2:32 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

STL250 Celebration Continues With Musical Tribute

Jazz pianist and composer Peter Martin
Credit Sarah Crowder

Music has been an important part of St. Louis’ past, from folk music of the city’s early settlers, to classical, ragtime, blues, jazz, R&B, rock ’n’ roll and hip-hop.

“250 Years of St. Louis Music: American Music at its Best” will celebrate many of those styles, in addition to St. Louis’ 250th anniversary, on Oct. 17 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

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Cake Mystery
3:30 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

After Legal Dispute, Busch Stadium Birthday Cake Won't Return

The front view of the STL250 cake that was at Busch Stadium and removed in mid-August.
Credit (Courtesy: Linda Gurney)

Although the St. Louis Cardinals have returned to Busch Stadium for a playoff run, one thing is still missing: The fiberglass cake that was originally placed at the stadium celebrating St. Louis’ 250th anniversary.

And, there’s no longer a question of whether the cake will return before the end of year. It will not be available to the public in any capacity.

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St. Louis on the Air
4:54 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Historian Explores St. Louis’ 250-Year Past In New Book

Fred Fausz
Credit University of Missouri–St. Louis

St. Louis founder Auguste Chouteau set out with a simple goal: he wanted to build one of the nation’s finest cities.

Historian Fred Fausz believes St. Louis is living up to that goal.

“I think the vibrancy of the city, the spirit of the city is still here, even if you have to include 90 other communities because we’ve created a metro area,” said Fausz, a University of Missouri–St. Louis associate history professor whose new book explores the area’s history, “Historic St. Louis: 250 Years Exploring New Frontiers.” “It is a truly vibrant city as the founders envisioned.”

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St. Louis 250th Birthday
9:58 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Hot Air Helps The Great Forest Park Balloon Race Stay Afloat

Pilot Roy Caton checks his balloon for security before taking off on a flight.
Credit Shula Neuman/St. Louis Public Radio

On the third weekend of September, St. Louisans turn their gaze skyward in the hopes of glimpsing a charming sight: dozens of multi-colored hot air balloons floating across a clear blue sky. It’s the Great Forest Park Balloon Race, a 42-year-old tradition in St. Louis that has been kept alive thanks to the friendship and generosity of four men.

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1947 Design Competition
10:17 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Instead Of The Arch, The St. Louis Riverfront Could Have Had … This

Monument suggested by architect Percival Goodman. It was to signify the "Three Flags" ceremonies that took place in 1804 after President Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase was completed. The Spanish and French flags flew over the city before the U.S. flag was hoisted.
Credit National Park Service / Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

Had things gone differently in 1947, instead of the majestic stainless steel Gateway Arch that is recognized around the world, St. Louis could have a rectangular stone gate standing tall on the riverfront today.

Or, a large, abstract monument signifying … something. 

Other suggestions proposed for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial included towering pylons and bridges. 

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STL250 Cake
2:59 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Cardinals Take The Cake — Why?

The front-view of the STL250 cake which until, Tuesday, resided outside of Busch Stadium.
(Courtesy: Linda Gurney)

You’ve likely seen at least one by now — fiberglass cakes scattered throughout the St. Louis region. They’re placed at notable places to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis.

There are 251 of the 4-foot sculptures. We’ve created a map that allows you to see the cake closest to you; and we profiled one woman who’s visited every cake.

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Voronoi Diagram
2:56 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

How We Made Our STL 250 Cake Map

Steps for making a Voronoi diagram
Credit Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio

Find your closest cake.

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World War I Centenary
5:00 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Century-Old War Leaves Lasting Impact On St. Louis German Identity

Celebrating the end of WWI, a company of the 138th Infantry marches on 12th Street (now Tucker Boulevard), May 9th, 1919.
Missouri History Museum

World War I collared the spread of German culture and language across the globe. Though far from the front lines, St. Louis’s vibrant German community was no exception. 

A hundred years ago, the growth of the city had largely been driven by thousands of Germanic immigrants who built and controlled large swaths of government, industry, education, and religion. The Great War tested and ultimately transformed that influence in many ways that linger today.

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5:06 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Amy Page Found All 251 Cakes, And So Can You

One of stl250's cakes is at the Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center in St. Louis.
Credit Provided by STL250

Amy Page loves cake.

Forget the fluffy white or rich chocolate bakery versions — the cakes Page is interested in are 4 feet tall and scattered across the St. Louis region, part of STL250’s Cakeway to the West to commemorate St. Louis’ 250th anniversary.

“I first found out about the cakes when I saw some of my friends posting pictures on Facebook,” said Page, a music teacher in the Wesclin School District in Trenton, Ill.

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Gaslight Square
11:17 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Twelve St. Louisans Take Us Back To The Mid-Century Heyday Of Gaslight Square

This publicity poster showcases the wide variety of attractions on offer in Gaslight Square, from jazz clubs to fine French dining. There was even a Japanese restaurant ― a novelty in the Midwest of the 1960s.
Courtesy of the Charlie Menees Collection, UMKC.

It spanned less than three blocks at the intersection of Olive and Boyle. And it only lasted about ten years.

But the arts and entertainment district known as Gaslight Square flourished in the 1950s and '60s, making St. Louis a national destination for music and culture.

In honor of St. Louis' 250th birthday, I took a little detour off my usual science beat to explore this extraordinary time and place in our city's history.

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