The Whole General Mish-Mash or ‘You go, St. Louis!’

Last night, I was looking at a map I had earlier printed off from the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis website (shown above) and had to smile at the fact that there are A LOT of developments started, discussed or imagined that, if they come to fruition, will greatly alter the downtown map. Not this particular map, of course, but the visual map…the experiential map…the map in your head that you can only appreciate when you walk around and see the changes.Looking again at the downtown map, I tried to fill in the blanks, so to speak. A City to River success, for instance, and the districts it reconnects or reinvents: Washington Avenue to Laclede’s Landing, the Bottle District and Riverside North, Memorial Drive and the Archgrounds. You’ve got Chouteau’s Landing and the potential it has, not only as a thriving district of its own, but as a connector between downtown and Soulard. The list goes on: Mississippi River Bridge, Northside, the possible North-South Metrolink and a Madison County offshoot over the McKinley Bridge, Kiel, Park Pacific, the Gateway Mall, Trailnet’s headquarters and the Riverfront Trail.

And there are more. Small-scale and large, infrastructure and built structures, demolition and revitalization. And that’s just in an area that’s only a shade over one square mile! I haven’t even mentioned the biggest change yet: the people, the public opinion, the fact that more people than ever have an opinion or an idea and an urge to be a part of the rejuvenation. These may prove to be the biggest catalyst of all.

This post isn’t about anything specific, really. It’s just every once in awhile, it’s good to take the wide view – the long-term view – and just marvel at what is happening. There are problems that need fixing, obviously, and the ever-present fear that at any time, the momentum could just as easily stall as it could build, but I (like you, presumably) prefer to be inspired by the positives than disgruntled by the negatives. I’ve been trying to my niche – my ‘get’ – in the wonderful world of St. Louis blogs, but, well, Yet Another St. Louis Blog is what its name implies, and I think the best thing I and it can do is flop my enthusiasm on to the table, and say, “Use it, St. Louis!”

Call it youthful exuberance or cock-eyed optimism, but downtown St. Louis (and the region as a whole) is and can be an attractive Midwest destination and a place people are proud to call home. The projects are in place, the public support is there, and a return toward city life seems imminent. I can think of no better symbol for the progress being made than the map at the top (or one similar), twenty feet high and twenty feet wide, marked up with the developments that are occuring and the changes to be made. And – hey! – maybe some onlookers will add their own ideas and enthusiasm too. Something like this, maybe (and yes, I covered up ‘Twain.’)

 

Man, Microsoft Paint…is there anything you CAN’T do??? (Poorly…)

Now THAT’S public art with a purpose.

Enjoy your weekend, folks. Get out, take advantage of the weather and take advantage of the city you live/work/play in.

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3 comments

  1. Hear hear! I wrote on similar themes in my latest post as well. Communicating a positive vision of St. Louis's present and future is critical. It may seem improbable, but many St. Louisans are simply unaware of the good things going on in the City (for example, someone I just met at a kids' birthday party today told me that he had only heard about Citygarden last week). Keep spreading the word!

  2. Yet Another St. Louis Blog by Kevin B. · · Reply

    Ha. I know you do, Steve. I actually had you in mind when I wrote that parenthetical line. It really is amazing, isn't it, when you go down the list of projects and realize a) how many there are, and b) the benefits it will bring when/if they get completed.Thanks for commenting, too.

  3. I like Twain! Agreed that if it all happens it will be great. Of course not all will happen but I'm as positive as I've been in nearly 20 years.

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