system that promised, when they reached retirement age, to deliver a certain level of specified benefits. Unfortunately, at its core, it’s also a Ponzi scheme, and one that has been seriously abused by past generations of politicians, both R and D, and not structured to reflect actuarial realities. Government, at its core, is about wealth redistribution, and it will never, ever be a perfect system. I’d argue that while providing welfare for lazy bums is certainly an issue for further discussion, we have two much bigger drains on governmental budgets, with our military-industrial complex and our prison systems. Between funding never-ending wars, a fractured, apparently, at times, incompetent VA system and millions and millions of veterans receiving government benefits, combined with one of the largest incarceration systems in the world, we’ve created two huge, apparently bottomless, funding holes that deliver, at best, only marginal positive results.

            Personal responsibility needs to apply at the nation level as well as the individual level. World War II ended 70 years ago and the end of the Cold War was 25 years ago (fall of the Berlin Wall). It’s time for nations, around the world, to assume responsibility for their own defense and their own destinies, and it’s well past the time for the United States to stop trying to be the world’s policeman. We need to protect our own borders, and we need to let Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Vietnam, Japan and Isreal protect theirs. We spend far more on global defense initiatives than we spend on welfare for lazy bums (unless you want to include your parents, grandparents and great grandparents in the “lazy bum” category). And as far as locking up people, hey, we’re number one! But it’s hard to be a productive, contributing member of society, when you’re locked up, eating boloney sandwiches. There needs to be a better balance between being tough on crime and what its costs to lock people up for years, decades or the rest of their natural lives!

            Interesting reading, for those airport layovers:







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