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Kris
January 20th, 2004, 08:22 PM
http://pub42.ezboard.com/fcafeurbanitefrm1.showMessage?topicID=1875.topic

http://pub42.ezboard.com/fcafeurbanitefrm1.showMessage?topicID=1876.topic

TLOZ Link5
January 20th, 2004, 11:00 PM
Pretty. But at the same time. considering that many of those buildings are abandoned, the crime situation in the city is one of the worst in the nation, and its population is now less than half of its peak in the '50s.

Kris
January 20th, 2004, 11:29 PM
http://pub42.ezboard.com/fcafeurbanitefrm1.showMessage?topicID=1877.topic

TLOZ Link5
January 21st, 2004, 02:12 PM
Oh, did I mention that it's the syphilis capital of America, too? :shock:

But there's a huge amount of change going on lately; from what I heard, murders alone dropped more than 40% from last year.

Those MetroLink stations are also very impressive.

Kris
January 22nd, 2004, 01:08 AM
http://pub42.ezboard.com/fcafeurbanitefrm1.showMessage?topicID=1882.topic

sirhcman
May 9th, 2004, 01:29 PM
Took some pictures of City Place (in West St. Louis County, a suburb of St. Louis)....City Place is a group of 4 buildings...The largest is a Microsoft building...Other tenants in the buildings are Progressive Auto Insurance and New York Life...

These are my first pics I have taken with my new camera, sorry if the quality is bad. I placed a link because the files are so large, didnt want to piss anyone off with posting massive file sized pictures... Please give me some honest feedback.



http://st06.startlogic.com/~wrestlin/cityplace/

krulltime
May 9th, 2004, 02:26 PM
I like them! You took really beautiful and clear pictures.

Is kind of bad they are located in a suburb because they are good looking buildings...The problem of the suburbs is that if I go to a city to see building architecture many of the new and good looking buildings are somewhere in the suburbs where they are hard to find...besides they make them smaller because they have more land to built. :(

sirhcman
May 9th, 2004, 02:28 PM
I like them! You took really beautiful and clear pictures.

Is kind of bad they are located in a suburb because they are good looking buildings...The problem of the suburbs is that if I go to a city to see building architecture many of the new and good looking buildings are somewhere in the suburbs where they are hard to find...besides they make them smaller because they have more land to built. :(

I actually got kicked off the property because its "private property"

I will probably post some more from here soon...

MrShakespeare
May 9th, 2004, 07:23 PM
I think you did a very nice job with the photographs I could see (the most recent you posted). Good work!

I couldn't see the photos that were posted prior to your most recent, unfortunately, but Saint Louis does have a large number of remarkable buildings. These buildings span the spectrum from residences, to public spaces, to commercial buildings (office buildings, old warehouses, apartments, etc.). If anyone is interested, I will be glad to provide a list of noteworthy places. As I look out my window, I can see great buildings designed by Louis Sullivan and Cass Gilbert, and there are many others.

The negative facts about Saint Louis that are stated above may be true, but certainly do not provide an accurate portrayal of the metropolitan area. Saint Louis has a unique political situation that distorts its image for a casual observer. In short, the "City of Saint Louis" separated from "Saint Louis County" over 130 years ago. At that time, the City fixed its boundaries - and placed a noose around its neck. While the area continued to grow rapidly for the next 80 years, all of this growth, and wealth developed outside of the "City" limits, in the "County". Over time, the wealth and space in the "County" attracted many of the residents, and much of the wealth, from the "City". (Although the analogy is not perfect, think of Westchester County, Long Island, and the New Jersey suburbs of New York City; or think of the migration of office space from downtown to midtown Manhattan). This population and wealth drain has resulted in the oldest, and poorest, part of Saint Louis - the "City" - having all of the problems that these conditions create, but without the necesarry people or the money to attempt to solve those problems. So while it may be true that the "City" of Saint Louis has had its share of crime or disease, it is not accurate to quote those facts out of context to discredit the entire metropolitan area. Doing so is the equivalent of taking the poorest sections of the Bronx or Brooklyn and attempting to assert that the problems of those areas extend to all of New York City.

The greater Saint Louis area is a remarkable place which endears itself to those who care to take the time to experience it. It has the relatively low cost of living provided by a medium-sized urban area, but has all of the benefits (outstanding museums, theater, symphony, two operas, architecture, history) that were established when Saint Louis was a dense, industrial city. The place is worth a visit - even if only for a Cards game and trip to the Arch. :)

Keep posting those photos...

MrShakespeare
May 10th, 2004, 10:20 AM
Some history and a list of good things to do in Saint Louis, from yesterday's Times:

www.nytimes.com

May 9, 2004
WHAT'S DOING
In St. Louis
By SHIRLEY CHRISTIAN

As an outpost of French civilization, the small but urbane town of St. Louis was doing fairly well when Meriwether Lewis and William Clark arrived at the end of 1803 to prepare for their voyage of exploration. Townspeople wined and dined the two that winter, then sent them on their way up the Missouri River. Their return from the Pacific in 1806 produced more festivities.

A century later, with St. Louis the fourth largest city in the United States, events that had led to the nation's ocean-to-ocean expansion were celebrated with the glittering Louisiana Purchase Exposition, better known as the 1904 World's Fair.

The fair, which featured a giant, 2,160-seat Ferris wheel, introduced to a wide public such American standards as Dr Pepper, ice cream cones, iced tea, Buster Brown shoes, and Borax's 20-mule team. The aged Geronimo signed autographs for 10 cents each, and the young Will Rogers twirled his rope and told jokes. "Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis" seemed the most modern and romantic thing to do, never mind that the song was conceived in New York.

Although greater St. Louis now ranks 14th in population (and the city itself just 49th), it is in many ways the Boston of the Midwest - home of graceful old brick buildings that have housed generations of immigrants and guardian of the region's history through long-established cultural and research institutions. To pay homage to the events of 1804 and 1904, the city and its surrounding suburbs are plumbing the depths of this heritage.

Events

"Lewis and Clark: Imagining the Expedition From St. Louis," an exhibition of artifacts, original letters and documents, tells the story of the five months the explorers spent at their camp on the Mississippi and among the French of St. Louis, making final preparations for the journey. The show, which is free, is in the museum space under the Gateway Arch along the Mississippi through Jan. 31. Information: (314) 655-1700 or www.gatewayarch.com.

In May 1804, Lewis and Clark moved to St. Charles, a western suburb on the Missouri River whose inhabitants Clark judged (in his sometimes phonetic style) to be "pore, polite & harmonious." He and the boat crews made the trip by river, and Lewis traveled overland with an entourage of St. Louis notables, who cheered the explorers as they set out upriver in a driving rain. This year, the St. Charles riverfront will be the scene of festivities from this Friday through May 23, including performances by fife and drum corps, a re-enactment of Lewis and Clark's encampment, including a court martial of three members of their force for being away without leave, and displays and sales of early 19th-century crafts and foods.

There will be living history tours of St. Charles's Main Street, lined with small brick buildings that house restaurants and shops. This Saturday, replicas of Lewis and Clark's keelboat and pirogues arrive. For St. Charles information: (800) 366-2427, www.lewisandclarkstcharles.com.

Lewis and Clark's voyage, from the time they left St. Charles until they arrived back in St. Louis, is explored in an exhibition at the Missouri History Museum, Lindell Boulevard at DeBaliviere Street in Forest Park. It contains a number of original items, including Lewis's telescope and Masonic apron, a rifle and powder horn of Clark's, and some journals kept on the voyage. The exhibition is open daily through Sept. 6, then begins a national tour. Museum entry is free, but this show has a general admission of $12; (314) 454-3150 or www.mohistory.org.

The Missouri History Museum is also the site of "The World's Fair: Looking Back at Looking Forward," a tribute to the 1904 exposition. It displays artifacts and artwork from the fair, ranging from souvenir ruby glass and French posters to Sioux handicrafts and Chinese rosewood furniture. Open daily, free.

St. Louis was also the site of the 1904 Olympic Games, and that, too, will be celebrated this summer. The Olympic Torch for this year's Summer Games in Athens will travel a 30-mile route through St. Louis on June 17, arriving in Forest Park about 8:30 p.m. for a free public gathering on the lawns of the St. Louis Art Museum. Olympic stars from the area will participate, including Jackie Joyner-Kersee, winner of the heptathlon gold medals in 1988 and 1992.

St. Louis's popular outdoor musical theater, the Muny, also in Forest Park, will present as its opening show - naturally - "Meet Me in St. Louis." Tickets for the nightly performances in the 10,823-seat amphitheater from June 21 to 30 cost from $8 to $56 (1,500 rear seats are free each night), and go on sale June 5; (314) 361-1900 or www.muny.com.

Sightseeing

Forest Park, the 1,371-acre heart of St. Louis, was the site of the World's Fair, but few of its significant structures survive other than the St. Louis Art Museum, designed by Cass Gilbert as the exposition's Palace of Fine Arts. Today, besides being the home of the art museum, the Muny and the Missouri History Museum, the park - 60 percent bigger than Central Park - includes the St. Louis Zoo, various lakes and a boathouse, two golf courses, walking and biking paths, a skating rink and a wide variety of habitats.

After a life of grand adventure, William Clark died in 1838 and is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery, 4947 West Florissant Avenue, north of downtown, surrounded by generations of descendants. (Meriwether Lewis died in 1809 while traveling the Natchez Trace in Tennessee and is buried there.) The cemetery opens at 8 a.m. and the office, (314) 381-0750, which closes at 4 p.m., offers free maps daily directing visitors to the Clark monument.

The Scott Joplin House State Historic Site, where Joplin lived from 1900 to 1903 and wrote some of his best-known compositions, including "The Entertainer," offers a look at the roots of ragtime and his struggle to succeed in the face of racism. The simple brick row house at 2658 Delmar Boulevard, (314) 340-5790, www.mostateparks.com/scottjoplin.htm, has a player piano and a collection of rolls of the music of Joplin and his contemporaries, which visitors may sit and play. Open daily. Admission: $2.50 and $1.50 for children.

The ultimate sightseeing around much of Lewis and Clark country this summer will be on the luxury barge River Explorer. Besides a three-day excursion from St. Louis to St. Charles this Friday ($495 a person), it offers longer cruises on the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio Rivers into autumn. They include four Show Me the Big Muddy cruises on the Missouri in August, going from St. Charles to Kansas City and Sioux City, Iowa. Prices begin at $2,640 for the nine-day upriver segments and $1,890 for the seven-day downriver voyages. Information: (888) 462-2743 or www.riverbarge.com.

Where to Stay

The 106-room Cheshire Lodge, 6300 Clayton Road, (800) 325-7378, fax (314) 647-9819, www.cheshirelodge.com, is a Tudor-style homey European-style hotel at the southwest corner of Forest Park. It is filled with worn tapestries, antique wood furnishings and displays of English stoneware, along with the owner's collection of mostly 20th-century German and English military caps and insignia. Spacious double rooms - in warm colors with updated baths - are listed at $131, but the Web site offers specials linked to the Lewis and Clark observances from $128.

Besides views of the Mississippi River, the Drury Plaza Hotel at Fourth and Market Streets downtown, (314) 231-3003, fax (314) 231-2952, www.druryhotels.com, has other touches not usually found in a mid-price chain hotel. The 367-room hotel, in the former International Fur Exchange and two adjacent buildings, has microwaves, refrigerators and high-speed Internet access in the large double rooms. Doubles start at $122, including a hot breakfast.

Budget: The 137-room Quality Inn and Suites Historic St. Charles, 1425 South Fifth Street, (636) 946-6936, fax (636) 946-9640, www.choicehotels.com/hotel/mo180, is convenient to the festivities in St. Charles. Just redecorated, its 137 large rooms have light-toned wood furniture and coffeemakers, and some have microwaves and refrigerators. An indoor pool, exercise area and pleasant breakfast room await off the lobby. Doubles start at $69 to $109.

Luxury: The 539-room Hyatt Regency, in Union Station, 1820 Market Street, (314) 231-1234, fax (314) 923-3970, www.stlouis.hyatt.com, is a reinvention of a 19th-century St. Louis landmark. Guests enter beneath the soaring vaulted ceiling and Tiffany windows of what was the train station's grand hall. Rooms have a sumptuous feel with carpets and upholstery in deep blues, golds and rich greens. The fleur de lis is everywhere. Doubles generally start at are $204, but a World's Fair weekend package with breakfast is $159.

The venerable Chase Park Plaza, 212-232 North Kingshighway Boulevard, (877) 587-2427, fax (314) 633-1144, www.chaseparkplaza.com, reopened in 1999 after a $100 million renovation. The 251 rooms feature dark woods and black and gold upholstery. There is an 18,000-square-foot fitness club, outdoor swimming pool, five restaurants and a movie theater in the lobby. Doubles normally start at $199, suites $219.

Where to Eat

Filet of beef tenderloin, liver mousse wrapped in prosciutto and ballotine of duckling are on the ambitious menu at Café de France, 7515 Forsyth Boulevard in Clayton, west of Forest Park; (314) 678-0200. A four-course dinner for two with wine is about $125, or you can go for the six-course meal at upward of $150. There is also a bistro menu. Open for dinner Monday through Saturday and lunch Monday through Friday.

In a setting of warm Spanish colors, Modesto Tapas Bar and Restaurant, 5257 Shaw Avenue, (314) 772-8272, turns out tapas and some larger plates, like paella. A dinner for two that may include langosta frita, shrimp al Modesto, fried calamari, house-made sausages and spinach empanadas is $100, with wine. Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Friday and dinner Saturday.

The Cheshire Inn, (314) 647-7300, adjacent to the Cheshire Lodge, has an inviting English atmosphere in what feels like a hunting lodge. The menu includes pan-seared sea scallops, pecan-encrusted mahi-mahi topped with black bean relish, and prime rib with Yorkshire pudding. A dinner for two with wine runs about $75. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily; the pub is open till 3 a.m.

The 9th Street Abbey provides an interesting lunch setting: a converted church at 1808 South Ninth Street, (314) 621-9598, in the historic Soulard district. The menu features salads, sandwiches and a few hot entrees. Open for lunch weekdays; about $30 for two with a glass of wine each.

A man who liked his mother-in-law enough to build her a house attached to his own in 1866 made possible the New Mother-in-Law House Restaurant, 500 South Main Street in St. Charles, (636) 946-9444. The menu in the antique-filled brick structure features standards like sirloin strip and fried chicken, plus a few flourishes like sautéed chicken in amaretto sauce. Everyone is urged to save room for coconut cream pie. Dinner for two with wine is $40 to $50. Lunch Monday to Saturday and dinner Tuesday to Saturday.


SHIRLEY CHRISTIAN is the author of "Before Lewis and Clark: The Story of the Chouteaus, the French Dynasty that Ruled America's Frontier" ( Farrar,Straus & Giroux).

TLOZ Link5
May 10th, 2004, 03:55 PM
I read that article today. :) Couldn't help but think of this thread as I did.

MrShakespeare
April 8th, 2005, 09:49 AM
From the Times. The link has a couple of photographs, too.

***
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/08/national/08louis.html?ex=1113624000&en=7426e390b6db2871&ei=5070


April 8, 2005
ST. LOUIS JOURNAL
For St. Louis, Great Expectations but a Slow-Rolling Renaissance
By KIRK JOHNSON

ST. LOUIS, April 5 - People here joke that the sidewalks get rolled up at night as workers flee to the suburbs, but through the N.C.A.A. basketball tournament that ended on Monday, the sidewalks got washed instead. St. Louis primped and spruced and papered its empty buildings with signs about the rosy days to come and got its television close-up in front of millions of viewers around the world.

But much of the city's upbeat message was intended for consumption at home, where urban pioneers like John and Mary Kelly have staked their fortunes on making the renaissance real. The couple opened Kelly's Deli four years ago on what was then a nearly abandoned block of downtown, and they still have great expectations because of the conversion of vacant buildings into loft-style apartments in their neighborhood and the escalating real-estate prices that are drawing investors.

But for St. Louis, which lost half its population in the decades after World War II, and for the Kellys, the good times still remain mostly unrealized. The basketball crowds gave a nice jolt to the cash register, they said. And the event put as much as $60 million into the local economy over four days of revelry, economic development officials said. But by Tuesday it was business as usual.

"I don't know how long we can hold on," Mr. Kelly said.

The calculus of rehabilitating any wounded city is partly about experimenting until something that works is found. St. Louis is pinning its hopes on architecture, specifically its stock of glorious old buildings that now stand like monuments to a vanished economy of manufacturing might. But selling the portrait of that recovery, city officials and development leaders say, is complicated by history and myth and the deep divisions in Missouri politics, and to a certain extent by the even trickier terrain of sexual orientation.

The city is an island of Democratic voters in a sea of increasingly conservative rural and suburban ones. It suffers from a reputation as a dangerous place, which tends to keep many outsiders from venturing in. And the recovery effort has partly been led by members of a group that is not popular in many parts of Missouri: gay men and lesbians who have renovated neighborhoods and opened new businesses in recent years.

In August, voters across the state overwhelming voted yes on an amendment to the State Constitution banning same-sex marriage. St. Louis, in a lonely dissent, voted no.

The ongoing pitch to the rest of Missouri is that St. Louis's diversity is exactly what makes the city exciting, said James A. Cloar, the president and chief executive of the Downtown St. Louis Partnership, a civic development group.

"People outside the city have got to buy in," Mr. Cloar said.

Many low-income residents outside downtown, meanwhile, will probably have to wait longer than the Kellys to see any benefit from the resurgence, advocates for the poor say.

Along Washington Avenue, where loft redevelopment is concentrated, the sounds of hammers and saws filled the air on a recent afternoon. Three new businesses have opened on one block in just the last few weeks, including Washington Avenue Post, which combines a coffee bar, an Internet café and an office supply operation.

A mile or two away in the city's mostly black North End, the scars of St. Louis's long fall seem unhealed, with block after block of sagging brick houses.

The city's population, which was more than 850,000 in 1950, had fallen to 348,000 people by 2000, with many of those who left now living in the city's ring of suburbs. Unemployment is about 6.5 percent for the metropolitan area, but far higher in the North End, residents say.

"If you truly create a new industry, there will be jobs," said the Rev. Bill Hutchison, a Jesuit priest and the founder of the Northside Community Center, a nonprofit group. "What's happening now is not designed to hit the low-income people. It's designed to hit the mobile, professional, upper-income class."

But optimism can be an unpredictable thing, with consequences of its own, other people say. And there are hints that St. Louis might be regaining some of its old swagger.

Asked whether the city might suffer if Missourians came to see St. Louis as too different in its politics or too accepting of diversity, one senior city official said the risk of opprobrium was really the other way around - that potential newcomers, drawn to a resurgent St. Louis, might not be so keen on the rest of the state.

"I'm not so worried that they won't tolerate us," said Jeff Rainford, the chief of staff to Mayor Francis G. Slay, referring to Missouri residents outside the city. "I am a little afraid that the folks we want to come won't tolerate them."

***

MrShakespeare
April 8th, 2005, 09:56 AM
Also from the Times.

***

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/30/business/30prop.html?8hpib

March 30, 2005

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

In the Arch's Shadow, Signs of Revival
By LINDA TUCCI

Framed on the east by Eero Saarinen's forward-looking Gateway Arch and on the west by the majestic Romanesque-style Union Station, downtown St. Louis might be the most studied 2.91 square miles in the nation. At least a dozen reports have been commissioned in recent years to dissect its shortcomings and point the way to a brighter future.

Invariably, those efforts delivered the same bad news: despite its status as Missouri's largest office center and the hub for three successful professional sports teams, downtown was in dire straits. Last year, a California consultant pronounced the downtown "one of the most lifeless and uninteresting" in America.

Cut off from the Mississippi River by Interstate 70, the business district was marooned from its past. Large corporations were vacating to suburban locations or swallowed by out-of-state acquirers. Foot traffic had all but evaporated.

For St. Louisans, the decline was all the more unnerving because it seemed that other waterfront cities - Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, for example - were becoming increasingly lively. Worse still, tens of millions of square feet of commercial space in the downtown core sat vacant. The brick and stone edifices - some of them national landmarks - were crumbling.

But, increasingly, civic leaders are convinced that the worst has passed. In the last six years, a comprehensive plan to reinvigorate downtown has been set in motion, and more than $2.5 billion has been committed to 125 projects. While many initiatives are still in their infancy, a few are far enough along that national developers are said to be taking notice, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the future of downtown St. Louis.

W. Thomas Reeves, executive director of Downtown Now, a public-private partnership working to rejuvenate the area, said that 2004 was the tipping point for the revitalization of downtown St. Louis. "It's no longer a conversation; it's real construction," he said.

Notable projects include a new federal courthouse, a convention center hotel and a new baseball stadium scheduled to be finished by next spring, but local experts think the future of downtown will have less to do with these blockbusters than with a fundamental shift in the city's approach to development.

"I think the biggest change is that we're not just focused on one project," said Barbara Geisman, who heads economic development for Mayor Francis G. Slay. "We are addressing all of the issues that prevented us from achieving critical mass in the past."

The sea change can be traced to several critical events in the late 1990's. In 1997, after hundreds of community meetings, St. Louis 2004, an organization led by former Senator John C. Danforth, came out with an action plan for the region that included as one its top priorities the revival of downtown. That same year, Clarence Harmon, the mayor who preceded Mr. Slay, appointed Downtown Now, a committee that included representatives from St. Louis 2004, the area's largest business organizations, downtown corporations and private citizens.

Perhaps most important, the Missouri Legislature and Gov. Mel Carnahan enacted a state historic tax credit that when added to the federal historic tax credit made it much more attractive to turn vacant or underused old buildings into housing, hotels and retail space.

In 2000, Downtown Now hired Mr. Reeves, a banker who had overseen Mercantile Bank's real estate lending, as its executive director and started a $1.2 billion plan that focused on four downtown areas: Washington Avenue, the Old Post Office District, Laclede's Landing and the Gateway Mall.

"What is happening is completely fueled by the state historic credit being added to the federal credit, which could only happen if you had this tremendous store of historic buildings, all of which were on the National Register or eligible for listing," said Carolyn H. Toft, the president of the Landmarks Association of St. Louis and a framer of the state credit.

Oddly, the lack of downtown activity for so long kept much of the city's trove of old buildings in suspended animation. Otherwise, they might have been torn down, Ms. Toft said.

The first redevelopment happened on Washington Avenue, where old garment district warehouses, with their big floor areas, made for relatively easy conversion to lofts and provided plenty of space for first floor retailing.

"They were all vacant, and there is no way offices were going back into those," said Richard C. Ward, chairman of Development Strategies, a St. Louis consulting firm specializing in urban development. "That's why I say thank goodness for the residential market because you're never going to use these warehouse buildings as warehouses."

A report issued last year states that since 2000, 36 historic buildings have reopened or are under reconstruction, adding 1,863 residential units to the downtown market. For a city that lost 12 percent of its population from 1990 to 2000, the influx has been hailed as a turnaround. Another 1,050 units are coming on the market in 2005 alone, and 1,359 more are planned.

Every residential property developed since 2000 projected through 2006 is a renovation of a historic building, and most have had substantial support from the historic tax credits. Approximately 5 million square feet - of 15 million vacant square feet - has been consumed. Of 9,610 residents downtown, 4,644 live in market-rate properties. Of those living in the market-rate housing, 82 percent are college graduates, with 30 percent hold postgraduate degrees.

"I do think there is something very real here," Mr. Ward said. "People are making investment decisions to live downtown as fast as they can build the darn units."

Part of the attraction is price. The average price per square foot for condominiums is $150, and the monthly rent for apartments is $1.05 per square foot.

The market is beginning to show signs that it can also attract an older, more wealthy buyer. Craig Heller, one of the first loft condominium developers downtown, recently sold a penthouse condominium for $750,000 - or $225 a square foot. "Somebody reading this in New York would laugh, but for us it's good," he said. "It's a nice thing because it shows this kind of living is not just the kids."

Along with the people has come the first wave of new restaurants and retail. "We've opened seven new retail establishments since July of 2004 and about that number of restaurants, and we have an equivalent number that may open in the next six months," said James Cloar, president of Downtown St. Louis Partnership. "It's getting to where many of these restaurants on the weekend, you can't get in."

In addition to Washington Avenue, Downtown Now has focused on reviving the Old Post Office and Custom House, which anchors an entire block in the nine-block-long area known as the Old Post Office District. Set back by broad sidewalks and set apart by its Second Empire style and granite facade, the national landmark was operated until recently by the General Services Administration and was scheduled to be closed. Now, it is undergoing a $77 million renovation for use by businesses, educational institutions and courts and the construction of a 1,000-car parking garage.

The deal took five years to work out; it involves $28 million in corporate tax credits and a raft of federal, state and other commercial tax credits, and it comes with its own controversy. To make way for the garage, another historic building, the Century, was razed, to the dismay of preservationists, like Ms. Toft. "It's not ironic; it's irrational," she declared.

Leading the development is the financier Steven J. Stogel of DFC Group, a consulting and development firm, and Mark Schnuck of Desco, the commercial real estate arm of the Schnuck Markets, a regional supermarket chain with $2 billion in revenue. Mr. Schnuck's brothers, Craig and Scott C., have headed two powerful business organizations in the city: Civic Progress and Regional Chamber and Growth Association.

"We're St. Louisans and we really felt there was a civic responsibility to try and get involved in some way or another and trying to be a catalyst for this redevelopment," Mark Schnuck said. "It is such a skinny deal, that is one with a potential return rather limited in light of the size of the property. "You have a building that is 248,000 square feet, but there's only about 135,000 square feet that's usable because it's such a high cube and large common areas."

So far, 70 percent of the space has been leased, mostly by institutions and smaller companies - including the Missouri Court of Appeals, Webster University and The St. Louis Business Journal - that were already downtown.

The blighted blocks surrounding the Old Post Office have also undergone a conversion to residential use, with another one million previously vacant square feet already renovated or out for bid, including projects from two major investors: a $14 million conversion of the old St. Louis Board of Education building into lofts by Steven and Michael Roberts, and the $52 million Paul Brown Loft Apartments, done by John Steffen of Pyramid Construction.

Now, the biggest worry for downtown is the office market, Mr. Ward and others said.

"The good side of the story is the residential is going to create a whole new atmosphere downtown," Mr. Ward said. "It's not going to feel like a dead place. More young people are saying that's the place to be. And that will eventually - I don't know how quickly - accrue to the office market."
***

TLOZ Link5
April 8th, 2005, 12:55 PM
An article I posted in the "City Slights" thread notes that Saint Louis's population decline halted last year. I've got my fingers crossed for a population increase in the 2010 Census.

ryan
April 8th, 2005, 01:14 PM
Somebody at the Times must own property in St. Louis for all this hype... is it the new Beacon, NY?

April 8, 2005

ST. LOUIS JOURNAL For St. Louis, Great Expectations but a Slow-Rolling Renaissance

By KIRK JOHNSON (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=KIRK JOHNSON&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=KIRK JOHNSON&inline=nyt-per)
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/s.gifT. LOUIS, April 5 - People here joke that the sidewalks get rolled up at night as workers flee to the suburbs, but through the N.C.A.A. basketball tournament that ended on Monday, the sidewalks got washed instead. St. Louis primped and spruced and papered its empty buildings with signs about the rosy days to come and got its television close-up in front of millions of viewers around the world.

But much of the city's upbeat message was intended for consumption at home, where urban pioneers like John and Mary Kelly have staked their fortunes on making the renaissance real. The couple opened Kelly's Deli four years ago on what was then a nearly abandoned block of downtown, and they still have great expectations because of the conversion of vacant buildings into loft-style apartments in their neighborhood and the escalating real-estate prices that are drawing investors.

But for St. Louis, which lost half its population in the decades after World War II, and for the Kellys, the good times still remain mostly unrealized. The basketball crowds gave a nice jolt to the cash register, they said. And the event put as much as $60 million into the local economy over four days of revelry, economic development officials said. But by Tuesday it was business as usual.

"I don't know how long we can hold on," Mr. Kelly said.

The calculus of rehabilitating any wounded city is partly about experimenting until something that works is found. St. Louis is pinning its hopes on architecture, specifically its stock of glorious old buildings that now stand like monuments to a vanished economy of manufacturing might. But selling the portrait of that recovery, city officials and development leaders say, is complicated by history and myth and the deep divisions in Missouri politics, and to a certain extent by the even trickier terrain of sexual orientation.

The city is an island of Democratic voters in a sea of increasingly conservative rural and suburban ones. It suffers from a reputation as a dangerous place, which tends to keep many outsiders from venturing in. And the recovery effort has partly been led by members of a group that is not popular in many parts of Missouri: gay men and lesbians who have renovated neighborhoods and opened new businesses in recent years.

In August, voters across the state overwhelming voted yes on an amendment to the State Constitution banning same-sex marriage. St. Louis, in a lonely dissent, voted no.

The ongoing pitch to the rest of Missouri is that St. Louis's diversity is exactly what makes the city exciting, said James A. Cloar, the president and chief executive of the Downtown St. Louis Partnership, a civic development group.

"People outside the city have got to buy in," Mr. Cloar said.

Many low-income residents outside downtown, meanwhile, will probably have to wait longer than the Kellys to see any benefit from the resurgence, advocates for the poor say.

Along Washington Avenue, where loft redevelopment is concentrated, the sounds of hammers and saws filled the air on a recent afternoon. Three new businesses have opened on one block in just the last few weeks, including Washington Avenue Post, which combines a coffee bar, an Internet café and an office supply operation.

A mile or two away in the city's mostly black North End, the scars of St. Louis's long fall seem unhealed, with block after block of sagging brick houses.

The city's population, which was more than 850,000 in 1950, had fallen to 348,000 people by 2000, with many of those who left now living in the city's ring of suburbs. Unemployment is about 6.5 percent for the metropolitan area, but far higher in the North End, residents say.

"If you truly create a new industry, there will be jobs," said the Rev. Bill Hutchison, a Jesuit priest and the founder of the Northside Community Center, a nonprofit group. "What's happening now is not designed to hit the low-income people. It's designed to hit the mobile, professional, upper-income class."

But optimism can be an unpredictable thing, with consequences of its own, other people say. And there are hints that St. Louis might be regaining some of its old swagger.

Asked whether the city might suffer if Missourians came to see St. Louis as too different in its politics or too accepting of diversity, one senior city official said the risk of opprobrium was really the other way around - that potential newcomers, drawn to a resurgent St. Louis, might not be so keen on the rest of the state.

"I'm not so worried that they won't tolerate us," said Jeff Rainford, the chief of staff to Mayor Francis G. Slay, referring to Missouri residents outside the city. "I am a little afraid that the folks we want to come won't tolerate them."


Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

MrShakespeare
May 23rd, 2005, 03:50 PM
...From the St. Louis Business Journal (subscription). Re-printed at MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7950283


EXCLUSIVE REPORTS
From the May 20, 2005 print edition

Libeskind redraws St. Louis skyline
Lisa R. Brown

A long-talked-about project set to change St. Louis' skyline is now moving forward with a world-renowned architect at the drawing table.

Not since the building of the Arch has St. Louis had as an iconoclastic project in the works as the designs for the Bottle District to be located just north of the Edward Jones Dome. That's the sentiment of the developers of the district since Daniel Libeskind agreed to design the $290 million project.

New York City-based Libeskind has projects under way or completed around the globe. He is the architect of the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, the Grand Canal Performing Arts Centre and Galleria in Dublin, Ireland, and the redevelopment of the Fiera Milano Fairgrounds in Milan, Italy, among many other high-profile projects. He also is the architect of several residential developments in the United States.

In 2003, Libeskind's design was chosen for the original master plan design for Ground Zero and the World Trade Center site. Although it was recently announced the design will change to address security concerns, the new design will be consistent with Libeskind's master site plan.

Wednesday, Libeskind presented preliminary designs for the Bottle District to the developer, Dan McGuire, president of McGuire Moving & Storage Co. and owner of the Bottle District site, and the general contractor, Bob Clark, chief executive of Clayco. Libeskind's design incorporates several elements that have been a part of the plan from its inception -- including residential towers and the pedestrian-oriented nature of the site. The master plan Libeskind presented includes two high-rise condominium towers, as many as 50 commercial tenants and a public plaza on more than seven city blocks.

The residential towers will range between eight and 32 stories, based on market demand, Clark said. A third tower on the site also may be included. Renderings of the designs show the angled towers staggered within the site to give full views of the Arch and riverfront.

Libeskind's initial design has a swooping coliseum shape with multiple entry points. The sketches will serve as the starting point for the eventual architectural designs.

The first phase of the project, which will include the first of the residential towers, will be completed in 2007. The entire Bottle District development will be completed by 2010. A Cabo Wabo Cantina, owned by rocker Sammy Hagar, a go-cart racetrack operated by Grand Prix Speedways LLC and a Rawlings All American Grill already have committed to the mixed-use residential and entertainment complex.

McGuire, chief executive of BDP LLC, the developer of the project, said landing Libeskind as the architect for the project takes the mixed-use development that has been in the conceptual phase for years to a new level.

"It's going to change the whole skyline," McGuire said. McGuire and his brothers, Robin and Kevin McGuire, own or control much of the 20-acre site around the moving company's headquarters. The vacant buildings that are on the site now will be torn down in the coming months. The only building of McGuire's that will remain after development is the company's more than 100-year-old headquarters, which will be turned into 70 loft units. A museum is slated to be located on the building's first floor.

Although BDP would not disclose how much Libeskind will be paid, Libeskind has committed to work within the projected budget for the development, which includes architectural fees, said BDP's Marketing Director Matt Bernsen. "All of our numbers have been supported by our urban planning study," Bernsen said.

Libeskind has designed other residential towers in the United States, but the Bottle District development will be one of his largest residential complexes that includes mixed-use development. "He hasn't done an entire district like this before," Bernsen said.

When Libeskind met with McGuire and Clark Wednesday, it was the first time he visited the site of the proposed development, but not his first time in St. Louis. Libeskind said he has been enamored with the city of St. Louis since he first visited 30 years ago on his honeymoon to see the Arch in person. "It's an incredible city," he said as he looked south from the site toward downtown. "There are fantastic people with a fantastic vision. And every project is about the people."

In December, the architect read from his memoir, "Breaking Ground: Adventures in Life and Architecture," at Washington University's Graham Chapel. And in February, Libeskind was in town at the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) for a private dinner.

Clark said Libeskind's visit to COCA was the genesis of Libeskind's interest in the project. "He was very interested in the [COCA] building, which was designed by German architect Eric Mendelsohn," Clark said.

Clark arranged the meeting with the Bottle District development team after meeting Libeskind during his February visit. "We just had this big idea from that encounter, to see if he'd be interested," Clark said.

In March, McGuire, Clark and six members of the development team flew to New York for a four-hour meeting with Libeskind, his wife, Nina, who is manager of Studio Daniel Libeskind, and two of the firm's architects.

Clark said it was difficult to gauge Libeskind's interest in the project during the presentation. "He didn't react at all for the four hours," Clark said. "Then at the end of the meeting, he said he loved the project, and I was elated."

McGuire said Libeskind seemed especially interested in the revitalization of the city that the new development will bring. Much of the team's presentation was focused on St. Louis' revitalization efforts, including the new ballpark complex, the Washington Avenue district and the city's efforts to spur development.

After the meeting in March, McGuire sent Libeskind two bottles. One was a glass bottle that was dug up on the grounds of the development site and dates back to the 1850s. The other was a bottle with a customized label for Libeskind. On the label, a Web address was printed that linked to a customized Web address for the architect. The bottles were packed in shredded U.S. currency retired by the U.S. Department of Treasury to show the financial potential for the site, Bernsen said.

"This will be a rebirth of a great American city," Libeskind said. "St. Louis, with the Arch and this historical district -- this will link that whole history with the 21st Century. This is a key gateway to the city."

Polish-born Libeskind, 59, became an American citizen in 1965. "Any major project that he does, he has a story to tell about how he developed the design," Bernsen said. "He starts with basic sketches, then gets to the heartbeat and the synergy of the city he is working in. He is directly involved in all of his projects."

The Bottle District name derives from buried bottles found at the property from the time when the land was home to immigrants in the 1800s. Bernsen said the development's name also reflects St. Louis' rich brewery history and the larger-than-life Vess soda bottle on the site. The bottle was placed as an advertisement for Vess Beverages Inc. in the 1990s.

"By bringing Daniel to this project, it takes the city to another level," McGuire said. "It gives this project international publicity and St. Louis international publicity."

McGuire said the construction of the site itself will likely become something that will attract visitors to St. Louis, in the same way Libeskind's design of the extension to the Denver Art Museum attracted 1.5 million visitors to view construction from an observation deck.

Next up, the development team will travel to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) trade show in Las Vegas May 22-25 to attract retailers with Libeskind's designs in hand. The first phase had 60 percent occupancy under its original design, but now has approximately half of its tenants lined up since the project scope expanded. McGuire said he expects to fill the remaining slots in the next 90 days.

lrbrown@bizjournals.com



© 2005 American City Business Journals Inc.

Xing
August 29th, 2005, 03:32 PM
Pretty. But at the same time. considering that many of those buildings are abandoned, the crime situation in the city is one of the worst in the nation, and its population is now less than half of its peak in the '50s.

Wow! Do you have some neon spandex to go with that dated perception?





I found this at the HOK Planning Group's website.
http://www.hokplanninggroup.com/projects/portfolio/b6345e5a-ac73-d3ac-9c7c-0d6e6eb17579/St__Louis_CBD_Streetscape_PLNWeb.htm?sort=Alpha#
This streetscape program is designed to improve streets and streetscape within the core of downtown St. Louis. As a result of this program, pedestrians will find walking in downtown to be an inviting, safe, logical and exciting experience. In addition, the streetscape improvements help to organize and define the urban hierarchy within the district.
This work emanates from the Downtown Development Action Plan for the City of St. Louis, adopted by the City. The program area comprises approximately 60 blocks in the core of downtown St. Louis. The program connects significant public assets including, Washington Avenue, the Edward Jones Dome, the Gateway Mall, Busch Stadium, Cupples Station and the Old Post Office.

http://www.hokplanninggroup.com/projects/portfolio/b6345e5a-ac73-d3ac-9c7c-0d6e6eb17579/projimages/full1_1.jpg
http://www.hokplanninggroup.com/projects/portfolio/b6345e5a-ac73-d3ac-9c7c-0d6e6eb17579/projimages/full1_2.jpg
http://www.hokplanninggroup.com/projects/portfolio/b6345e5a-ac73-d3ac-9c7c-0d6e6eb17579/projimages/full1_3.jpg
http://www.hokplanninggroup.com/projects/portfolio/b6345e5a-ac73-d3ac-9c7c-0d6e6eb17579/projimages/full1_4.jpg
http://www.hokplanninggroup.com/projects/portfolio/b6345e5a-ac73-d3ac-9c7c-0d6e6eb17579/projimages/full1_5.jpg
http://www.hokplanninggroup.com/projects/portfolio/b6345e5a-ac73-d3ac-9c7c-0d6e6eb17579/projimages/full1_6.jpg

Xing
August 29th, 2005, 03:36 PM
Here are some quick images.

http://img186.imageshack.us/img186/1294/dsc087264wr.jpg


http://img186.imageshack.us/img186/4479/dsc087296zp.jpg


http://img186.imageshack.us/img186/3613/dsc088259ex.jpg




http://img186.imageshack.us/img186/7944/dsc089400zr.jpg



http://img186.imageshack.us/img186/479/dsc089628le.jpg

Xing
August 29th, 2005, 03:39 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Chrome979/DSC08706.jpg



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Chrome979/DSC08722.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Chrome979/DSC08642.jpg

TLOZ Link5
August 29th, 2005, 03:39 PM
Wow! Do you have some neon spandex to go with that dated perception?

No, just the facts. It certainly isn't like I'm hating on Saint Louis, but unfortunately it has its problems.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Louis%2C_Missouri#Population


Population

During the last half century, the city of Saint Louis, whose boundaries have been constrained since 1876, has suffered from population decline:

* 1950 - 856,796
* 1960 - 750,026
* 1970 - 622,236
* 1980 - 453,085
* 1990 - 396,685
* 2000 - 348,189
* 2002 - 338,353 (estimate)

The most recent estimate said that the city lost roughly 16,000 people between 2000 and 2003, but the city challenged the census bureau and proved that estimate wrong. The city actually lost only an estimated 150 people and is now expected to be gaining. The population downtown is rapidly changing and its resurgence is influencing the rest of the city.

Yes, it's growing again, but it needs to gain nearly 100,000 people to get back to even half of its peak population.


The city of Saint Louis has one of the highest per-capita crime rates in the United States, with 111 murders and 7,059 burglaries in 2002, reported by CityData. However, statistical data for the city of Saint Louis is often skewed by its fixed boundary and status as an independent city.

I never said that out of schadenfreude; I implied that it was really sad that such a great city is in such dire straits.

ryan
August 29th, 2005, 03:40 PM
ugh, those buildings look hideous. Break out the sandblaster. Painted brick is never a good idea.

Xing
August 30th, 2005, 02:22 PM
are you kidding me?^

Xing
August 30th, 2005, 02:24 PM
No, just the facts. It certainly isn't like I'm hating on Saint Louis, but unfortunately it has its problems.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Louis%2C_Missouri#Population



Yes, it's growing again, but it needs to gain nearly 100,000 people to get back to even half of its peak population.



I never said that out of schadenfreude; I implied that it was really sad that such a great city is in such dire straits.

Right, but you speaking with a tone that implies the city is almost hopeless, is what I refer to as a "dated perception." It will take time to gain 100,000 people, but the city is certainly improving at an incredible rate. That is the latest news on St. Louis, not that it's still falling.

Ninjahedge
August 30th, 2005, 03:10 PM
are you kidding me?^

I'm not.

Painted brick sucks.

Xing
August 30th, 2005, 03:16 PM
I'm not.

Painted brick sucks.

Hey, thanks for the formal analysis.

NYatKNIGHT
August 30th, 2005, 03:23 PM
I don't know what you guys are talking about, I love those rowhouses, paint job and all. Nice photos, Xing, St. Louis is cool.

TLOZ Link5
August 30th, 2005, 04:54 PM
Right, but you speaking with a tone that implies the city is almost hopeless, is what I refer to as a "dated perception." It will take time to gain 100,000 people, but the city is certainly improving at an incredible rate. That is the latest news on St. Louis, not that it's still falling.

I'll definitely take your word for it. Sorry if I offended you.

Fabrizio
August 30th, 2005, 07:57 PM
yeah, man, painted brick sucks big time.... juss click on these thumbnails:

http://community.webshots.com/album/188997044DfezwV

AJphx
September 2nd, 2005, 01:32 AM
The colorful houses I see in the photos are beautiful..... are those the painted brick buildings being referred to?

MrShakespeare
September 14th, 2005, 11:34 AM
...I tried to attach the JPEG...

***

High-rise vision for Bottle District

By Charlene Prost
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
09/13/2005

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/business/stories.nsf/story/C233F3887001C12A8625707C0015DA44?OpenDocument


Artist's rendering
(Handout)

A developer planning a $100 million project in Charlotte, N.C., is poised to become co-developer of the Bottle District in downtown St. Louis.

Afshin Ghazi, founder of the Ghazi Co. in Charlotte, said his group had been looking for projects here when it learned about the Bottle District. The $290 million complex with restaurants, entertainment, housing and offices is planned north of the Edward Jones Dome.

"We are finalizing all our points now. We will be involved in the project," Ghazi said. "We think St. Louis is a great market, a great sports town and a great tourist town."

Bottle District officials have been talking with Ghazi about taking on the job of co-developer, said Matt Bernsen, the Bottle District's marketing director.

"We're interested in partnering with a proven developer, and Ghazi does have experience."

The 11-year-old company does mostly specialty retail and partners with others on housing and office development. Ghazi's Web site says it strives "to be on the cutting edge of real estate development."

The EpiCentre project in downtown Charlotte, an entertainment and retail complex with a 53-story residential tower, is to rise on the site of the recently demolished convention center.

In St. Louis, Bottle District officials plan a groundbreaking Sept. 27 for the still-evolving project, which will cover nearly 15 acres on more than six blocks. It was made public a year ago by Dan McGuire, president of McGuire Moving & Storage Co., and a team of associates and experts he assembled.

The moving company occupies a 101-year-old building that's to be recycled for housing as part of the project after McGuire moves to another location.

The property is near a $400 million casino complex Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. got under way earlier this month.

The latest renderings, by the Studio Daniel Libeskind firm in New York City and Forum Studio at Clayco Construction Co. in St. Louis, show three condo towers that would bring a distinctive new look to the city skyline.

The tallest tower is sketched in at 630 feet - nearly the height of the Gateway Arch. Together, the towers would have up to 700 condos.

Bernsen said the district plans to team up with a residential developer to check out the market for that many condos and help get them built. About 100 people already have requested price and other information from the district's Web site.

Several commercial tenants have signed letters of intent, including Rawlings All American Grille, Cabo Wabo restaurant and a Grand Prix Speedways kart-racing center. Joe Edwards, the pioneering developer in University City's Delmar Loop, plans a "boutique" bowling alley.

Bernsen said demolition to make way for the project has started at a vacant school on the property. Later, a recycling center and warehouse will be taken down.

At this point, he said, a construction start date has not been set.

The city has approved tax increment financing for the project that Bernsen said will generate about $51.3 million. And, he said, "we are interviewing and considering multiple proposals for financing" from banks and other private lending sources.

Barbara Geisman, deputy mayor for development, said St. Louis is anxious to see the project move forward.

"It will provide new entertainment and things to do for people who visit the convention center," she said. "It will add new commercial, office and residential opportunities for people who want to be downtown in newly constructed buildings."

And, she noted, Daniel Libeskind "is one of the top architects in the world these days, and he has accepted this commission. This will add a whole new dimension to the architecture of our city."

The Bottle District name came, in part, from buried bottles found on the property. It's also a connection to the city's history as a hub for breweries and other bottlers. Developers also want to restore a 34-foot-tall Vess sign, shaped like a soda bottle, on the property.

TLOZ Link5
September 14th, 2005, 11:39 AM
Huzzah! A good sign that Saint Louis is on the rebound.

MrShakespeare
September 14th, 2005, 09:56 PM
...More Saint Louis press today, from the Wall Street Journal (subscription):

A Pulitzer's Prize Venue
For Intimate Art Appreciation

By JOEL HENNING
September 14, 2005; Page D14

St. Louis

When I came to call on Emily Rauh Pulitzer, chairwoman of the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, the taxi deposited me in the rain at a building whose rectangular mass of concrete walls squatted in the Grand Center district here like a forbidding fortress. But Tadao Ando's four-year-old building was airy and transparent within. The reflecting pool that separates its two wings brought the late-afternoon sun and clearing sky into the main gallery and sculpture court, while hidden glass spaces between walls and ceiling cast dramatic shafts of light throughout, including the smaller galleries and offices scattered on various levels of the two wings. The building is a work of art itself, but one that seems amenable to art installations. It should be, as it was designed in collaboration with two artists -- Ellsworth Kelly and Richard Serra -- each of whom created a piece organic to the architecture.

The foundation's unusual array of spaces creates a sense of calm, and offers a unique kind of rhythm and choreography to the viewing of the relatively small exhibits that it displays, such as the current "Brancusi and Serra in Dialogue," a selection of fewer than 20 sculptures, along with about two dozen sketches and photographs (through Sept. 24). An earlier exhibition, "Art and the Spiritual," suggested links between secular and religious, Western and non-Western pieces. It juxtaposed Aristide Maillol and Jacques Lipchitz sculptures and Max Beckmann paintings with Nigerian effigies, Congolese figures and Indonesian ancestor poles. Next is "Minimalism and Beyond" (opening Oct. 15), which will focus on such artists from the 1960s on, attempting to give a different view of Minimalism in the context of the Ando building's Minimalist aesthetic.

One thing is clear: The building and The Pulitzer Foundation it houses are far from a conventional museum. Wholly contrary to the museum world's current obsession with huge exhibitions drawing big crowds, the foundation is open to the public only two days a week, with only 50 people admitted per half hour. And while gallery entry fees rise elsewhere, admission here remains free. None of the art is labeled and there is no wall text, unlike the growing trend toward myriad labels and voluminous text in museums intent on "education."

This anomalous institution germinated from a relatively modest notion. "At first," Ms. Pulitzer told me, "we wanted a really wonderful space." Before Ms. Pulitzer's husband and co-collector, Joseph, died in 1993, the couple worked with Mr. Ando on a plan to renovate the second floor of a defunct car factory and showroom in Grand Center, the city's former entertainment district. They wanted to install some larger works from their modern art collection and to stimulate urban renewal. But after Joseph's death, she visited Japan, saw more of Mr. Ando's work and decided to construct an entirely new building.

Though Ms. Pulitzer's professional background is curatorial -- she spent more than 15 years at the St. Louis Art Museum and Harvard's Fogg Art Museum after receiving her master's in art history from Harvard -- the foundation is not planning to acquire a large, permanent collection. Instead, she says: "We have established one of those rare places where a small, careful selection of art can be installed and viewed intimately."

Why no labels and wall text? "We don't want people to go to the label first," she explains. "We want the experience to be more like viewing art at home with nothing intervening between the art and the building it's in." It frustrates her that the foundation is considered by some people "formidable, inaccessible and private" because it is open to the public for only a few hours on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Her aim, she insists, is to allow visitors "the space and time to move slowly around as well as past the art, to see the pieces in relationship to one another and to this exceptional building."

"This is not a traditional museum with a commitment to art history and chronology," says James Wood, former president of the Art Institute of Chicago and president of the foundation. "We see it in part as a laboratory where professionals and the public can experience art in different ways than in a conventional museum setting, but we are also using the space and the installations as a venue for stimulating new thinking in the museum world. In 24 years as head of the Art Institute, I constantly found that there was never enough time to step back and analyze what you're doing."

According to Mr. Wood, he and Ms. Pulitzer "want to foster a discourse that respects art itself, apart from the often conflicting economic, educational and entertainment objectives that museums confront. If we give curators, directors, conservators, art historians and writers the opportunity to meet in this extraordinary space out of their everyday environment, we think we can contribute to the debate about the core mission of museums." They have held symposia on such topics as art installation, conservation, and art journalism.

In collaboration with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the foundation has moved beyond visual art. For example, the Brancusi-Serra exhibition was the setting for a chamber music concert, conducted by the symphony's music director, David Robertson, of Bartok and other early European modernist composers whose music was created and played as Brancusi developed as an artist. And when Mr. Robertson conducted Ives's "The Unanswered Question" during the "Art and the Spiritual" installation, he told me, he "was able to place the musicians in three concealed parts of the building. As a result, I thought that the work found its full expression in a way that wouldn't have happened in a conventional concert hall." Ms. Pulitzer next hopes to bring poetry readings into the mix.

"You need to view the whole thing as a piece," commented art dealer Richard Gray, founder of the New York and Chicago galleries that bear his name. "It's not the experience of a museum. It's...a conceptual work itself which relates art, architecture and program," he adds.

"We're not better or worse than any other art institution," says Walter Metcalfe, a foundation trustee. "But we are a singular alternative to what's out there."


Tadao Ando's building and the Pulitzer Foundation it houses are different from a conventional museum. No blockbusters, no admission fees, no wall texts.
***

Xing
December 16th, 2005, 11:45 PM
More for St. Louis.

Ballpark Village
http://www.cordish.com/images/developments/bpv_g07.jpg



http://i.pbase.com/v3/53/366053/1/51060934.millstw.jpg

Riverfront Rehab

http://img448.imageshack.us/img448/6724/islands10lc.jpg








Re-creation of Chateou Lake

http://www.hokplanninggroup.com/projects/portfolio/3b07fa6a-fed5-43e6-8e15-d18676dccae4/projimages/mouseover1_1.jpg



Park East Tower (Under Const.)
http://www.urbanstlouis.com/images/renderings/modirend005.jpg



Retro Infill

http://www.pbase.com/stlouis_314/image/48838727.jpg



http://www.urbanstlouis.com/images/renderings/vailplace002.jpg





http://www.urbanstlouis.com/photos/urbanstl/1710Carroll002.jpg



http://www.urbanstlouis.com/images/renderings/charlestonsquare.jpg

(100% Right of Way) MetroLink expansion. New Line to Open Next Year.

http://www.artic.edu/%7Ermoran1/metro.gif

TLOZ Link5
December 17th, 2005, 02:43 PM
http://www.semissourian.com/story/1128782.html

Census confirms that St. Louis is growing in population
Saturday, December 3, 2005
JIM SALTER ~ The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- Peter and Jane Reinecke were empty-nesters living in a 6,500-square-foot home in Chesterfield who tired of the 25-mile drive into St. Louis for trips to ballgames, the Fox Theatre and Muny Opera.

So they found a century-old house in a historic city neighborhood, fell in love with it and moved in in March.

The Reineckes aren't alone. After more than five decades of declining population, the city of St. Louis saw growth for the second straight year in 2004, Mayor Francis said Friday. It didn't come easy. The original U.S. Census projection pegged the city's population at 343,279, a decline of about 5,000 from 2003.

But Slay's office challenged that finding, and a Census Bureau review confirmed the city was right: The population actually increased by about 2,000 to 350,705. The city also successfully challenged the Census Bureau's original population estimates a year ago.

Growth of less than 1 percent may not be big news in a lot of places, but St. Louis' population had been declining since the rush to the suburbs began a half-century ago. The 1950 census showed St. Louis with 856,796 residents. For the next 50 years, the city was losing an average of 10,000 residents per year to the suburbs.

Now, Slay said, that's changed.

"All you have to do is go out and see it," Slay said. "You see more construction, you see more people in the city."

Slay expects the upward trend to continue, despite some limitations. While some cities annex land and sometimes suburbs, St. Louis is surrounded by small municipalities uninterested in a merger. St. Louis is also relatively small in terms of its geographic size -- 61 square miles. By comparison, Slay said, Kansas City, Mo., is comprised of 317 square miles. (TLOZ's note: That's about the size of NYC, but with just 5% of the population.)

Slay said his goal is to add 20,000 new residents over the next four years, and create 1,000 new jobs.

Housing starts have taken off. Production of new and rehabbed homes in the first nine months of 2005 doubled the entire output for 2004. Just six years ago, St. Louis had fewer than 200 new housing starts. This year, it has seen 6,500.

The Reineckes love their renovated 1895 home in the Benton Park neighborhood -- even helped the restoration company finish the remodeling of a house that had been unoccupied for a decade.

"It was a disaster," Jane Reinecke said, recalling her first glimpse inside the home. "There were branches inside. Animals had been living there. But all you had to do was pull back the drapes and see woodwork and the height of the ceilings. I said to my husband, 'this can be fabulous."'

©The Associated Press, 2005

TLOZ Link5
March 23rd, 2006, 02:53 PM
More good news as the Census Bureau updates its population estimate of Saint Louis to 352,572:

http://www.census.gov/popest/archives/2000s/2005/05s_challenges.html

Dagrecco82
March 23rd, 2006, 07:21 PM
When I went to St. Louis about 4 years ago, their downtown area was depressingly lonely- and this was a Tuesday morning. There was exactly 2 people in front of us for the ride up the Arch. I'm glad to hear St. Louis is on the rebound.

antinimby
March 23rd, 2006, 09:58 PM
Cities all across the country are on the rebound as the trend of returning to the inner city is now spreading. A city would have to be in pretty awful shape to not be in on it right now.

MrShakespeare
March 31st, 2006, 09:50 AM
..I think this was well done. :) There are a couple of photos, and a map, that go with the article. The map is particularly good, but needs to be modified before it can be uploaded, and I can't do that right now...

http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/travel/escapes/31hour.html?8hpib

March 31, 2006
36 Hours
St. Louis
By LARRY FRIEDMAN

ST. Louis has undergone a remarkable transformation since 1972, when the spectacular demolition of its high-rise Pruitt-Igoe housing project became an indelible symbol of urban decline. Young professionals drawn to new biotech and medical research industries, as well as a new wave of immigrants from places like Bosnia, are bringing new life to neighborhoods that last thrived a century ago. New loft districts, old civic jewels and revitalized night life are making the old refrain of "Meet Me in St. Louis" a welcome phrase again.

Friday

4 p.m.
1) Gateway to the West

A certain type of New Yorker never goes to the top of the Empire State Building, but most St. Louisans are not so jaded about the Gateway Arch (314-655-1700), the stainless-steel structure designed by Eero Saarinen as a monument to westward expansion. A four-minute tram ride takes you to the top for 30-mile panoramic views across the Mississippi (and some unsettling questions about what exactly is holding you 630 feet up). The view on the city side looks down on the Old Courthouse, where slaves were once auctioned and Dred and Harriet Scott began their legal fight for emancipation. While waiting for your tram to the top of the arch, visit the museum below, which tells the story of the pre-expansion West, the Lewis and Clark expedition (which began a few miles upriver) and the settlement of the Louisiana Purchase territories.

7:30 p.m.
2) Lofts and Fusion Food

Head north through downtown streets and the city's rich past, from steamboat-era levees and warehouses that Mark Twain would have recognized to the venerable Tums factory. Washington Avenue, lined with buildings that once housed much of the nation's shoe industry, is now the center of a thriving loft district. One of the neighborhood's favorite dining spots is the Red Moon restaurant (1500 St. Charles Street, 314-436-9700), on the ground floor of a terra-cotta loft building and complete with high ceilings, a large open kitchen and a long bustling bar. The pan-Asian-French fusion menu draws a crowd of neighborhood artists, young professionals and gastronomes for specialties like tamarind-glazed whole snapper, pork osso buco and Thai beef sashimi with arugula and mint salad (entrees $13 to $28).

9:30 p.m.
3) Postmodern Funhouse

The artist Bob Cassilly spearheaded the metamorphosis of an old International Shoe Company factory into the City Museum (701 North 15th Street, 314-231-2489; admission $12), an idiosyncratic and constantly changing collection of found art like MonstroCity, where kids clamber over old airplane fuselages. At night (until 1 a.m. on weekends), the museum is illuminated by candlelight and draws crowds to features like the Museum of Mirth, Mystery and Mayhem, which reimagines the carnival midways of old. Check out the Corn Dogs Through the Ages exhibition and the Elvis Channeler, which does exactly what the name suggests.

Midnight
4) Nectar Nightcap

The trendiest spot in St. Louis might just be the Nectar Lounge (2001 Locust Street, 314-588-0055), below. Don't even think of walking into this ultrahip boîte wearing denim or any other unironic attire. Stay late enough and you may spot a local celebrity like Nelly, the rapper and St. Louisan, at the long center bar while you sip the signature fruit- and nectar-based cocktails.

Saturday

9 a.m.
5) Saturday in the Park

Forest Park, opened in 1876 and site of the 1904 World's Fair, is one of the nation's premier urban parks. Its 1,300-acre layout, originally designed by the city's parks commissioner, Maximilian Kern, is substantially larger than Central Park. Statues abound in Forest Park: King Louis IX of France — the eponymous St. Louis — has a place of honor on Art Hill, and unbeknownst to many locals, a 23-foot Confederate memorial erected in 1914 by the Ladies Confederate Monument Association is tucked away elsewhere. The St. Louis Zoo (1 Government Drive, 314-781-0900, free), made famous by its former director Marlin Perkins, features a walk-through wrought-iron birdcage, built for the 1904 World's Fair and filled with dozens of native avian species. The St. Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive, 314-721-0072; free), designed by Cass Gilbert, is known for its pre-Columbian and German expressionist holdings. Or just glide through the park's lakes and lagoons on a paddleboat or rowboat rented at the Boathouse (6101 Government Drive, 314-367-3423; $15 an hour); you can also have lunch there ($10 to $15 a person).

2 p.m.
6) North Side Confections

North St. Louis has seen better days, but its reputation as a no-go zone is undeserved. One standout is Crown Candy Kitchen (1401 St. Louis Avenue, 314-621-9650), which draws customers from far beyond its dilapidated neighborhood of 19th-century row houses. Owned by the same family since 1913 (and with equally unchanging décor), Crown Candy offers homemade ice cream cones and sundaes. The 24-ounce shakes and malts ($3.55 to $4; if you can drink five in 30 minutes, they're free) are served in the tall metal canisters in which they were mixed; you pour them into the old-fashioned curved glass yourself. At Christmas, Easter and Valentine's Day, lines are out the door for homemade chocolates and other candies.

4 p.m.
7) This Tour's for You

The giant Budweiser sign at 12th and Lynch Streets marks the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch Companies (314-577-2626). The oldest buildings on the 100-acre grounds go back 150 years, and the brewery is still among America's largest. Tours leave frequently, last about an hour and offer a close-up look at large-scale brewing and, of course, the Clydesdale horses. Visitors over 21 can also sample the brewery's finished products in the Hospitality Room. (Last tour leaves at 5 p.m. in the summer, 4 p.m. other times; all tours are free.)

6 p.m.
8) Sarajevo on the Mississippi

The South Side streets adjacent to the Anheuser-Busch brewery have always been polyglot. German, Irish and Italian immigrants have given way to Thais, Mexicans and Bosnians. In fact, this is one of the country's largest Bosnian neighborhoods, and Grbic Restaurant (4701 Keokuk Street, 314-772-3100; entrees $12 to $30) is a local institution. The Grbic family redesigned an old brick dairy to resemble a southern European hearth kitchen with a large fireplace and antiques on the walls. Try the goulash, cauliflower schnitzel, stuffed cabbage and shashlik. Leave room for palacinke, a Bosnian crepe confection with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

8:30 p.m.
9) Duck Walk on the Wild Side

The rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry electrified the world with songs like "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Back in the U.S.A.," but St. Louisans were more impressed that his lyrics usually mentioned his hometown. Mr. Berry is still going strong at 79 and performs one Wednesday a month at Blueberry Hill (6504 Delmar Boulevard, 314-727-4444); you might be lucky and catch an impromptu cameo on Saturday night when other local and national acts perform. The sidewalks of the surrounding Delmar Loop bar and nightclub district are dotted with "Walk of Fame" plaques honoring St. Louisans like T. S. Eliot, William Burroughs, Tennessee Williams, Redd Foxx, Masters & Johnson and Josephine Baker.

Sunday

9 a.m.
10) Flour and Flowers

Get some of St. Louis's best doughnuts at World's Fair Doughnuts (1904 South Vandeventer Avenue, 314-776-9975), where Terry Clanton turns out a variety of classic glazed and cake doughnuts (try the buttermilk ones, 47 cents each) while you watch; his wife, Peggy, helps out and works the counter. Then head around the corner to the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard, 314-577-9400; $8, free for children under 13). The gardens were originally the country estate of an English immigrant, Henry Shaw, who turned it into a public garden in 1859. It has since become a world leader in plant science, biodiversity and conservation. The 79 acres include Shaw's original home, a Japanese garden and an indoor conservatory for rare tropical trees and plants.

Noon
11) An Ikette's Banquettes

Robbie Montgomery, above right, was an Ikette with Ike and Tina Turner and sang backup for the Supremes and the Rolling Stones. She came home 10 years ago to open Sweetie Pie's in suburban Dellwood. A second location at 4270 Manchester Avenue (314-371-0304, $8 to $15 a person), features a friendly staff, Southern-style décor, gospel music on the stereo and soul-food classics like pork steak with gravy, ribs, chicken, sweet potatoes and peach cobbler.

The Basics

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is 20 minutes by cab from downtown St. Louis. You can also take the MetroLink light rail system, which stops near Forest Park and the Delmar Loop; other areas are best reached by car.

The classic Chase Park Plaza hotel (212 North Kingshighway Boulevard, 314-633-3000; www.chaseparkplaza.com), near Gilded Age mansions in the Central West End, offers great park and skyline views that come at a price: $250 and up for most rooms.

The Hyatt Regency St. Louis at Union Station (1 St. Louis Union Station, 314-231-1234; www.stlouis.hyatt.com; $109 and up), is within a renovated train station that is now a shopping and restaurant venue; the old vaulted waiting room is the hotel's lobby and a great place for a drink.

If you want to stay downtown, try the Omni Majestic Hotel (1019 Pine Street, 314-436-2355; www.omnimajestic.com), in a restored landmark building with period touches like mahogany woodwork; rooms start at $129.
***

MrShakespeare
October 31st, 2006, 02:02 PM
From the Wall Street Journal (subscription):

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK

St. Louis

Reporter Laura Meckler, a former St. Louis resident, on where to shop, eat and wander in a vibrant neighborhood near Washington University.

October 31, 2006; Page D6

What to see: The Loop, located along Delmar Boulevard, was a hangout for college students even during its darker days. But in recent years the area has thrived, with shops and entertainment popping up and down the street. The heart of the Loop remains Blueberry Hill, a bar and eatery with live music, including shows with Chuck Berry, who, at 80 years old, still plays once a month ($25 for Berry shows, 6504 Delmar, Tel. 314-727-4444, www.blueberryhill.com). The Tivoli Theatre, restored to its 1924 glory, shows independent, foreign and cult films (6350 Delmar, Tel. 314-862-1100). Pin-Up Bowl is a martini bar in front with eight lanes of bowling in the back (6191 Delmar, Tel. 314-727-5555, www.pinupbowl.com). All along Delmar, look down to see 116 stars along the St. Louis Walk of Fame, each telling the story of a notable native and others with strong ties to the city. Among them: Miles Davis, Maya Angelou, Tennessee Williams and Yogi Berra (www.stlouiswalkoffame.org).

Where to shop: Craft Alliance, a nonprofit arts center, is the pace setter for more than a half-dozen art galleries (6640 Delmar, Tel. 314-725-1177, www.craftalliance.org). Comic aficionados will "Holy Batman" their way through Star Clipper, with 350 titles including many from small and independent companies (6392 Delmar, Tel. 314-725-9110, www.starclipper.com). Bring home a cloth puppet or wooden pull toy for the tots back home from City Sprouts (6354 Delmar, Tel. 314-726-9611). And yes, actual albums (along with many more CDs) are still for sale at Vintage Vinyl (6610 Delmar, Tel. 314-721-4096, www.vintagevinyl.com).

Where to eat: Mirasol serves up pan-Latin tapas, with spicy scotch bonnet mango sauce on every table for the adventurous (6144 Delmar, Tel. 314-721-6909, www.mirasol-stl.com). The front room at Riddle's Penultimate Cafe and Wine Bar looks like a college bar but in the back you'll find a menu with tasty and sophisticated dishes made with organic and locally grown ingredients (6307 Delmar, Tel. 314-725-6985). At Fitz's American Grill and Bottling Works, a family-friendly eatery, customers can watch homemade root beer and other soft drinks being mixed and bottled (6605 Delmar, Tel. 314-726-9555, www.fitzsrootbeer.com).

Where to stay: In the Central West End, try the beautifully renovated Chase Park Plaza, built in the 1920s (Rooms from $269, Tel. 314-633-3000, www.chaseparkplaza.com).

daver
October 31st, 2006, 03:42 PM
Hopefully only a minor setback...

City fears crime report fallout

By Jeremy Kohler (jkohler@post-dispatch.com)
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
10/31/2006



SUMMARY: Mayor Francis Slay's office struck back Monday at what officials say is a flawed study ranking St. Louis at the top of the nation's large cities in crime.



Here we go again: A publisher in Kansas, using a formula decried by criminologists, says St. Louis is the most dangerous city in the United States. And city officials are fuming.


As the buzz lifted from Sunday's World Series parade, the ranking kept national media focused here. The storyline? St. Louis: First in baseball, first in crime. Detroit finished second in both.


All the attention from the annual safety ranking by Morgan Quitno Press — a publisher of reference books and lists of statistics — had St. Louis officials seeing red — and not of the Cardinals variety.



"This thing is bogus," grumbled Jeff Rainford, chief of staff to Mayor Francis Slay.


But bogus or not, Rainford said, there is good reason to worry the ranking could hurt St. Louis.


Nancy Milton, spokeswoman for the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, said she fielded phone calls Monday from convention planners concerned about what they were hearing. She declined to identify them.


"A majority of them say they're going to face questions from their boards of directors and their constituents, and they want to get ahead of those questions," she said. Milton said most seemed to understand that the ranking had little to do with the safety of conventioneers.


"Chicago had 448 murders and St. Louis had a regrettable 131, but I don't think anyone is going to stop going to Chicago," she said.


Morgan Quitno's assessment is based on a given city's rates last year in six crime categories — murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and auto theft — as reported to the FBI. The firm, in Lawrence, Kan., scored cities against national averages in each category and added the scores, weighting each crime the same.


Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri at St. Louis, said Morgan Quitno's methodology is flawed because it compares places like Memphis, which includes miles of outlying areas, to St. Louis, where the city limits barely extend from the urban core.


"Does St. Louis have a crime problem? Yes, sure, it has a crime problem, and every big city has a crime problem. Like every big city, it's worse in some areas than others," he said.


A more telling comparison might be of metropolitan areas, Rosenfeld said.


Using the same methodology, the St. Louis area ranked 129th most dangerous out of 344 metro areas, said Morgan Quitno's president, Scott Morgan.


He said such lists are what they are, and he's not surprised this one draws some criticism. "I am stunned if there is a criminologist out there who will support this," he acknowledged.


St. Louis last held the mantle of shame in 2002, but sloughed it off. It finished no higher than fourth in intervening years, and lost this year in a landslide, Morgan said.


A bad finish was not a surprise, as reports of violent crimes surged 20 percent last year to their highest levels in seven years.


On Monday, the city struck back, decrying the timing of the release and the methodology behind the ranking. Morgan Quitno usually releases its study around Thanksgiving.


"I've got to give them credit," Rainford said. "They don't know anything about crime or statistics but they do know something about public relations."


Rainford, a former PR man, blasts Morgan Quitno every fall. (Last year: "worthless"; two years ago: "charlatans".) On Monday, he said City Hall was ratcheting up the city's defense.


To wit, he branded Morgan "this guy who's working in his pajamas and his bare feet in his mother's basement on his PC."


Morgan said he did not purposefully release the report to coincide with the World Series; he said it was released earlier than in other years because his firm received crime data from the FBI earlier.


"I am fine getting fried by people who want to go after this thing and say there is not a problem in St. Louis," he said.


Not that everyone was unhappy. Some 900 miles away, Gwendolyn Faison, mayor of Camden, N.J., told the Associated Press that her day was made.


Her hard-luck community held the mantle the past two years. Without the most dangerous title, "There's a new hope and a new spirit," she said.



The most dangerous five:
1. St. Louis
2. Detroit
3. Flint, Mich.
4. Compton, Calif.
5. Camden, N.J.


The safest five:
1. Brick, N.J.
2. Amherst, N.Y.
3. Mission Viejo, Calif.
4. Newton, Mass.
5. Troy, Mich.

ablarc
October 31st, 2006, 06:11 PM
^ Instead of going into denial, St. Louis should do something about it.

Bob
November 10th, 2006, 12:19 PM
I was in St. Louis a few months back, for a conference. A colleague and I decided to walk downtown to find a restaurant and to check out the architecture. Hassle. Hassle. Hassle. Just about every corner and street was populated with bums -- that's right, bums -- who refused to mine their own business and to leave us alone. Each of these bums presented a threat, particularly as each was aggressive and, in one case, stood in our path! The final insult was an out-of-the-blue racist remark thrown at us by one of these fine young urban gentlemen, "oh I get it, you white guys smoking cigars are too busy to talk to a black man." This got my blood boiling, but my friend said "forget about him, he's just looking for a fight."

This is the impression I have of St. Louis. And a good reason I won't be going back unless my employer sends me there again on business.

Merry
July 19th, 2011, 09:23 AM
I'm hoping to be able to see this eventually.


Review> Designed, Despised, Demolished

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth examines the human story behind the infamous housing project.

by David D'Arcy

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/image/Pruitt_Igoe_Myth_01.jpg
Aerial view of the Pruitt-Igoe in St. Louis. Courtesy State Historical Society of Missouri



The Pruitt-Igoe apartments were a place, but they have a greater presence as an epithet. Dynamited by St Louis authorities on live television in 1972, and eventually leveled over next the next four years, the housing projects became a concrete argument against high-rise, high-density public housing, and against spending money on the undeserving poor. The demolition created a mushroom cloud of urban planning textbooks. With it, the nostrums of liberalism and the modernist structures that sheltered its hopes came tumbling down.

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: An Urban History, a new documentary by Chad Friedrichs tries to persuade those willing to listen that things didn’t need to turn out that way. Former residents of the project recall their years in Pruitt-Igoe as some of the best of their lives. The real villains, we hear, were neglect, racism, and abandonment.

Making a film sympathetic to Pruitt-Igoe is a bit like arguing that Jimmy Carter should be president again—well-meaning, perhaps, but not worth serious consideration.

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth revisits the late 1940’s in the black and white palette of newsreel to exhume the post-war ideals that set the project in motion. It wasn’t all idealism. Developers supported slum clearance in St. Louis. Employers wanted their labor force to be nearby, especially if the government paid.

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/Pruitt_Igoe_Myth_04.jpg (http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/Pruitt_Igoe_Myth_04.jpg)

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Pruitt-Igoe Myth movie poster (top) and an aerial view of the Pruitt-Igoe site (above).
Daniel Magidson and Courtesy USGS







For the first few years, shown in nostalgic archival footage, it all went harmoniously. But when budgets came under stress, maintenance suffered. As the buildings deteriorated, the tenants began to leave. Abandonment led to vandalism and more neglect. The projects were stigmatized as a black hole of crime and inexhaustible spending. Few risked defending the place, certainly not politicians seeking re-election.

Academics and former residents rhapsodize about the early days of Pruitt-Igoe. And why not? The slums that were cleared on the site were fetid places. The same choruses agree in the film that the problem at Pruitt-Igoe (and in most public housing) was not overspending but the failure to fund its operations, which doomed it to ruin. Once a place of 33 buildings and 2870 apartments, there were 600 people living there when the fuse was first set in on March 16, 1972.

In St. Louis, other factors were at work. Public housing in Missouri wasn’t legally desegregated until 1954 (when the first building opened), so Pruitt-Igoe (named for a black World War II pilot and a white congressman) was all black. It was easy for white people to fear and for white politicians to scapegoat. With white flight to the suburbs, the once-vibrant city lost population, and the industrial jobs which new arrivals from the rural South expected simply weren’t there. Men were unemployed, and families surviving on welfare were denied benefits if there was a father in the house. The spiral headed downward.

St. Louis, with its relatively tight municipal borders, seemed to be aiming at more than the physical obliteration of what was considered a factory of crime and decay. If the African-American residents of Pruitt-Igoe had their homes leveled, there would be nowhere for them to live in St. Louis. Once out of the projects, they would be out of town, out of sight and out of mind. Abandonment of the residents, the film tells us, seemed a deliberate policy.

Strong in sociology, and edited deftly to keep the film from becoming an earnest lecture, The Pruitt-Igoe Myth is not a documentary about architecture. The architect, Minoru Yamasaki, is never named, although we do hear endless versions of the received wisdom that big and modern is bad, especially if taxes pay for it.

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/Pruitt_Igoe_Myth_02.jpg
Implosion of Pruitt-Igoe in 1972.
Courtesy State Historical Society of Missouri

Absent from the film are the facts that Yamasaki had originally planned a lower-rise project, at varying heights and higher cost. The plan exceeded federal cost guidelines and the local authority then mandated uniform 11-story buildings, which were more dependent on elevators than the original plan. It cost an over-budget $36 million. Were height and density destiny there? Probably. The film never addresses the fact that a nearby low-rise project remained stable throughout the worst crises of Pruitt-Igoe.

Although sympathetic to the tenants and to the idea of public housing, the documentary does examine the vandalism and violence that became the scourge of Pruitt-Igoe. Former tenants recall how children there developed skills for destroying anything that was constructed to be vandal-proof. The deck was stacked against the mostly poor residents, as we see in footage from a desperate Pruitt-Igoe rent strike, but conditions encouraged their kids to destroy their surroundings. They did, and ended up paying the price.

We hear the emotion in their voices as they look back on Christmas in the project’s early years after families were lifted out of slums or rural shacks for the first time. It’s painful to watch as they describe how their homes became despised and eventually disposable containers. As always, once people are shown to be human, it’s hard for the audience to remain smug.

http://www.archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=5539

Merry
February 13th, 2013, 05:03 AM
^ Now on DVD :).


Eero Saarinen’s Gateway Arch in St. Louis Broke Ground 50 Years Ago Today

by Branden Klayko

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St. Louis’ Gateway Arch under construction. (Courtesy Missouri State Archives)

Fifty years ago, the St. Louis waterfront was one gigantic parking lot after 40 blocks of the city’s gritty industrial quarter were cleared in the late 1930s to create a site for a new Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. It took another two decades to get anything built, but on February 12, 1963, the missing slice of St. Louis began to change as ground was broken for Eero Saarinen’s famous Gateway Arch (http://urbanreviewstl.com/2013/02/arch-construction-started-50-years-ago-today/) that still defines St. Louis in one dramatic gesture.

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Eero Saarinen inspects a model of the Gateway Arch in the late 1950s.
(Courtesy Yale University Archives / Eero Saarinen Collection)

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Gateway Arch site after demolition. (Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Archives / Courtesy Wikipedia)

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Gateway Arch site as a parking lot in the 1950s. (Courtesy Yale University Archives / Eero Saarinen Collection)

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Eero Saarinen in front of his winning proposal for the Gateway Arch. (Courtesy Yale University Archives / Eero Saarinen Collection)

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Sketch of the Gateway Arch from the 1940s. (Courtesy Yale University Archives / Eero Saarinen Collection)

The posthumous groundbreaking (Saarinen died in 1961) of the stainless-steel-clad catenary arch captured the nation’s imagination, and in December 1963, Popular Mechanics noted (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bill_streeter/3244733821/), ”The Arch is America’s newest and highest national monument, and certainly its most unique.” It went on to correctly predict that “The majestic monument in gleaming stainless steel will be such a dominant landmark that it inevitably will come to symbolize St. Louis.” The article goes on to discuss the construction challenges that lay ahead as the two 630-foot-tall sides of the arch were built independently and had to line up at the top with a margin of error of only 1/64 of an inch.

Today, leaders in St. Louis and at the National Park Service are hurring to complete the next chapter of the Gateway Arch’s history: remaking the landscape around the monument to better connect and engage with the surrounding city. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates’s design won (http://archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=4849) following a competition (http://archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=4781) in 2010, and later this month, CityArchRiver, the organization overseeing the redevelopment, will hold a public meeting to report on the latest news and updates (http://www.cityarchriver.org/2013/01/30/cityarchriver-2015-partners-to-provide-update-on-project-milestones-at-annual-report-to-community/).

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The Gateway Arch on the St. Louis skyline. (Daniel X. O’Neil / Flickr)

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An elevator inside the Gateway Arch. (Nan Palmero / Flickr)

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The Gateway Arch. (Tim Hamilton / Flickr)

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St. Louis’ Gateway Arch. (Jason Raia / Flickr)

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The Gateway Arch. (Doug Kerr / Flickr)

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Shadow of the Gateway Arch. (Rian Castillo / Flickr)

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View from the top of the Gateway Arch. (George Thomas / Flickr)

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Gateway Arch detail. (Mark Borcherding / Flickr)

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/stl_arch_1963_04-150x150.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/stl_arch_1963_04.jpg)
The base of the Gateway Arch. (dctim1 / Flickr)

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/stl_arch_1963_11-150x150.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/stl_arch_1963_11.jpg)
Inside the Gateway Arch. (Brian Wright / Flickr)

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