Kiener Plaza

The city is preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the final construction of the Gateway Arch, shown here from Luther Ely Smith Square in downtown.
Courtesy CityArchRiver Foundation

St. Louisans will have three opportunities to celebrate the Gateway Arch's 50th anniversary, which is one week from Wednesday.

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:

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

The group in charge of overhauling Kiener Plaza is giving the public a taste of what's to come.

CityArchRiver had an open house on Monday in downtown St. Louis to give the public a view of Kiener Plaza's redesign plans. It’s part of a broader project to revamp the Gateway Arch grounds over the next few years.

The group is planning to add an extensive playground and an interactive fountain. The project will also include a large event lawn for concerts and movies, as well as a place for people to park their bicycles.

Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Today officials are set to break ground on the Central Riverfront phase of the CityArchRiver project, which brings $23 million worth of improvements to Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard and which should be done by October 2015. Among the most visible improvements: Elevating the road out of the Mississippi River floodplain.

Organizers acknowledge that the entire $380 million Arch grounds project won’t be completed by the Arch’s 50th birthday. Several components – the visitors’ entrance to the museum, an overhaul of Kiener Plaza and some tree plantings – won’t be finished until 2016.

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Occupy movements from across the country are gathering this week in St. Louis to revive their populist protests against banks, corporations and government.

Rachael Perrotta, a media coordinator from Occupy Chicago said the regional conference will stage at least four non-violent group actions in St. Louis against various companies including Monsanto.

“Welcome to the American Spring," Perrotta said. "Our movement is expanding. We're growing. Winter was the time for internal organizing. Spring is the time to get back into the streets." 

(via Facebook/Occupy STL)

Eight of 10 Occupy St. Louis protestors arrested in Kiener Plaza on Oct. 6 pleaded guilty in municipal court today to violating the city's ordinance banning people from being in city parks past 10 p.m.

Attorney Maggie Ellinger-Locke says the eight were sentenced to time served - about 24 hours - and Judge Richard Torack waived court costs. Ellinger-Locke called it a victory that individuals who "went to jail for justice" and were protesting economic inequality didn't have to pay any money.

(via Facebook/Occupy St. Louis)

Anti-Wall Street protestors who have camped in Kiener Plaza for more than a month are blasting Mayor Francis Slay for "heed[ing] the complaints of the corporate groups who control the city" and calling for their ouster from the park."

(via OccupySTL Facebook Page)

Even as it launched three simultaneous protests against Bank of American in downtown St. Louis today, OccupySTL may lose its home base soon.

The protestors have been camping at the west end of Kiener Plaza for several weeks, including the Major League Baseball playoffs and a visit to the area by Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden.

During an appearance earlier this week on St. Louis on the Air, Mayor Francis Slay hinted that the city would soon move to take action.

The 2011 World Series followed the tradition of turning the water red at The Runner's fountain.
Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

In Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis Friday afternoon locals mixed with out-of-towners taking pictures of the red fountain.

Those on their lunch break, including Missi Wood and Kerry Anne, admitted they were a bit tired from the late night Game 6 World Series win over the Texas Rangers.

But Anne says she never doubted the Cardinals would pull it off.

“I was calm the whole game,” Anne said. “They were like, ‘last out’, and I was like, ‘we’re going to win.’”

(via Flickr/Digital Sextant)

Kiener Plaza is likely to be the first portion of the Gateway Arch project to be completed.

Those familiar with the project say it's slated for completion in the fall of 2013.

The plan for the Plaza includes a performance pavilion, an eating venue, seating, and water features.

Walter Metcalfe with the CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation, the group that sponsored the design competition, said work on Kiener Plaza can move forward more quickly because it's not part of the National Park.

Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry should be duck-walking across Kiener Plaza later this month, while representatives of the Democratic National Committee are scouting around town to see if St. Louis is good enough to host a presidential convention in 2012,

Local Democratic officials say that Berry and "a mystery guest'' will headline a free concert in the plaza on July 29, beginning at 8:30 p.m.