Lindell to Washington
3:30 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

NEA Grant To Add Art And Walkability To Grand Center

A new $50,000 grant will help make St. Louis’ Grand Center more pedestrian-friendly.

The midtown arts and cultural district received the money Wednesday from the National Endowment for the Arts’ “Our Town” grants program.

Rendering of part of the revamped Grand Center
Rendering of part of the revamped Grand Center
Credit Christner + Hoerr Schaudt

It will pay for planning a walkway from Lindell Boulevard near Vito’s Pizza to Washington Avenue, part of the area’s $125 million “Great Streets” plan. The walkway, to be called the Art and Music Promenade (AMP) Connector,  will be dotted with public art, according to Grand Center’s vice president Michelle Stevens.

“Having an art-infused pathway helps define this area,” Stevens said.

The walkway will also be characterized by a number of other elements guiding the way.

“More lighting, possibly some treatment on the pavement, some uniform pavers along the sidewalk or alleyways. People will be able to tell they’re on a specific path,” Stevens said.

Michelle Stevens
Michelle Stevens
Credit Nancy Fowler

The overall “Great Streets” plan includes another walkway called the Art Walk, whose planning was also funded by an NEA “Our Town” grant.

The project will help connect people to all of Grand Center’s cultural institutions — including the Fox Theatre, Powell Hall, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the Contemporary Art Museum —  and dozens of other non-profit business.

The entire "Great Streets" project should be completed in seven to 10 years.

“Our plan is to have this area be an arts, cultural and tourist destination for the entire Midwest region,” Stevens said.

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