Downtown - US Court House/Custom House (1934)
Favorite thing: It's interesting to compare this kind of neo-classical "Art Deco-ish" civic structure with the rather grander Civil courts building (the "St. Louis Pyramid") across the streets. Both projects were conceived during the 1920s, as part of an enormous burst of civic planning and renovation. Just a few years separate the buildings in time; but the US Courts were planned and constructed AFTER the Great Depression, and here the style is much more restrained, more pared down, minimalistic almost.
The local architects Mauran, Russell and Crowell were responsible for the US Court House/Custom House. (Street address of 1114 Market.)
By the way, this structure should not be confused with either the Old Courthouse - the 19th century domed building just in front of the Gateway Arch; or with the Thomas Eagleton Federal Courthouse, recently constructed (2000) and just a few blocks away on 10th street.
- Historical Travel
Downtown - Civil Courts (1930)
Favorite thing: The Civil Courts Building (sometimes called the St. Louis Pyramid!) is one of the most distinctive structures in this or any other American city, IMHO. The top of the building has certainly a dramatic presence that few can rival. It was modeled closely after the famous Mausoleum of Maussollos, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient World. Featured are 32 Ionic Columns, 8 per side; each column is 42 feet high and more than 5 feet in circumfrence. Constructed mainly of Indiana limestone, the Civil Courts structure reaches a height of 386 feet; yet because it houses impressive courtrooms and not simple offices, there are only 13 floors in the building.
Credit should be given to local architects Klipstein and Rathmann for creating a memorable courthouse that clearly conveys the central role of law and justice in American life.
- Historical Travel
Downtown - S.G. Adams/Bell Telephone Bldg. (1891)
Favorite thing: This was originally the HQ of the Bell Telephone Company in St. Louis; now it is loft apartments, with a nifty small grocer on the ground floor. The building is in a fascinating version of the American Romanesque style of the 1890s, with prominent rounded arches on the fourth and sixth floors. Interestingly, it was designed by the Architectural firm of Shepley Rutan & Coolidge, the successor company to H. H. Richardson.
Downtown - Board of Education Bldg. (1891)
Favorite thing: Constructed to house the St. Louis Board of Education in 1891, this handsome Romanesque Revival structure at 911 Locust is being converted to Loft style apartments by the Roberts Brothers. It's good to see that downtown St. Louis is trying to restore itself as a residential community, as well as a business and governmental center.
Downtown - Old Post Office (1884)
Favorite thing: Originally the Custom House, this exuberant Beaux-Arts pile has just undergone (as of 2006) a major $35 million renovation that has transformed it into a model multi-use facility in the heart of downtown, at 815 Olive.
The major section of the first two floors house the downtown campus of Webster University, while above that the Missouri Court of Appeals operates, along with several other prominent state offices. There are a few restaurants and shops on the ground floor, along with a branch of the St. Louis Public Library!
The building was designed by Alfred Mullett, and opened its doors for the first time in 1884.
- Historical Travel
Downtown - "Bank of America Plaza" (1981)
Favorite thing: The Bank of America Plaza is an attractive and shiny 31-story skyscraper at 8th and Market, on the Gateway Mall. Built at a time in the early 1980s when plate glass was "in" and trendy, the building makes a good presence because it is not located right on the street, and it respects its neighbors without trying to overwhelm them. (It reminds me in some ways of I.M. Pei's John Hancock building in Boston.0 The architect/design firm was 3D/International.
Public Art - "The Runner" fountain at Kiener Plaza
Favorite thing: "The Runner" dominates the section of the Gateway Plaza known as Kiener Plaza. It's the work of a prominent sculptor from the first half of the 20th century, William Zorach. Zorach, born in Lithuania in 1887, immigrated to the US and took part in the famous Armory Show of contemporary art in 1913. Specializing in figurative art, he became a prominent figure in the metropolitan art scene of the 1920s and 1930s. He died in Maine in 1966.
Between 6th and 7th at Market Street.
- Arts and Culture
The Gateway Arch
Favorite thing: A great starting point is the famous Gateway Arch, downtown near the Mississippi River. This huge, amazing architectural marvel, completed in the 1965, has an excellent museum inside & a very good gift shop. A National Historic monument guarantees that is is impressive. The ride up to the viewing windows at the top is worth the price, but try to go on a weekday to avoid a long line.
We had an incredible, free concert/ fireworks series outside there this last summer; I went 4 times! The Fourth of July weekend has a big event with music, food & fireworks. I've enjoyed that, too, sitting right under the Arch! You can count on this event happening again in 2008.
Fondest memory: The first time I saw the Arch was in 1966. I was visiting the city for a youth conference. My host made a point of driving us by the Arch. It still impresses after all these years!
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
City's Official Web Site
Favorite thing: This site might be useful and interesting for the traveler. It has many, many links to all the cultural things & places AND much more. The tourist information is there, plus what our citizens need to know.
I use it all the time, to get information fast. I really do rely on it.
You can link to Forest Park's Boat House & find out how to rent a peal boat, too.
new arts calendar site
Favorite thing: Try www.artszipper.com for a fantastic cultural events calendar for this region!!! From art exhibits to indie festivals to films and other shows -- it is all here! With links to other sites, color photos galore --- and all very neatly arranged to make it easy to see what is happening on any date you wish to check on.
This is a sort of a revision of another site, that I have used many times, but this one is SO much better! Very user friendly & you can send notices to friends very easily on it, too, with an editable, personal message included.
- Arts and Culture
The St Louis Arch
Favorite thing: If I were to go to St Louis again for the first time, I would head for the St Louis Arch. We have been going there for 20+ years (my husbands family lives there) and did not visit the Arch until last November! The view from the top is awesome, the RIDE to the top is...fun if you are not claustrophobic.... and the pictures we took of the Arch itself and the surrounding area were unforgetable!!!! We had a great time!!! There is also a film to watch that is really interesting about the construction of the Arch!
A wonderful time!!
- Family Travel
Favorite thing: Finished in 1874, this was the first bridge across the Mississippi. It is built of structural steel and it's abutments were built using pnuematic cassions, the deepest ever reached at that time. There are two levels. The lower level for railroad and the upper level for cars. As traffic increased, the railroad level was closed. In the 1990's, it was rehabilitated for use by a light rail public transportation system connection the airport with downtown and East St. Louis, Illinois. Later the traffic lane was shut down and there was talk of making it a pedestrian walkway. I don't know what was done.
Historic Bridges of the US
restaurant reviews website
Favorite thing: http://www.saucemagazine.com/
is the web site of a hip local magazine about food.
I love to use it to find a new place to eat in the St. Louis area.
the site has a really good events calendar now, too. Quite useful! Try it!
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
- Food and Dining
Going around St. Louis with a map
Favorite thing: At your hotel or at the St. Louis Information Center, you can get a free map of St. Louis.
Walkabout and/or use the Metrolink/Metrobus to get around the major landmarks of St. Louis.
Do not miss the St. Louis riverfront and the famous Busch Stadium which is the homebase of St Louis Cardinals basketball team as well as the Old St. Louis Union Station for shopping and dining.
Old St Louis Courthouse
Favorite thing: This is a majestic Old Courthouse which is one of St. Louis landmark buildings for over 150 years.
There are several permanent exhibits inside with special events.
The courthous is famous courthouse for historical trials.
1) Freeing of black slave in 1847.
2) For woman's right to vote in the 1870s.
There is a tour to learn more about American 19th century court and law. But did not have time to join.
- Book now for big savings!
- Hotels.com Outstanding choice of hotels all over the world at fantastic prices.
- Save up to 50% on hotels.
- Hotwire.com Hotwire: Get a 4-star hotel for a 2-star price.