Charlene Prost | St. Louis Public Radio

Charlene Prost

Charlene Prost
CityArchRiver says water features allow for play but can be turned on or off, opening up more room for other activities. The fountains will be lit and can change colors for events and celebrations.
CityArchRiver

If there’s a sports-related rally, a festival, even a gathering of protesters or an outdoor civic event in the city, chances are that it will happen in downtown’s Kiener Plaza. In the view of some, Kiener works just fine as it is.

But what if:

A new rendering of exhibits at the museum under the Arch.
CityArchRiver 2015

Renderings courtesy CityArchRiver 2015 A new rendering of exhibits at the museum under the Arch.

The exhibits in the museum beneath the Gateway Arch haven’t changed much since the museum first opened in 1976. Ditto for the ones at the Old Courthouse, which have also grown old.

Old Courthouse rendering from 2013
CityArchRiver 2015

While much of the CityArchRiver plan for reviving the Gateway Arch and what’s around it involves new attractions and activities, Trivers Associates is focusing on a piece of the area’s history: the Old Courthouse.

As prime architect, Trivers is overseeing renovations and updates for the domed building. Because it dates back to the early 1800s and is one of the most iconic structures in that area, renovating and updating present special challenges.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 12, 2012 - Although no one is predicting publicly when the first shovel of dirt will fly, plans to revive the Gateway Arch grounds and connect them with improved surroundings are moving forward. 

The main theater at Peabody Opera House awaits its first performance in 20 years. Sept. 2011
Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 4, 2011 - When Paul Joseph McKee III first walked through the long-shuttered Kiel Opera House several years ago, his initial reaction was disbelief.

"I couldn't believe the place was closed," said McKee, president and CEO at Paric Corp., "and I was amazed at the good shape it was in. But it needed some work."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 4, 2011 - If you're planning to go to the reopened Peabody Opera House, two parking improvements are in the works that should make things easier.

William Kuehling, a spokesman for the St. Louis treasurer's office, says one is a new elevator that will be built along the north side of an existing 1,200-or-so-space garage opening onto Clark Avenue.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 19, 2011 - It used to be that if preservationists rallied to save something, it was almost always an oldie and clearly historic -- a century-old brick building, for example, with rich, artisan-crafted ornamentation and a strong connection with the city's history.

But that's not necessarily so anymore.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 11, 2011 - Nearly 40 years ago, as viewers around the country watched the nightly news on their television screens, an 11-story tower framed by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis came tumbling down. It was the beginning of the end for Pruitt-Igoe, by then a crime-ridden, vandalized 33-building public housing complex that had been one of the largest of its kind ever built.

Razing the place was supposed to fix the Pruitt-Igoe problem. It did -- and it didn't.

Pruitt-Igoe in the 1960s
U.S. Geological Survey

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - Nearly 40 years ago, as viewers around the country watched the nightly news on their television screens, an 11-story tower framed by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis came tumbling down. It was the beginning of the end for Pruitt-Igoe, by then a crime-ridden, vandalized 33-building public housing complex that had been one of the largest of its kind ever built.

Razing the place was supposed to fix the Pruitt-Igoe problem. It did -- and it didn't.

You can talk for hours with St. Louis area residents, visitors, architects and others to get their take on the five competing final design concepts for the Gateway Arch grounds and its surroundings. But you likely won't find another viewer like Brendan Lehand.

Walter Metcalfe at Arch news conference
Rachel Heidenry | Beacon | File photo

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar came to town today to take his own look at the five final competing plans for the Gateway Arch grounds and its surroundings, calling them all "truly exciting for me and for the nation."

And as he did on a visit here last July, months before the design competition got underway, he once again pledged his support for getting the winning design built by 2015 -- the 50th anniversary of the Arch.

Photo by Rachel Heidenry | Beacon intern

Donald Stastny said designs must work with the power and unpredictability of the river.

Want to swim in a pool in a floating pavilion in the Mississippi River near the Gateway Arch? Or ride high above the river in a gondola taking in panoramic views?

How about an attractive, safe way to stroll across traffic from Citygarden and the Gateway Mall onto the Arch grounds -- or pass a beer garden or ice skating rink to get to Chouteau's Landing south of the Arch?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 22, 2008 - The National Park Service has selected its preferred plan to improve the grounds of the Gateway Arch -- but there are still questions.

After months of back and forth with the public about ways to improve the Gateway Arch grounds, the National Park Service has selected its preferred plan. It includes, among other things, a design competition to generate even more ideas.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 26, 2008 - When the National Park Service staff sat down months ago to review stacks of public comments about improving the area around the Gateway Arch, they discovered right away that folks didn't exactly agree on things.

"Maintain park grounds as they are," someone wrote. "Status quo is unacceptable," someone else said. "We need an above-ground national museum," another wrote. "Buildings will clutter the Arch grounds," another said.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 18, 2008 - Visitors won't be coming on streetcars to see the lily ponds in bloom as they once did. And more than likely, you won't see women in long dresses holding parasols and men in Victorian suits standing on lily pads.

But what you will find these days in the middle of historic Tower Grove Park are the same three lily ponds, newly revived after a $400,000-plus renovation. And they are looking as they did nearly a century ago when people rode streetcars to see them in full bloom, and some did pose for pictures standing on lily pads.

Streetcar "car-card" advertisement
Provided by Tower Grove Park

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Visitors won't be coming on streetcars to see the lily ponds in bloom as they once did -- note the "car card" advertisement above that would have been posted on the interior of a United Railways Co. streetcar. And more than likely, you won't see women in long dresses holding parasols and men in Victorian suits standing on lily pads.

But what you will find these days in the middle of historic Tower Grove Park are the same three lily ponds, newly revived after a $400,000-plus renovation. And they are looking as they did nearly a century ago when people rode streetcars to see them in full bloom, and some did pose for pictures standing on lily pads.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 11, 2008 - For nearly 20 years, dating back to graduate school and a visit to a dentist's office in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Jefferson Garland Mansell has been fascinated with St. Louis' historic architecture - but always from afar. Not anymore. 

Later this month, Mansell will move into a renovated historic loft building in downtown St. Louis and begin work as the new executive director of the Landmarks Association of St. Louis.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis is considering what could be its biggest production yet: a move from its long-time home at Webster University to a new facility in the Grand Center arts and entertainment district.