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A nice surprise on the east bank of the Mississippi River

June 22, 2010 Metro East, Parks 7 Comments

One task facing the selected teams in The City * The Arch * The  River Competition to incorporate the Illinois side of the Mississippi River into their solutions. Last month I took my wheelchair across the Eads Bridge to check out the situation.

ABOVE: pedestrian sidewalk on the Eads Bridge

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of pedestrians crossing the river on foot. Granted, it was a very nice afternoon.

ABOVE: East St. Louis rverfront May 2010
ABOVE: East St. Louis riverfront May 2010

From the bridge you can see the casino and the grain elevator on the east bank of the river.

ABOVE: Cargil grain elevator, East St. Louis IL
ABOVE: Cargil grain elevator, East St. Louis IL

Up close the industrial nature of the working facility is pleasing but just as you pass the view changes dramatically.

You come upon the Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park.  The park contains two elements that can be seen from Missouri.  First is the overlook:

Statue of Malcolm W. Martin at the top of the overlook.

The other feature is the geyser.  Four times per day the geyser shoots water into the air, provided it is not too windy.

Most of the time the water is still.
Four small foutains around the edge start before the main jet of water.
The geyser is very impressive but it only runs for 10-15 minutes at a time
Unfortunately getting to and from the Eads Bridge on foot (or wheelchair) is less than ideal

I suggest visiting the Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park on the next nice day we have. I hope the design teams come up with a good way to get from the Eads Bridge to the park.

– Steve Patterson


Fotbal has a long history in St. Louis

I am not a sports fan but I do like seeing the occasional baseball game in person.  But I don’t like football. I am, however, taking an interest in fotbal.  My interest first started four years ago when I was traveling in Toronto during the final match of the World Cup.

ABOVE: Toronto July 2006
ABOVE: Toronto July 9, 2006

The fans were everywhere displaying flags for their team.  The city went crazy.  I’ve since watched a few games on TV but not yet in person — but soon.  Tonight I will be at the Old Post Office Plaza to watch a free showing of The Game of Their Lives:

“The film details the true story of the 1950 US soccer team which, against all odds, beat England 1-0 in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil during the World Cup. The story is about the family traditions and passions that shaped the players who made up this team of underdogs. One group of teammates were from The Hill neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri. Another group came from the Corky Row district of Fall River, Massachusetts.”  (Wikipedia)

That is a great legacy!



The movie is free and should start around 9pm.  Bring food and a chair.  The Old Post Office Plaza is located on the north side of Locust St between 8th and 9th.

Much of the filming was done in Marquette Park (Compton & Gasconade).

ABOVE: Marquette Park in St. Louis.  Source: Google Streetview
ABOVE: Marquette Park in St. Louis. Source: Google Streetview

On the weekends local groups can be seen here playing soccer. This is a great use of our many city parks.  St. Louis has long been a city of immigrants and what better way to bring together various groups than soccer?

– Steve Patterson


Extending “hallway” element must be a top priority for the Gateway Mall

The hallway — that wide sidewalk along the north side of Market St — is what will eventually tie the blocks of the Gateway Mall together.

ABOVE: Citygarden seen from Richard Serras Twain
ABOVE: "Hallway" in Citygarden as seen from the block with Richard Serra's Twain

Unfortunately as well designed as Citygarden is, when built they didn’t plan to connect the hallway element to the blocks to the east and west. The crossing at 9th Street meets the design criteria of the master plan but at 8th and a 10th it was somehow forgotten. Hopefully we will get all the blocks from Broadway (5th)  and 20th.  Right now we have only the two between 8th and 10th.  Going forward we will need to make sure as each block is done that we plan ahead for the next adjacent block.

– Steve Patterson


The architecture of Memorial Day in downtown St. Louis

To the men & women who have served, or are serving, in our armed forces -  thank you!

ABOVE: a parade passes in front of Soldiers Memorial between 13th-14th on Chestnut

Our Soldiers Memorial building and area was conceived to honor those who served in WWI (1914-1918):

“The initiative to construct a memorial plaza and memorial building to honor the gallant sons and daughters of Missouri, and of our city, who “made the supreme sacrifice in the World War”, began in 1923. Over the course of several years, the City of St. Louis and its citizens raised money for the project. Under the leadership of Mayor Bernard F. Dickmann, and with some funds coming from the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (Project No. 5098), the construction of the building, development of the memorial plaza, and improvements to the parks began on October 21, 1935 and the memorial and museum officially opened on Memorial Day, May 30, 1938.”  (Source)

So the memorial was completed 20 years after the war was over, five times as long as the war itself.  St. Louis’ mayor offered these words 72 years ago:

“This magnificent edifice, erected as a perpetual reminder of the valor and sacrifice that has enabled America to live, will spur us on as a people to make America greater. We, who live, because others have died, should make of this shrine a place of love and a monument of peace.”

– Mayor Bernard F. Dickmann, May 30, 1938

ABOVE: Soldiers Memorial yesterday fenced off for an event
ABOVE: Soldier's Memorial yesterday fenced off for an event

Chestnut was once the street used for parades with the steps of the memorial providing a good viewing platform but at some point we moved parades to Market Street.

– Steve Patterson


In memory of Jerry and Doris Patterson

May 29, 2010 Parks 3 Comments

This post is of a personal nature.  A month from today will mark four years since my mom passed away.  The start of 2011 will be three years since the passing of my father.   I’ve made two trips back to Oklahoma in the time since my dad’s memorial service and I’ve visited their grave site each time.  I there are times I want to visit them and I can’t.  Well now I have a place in St. Louis where I can go.

ABOVE: Kerth Fountain on Government Hill in Forest Park.
ABOVE: Memorial bricks at the base of the reflecting pool with room for more bricks
ABOVE: Newly placed bricks.
ABOVE: My parents enjoyed visiting me in St. Louis and we spent time in Forest Park

– Steve Patterson