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Downtown STL

Major League Soccer ownership group

The Major League Soccer ownership group is one step closer to securing the public financial aid it's seeking to construct a stadium in downtown St. Louis.

The aldermanic Housing, Urban Development and Zoning Committee on Wednesday unanimously passed two bills outlining tax incentives for the project.

 Downtown STL is in the process of upgrading the street lights throughout 360 square blocks in downtown St. Louis.
Downtown STL

The streets of downtown St. Louis are looking brighter — and more energy efficient — thanks to technology developed by Hazelwood-based Labyrinth Technologies. The local company developed a custom lighting solution as part of a $4 million Downtown STL Inc. project to brand downtown and improve public safety. 

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske learned more about Downtown STL’s process of upgrading the streetlights throughout 360 square blocks. Once completed, the project will have made St. Louis one of the largest smart cities in the U.S., second only to San Diego, according to Downtown STL.

Joining the discussion were Downtown STL CEO Missy Kelley and the father-and-son team that helped develop the smart technology: Ted Stegeman, CEO of Labyrinth Technologies, and his 23-year-old son, John, the company’s chief technology officer. 

Auarium collage of images
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station opened with a big splash on Christmas Day. Thousands of area residents have been streaming through its gates in the two weeks since, and aquarium staff have had to turn some families away due to sellout crowds.

For executive director Tami Brown, that's been the only downside of an otherwise successful launch of the new downtown destination. Many visitors have expressed excitement about their experiences, staff have been enthusiastic about their interactions with visitors and animals, and the marine species that  now call the aquarium home seem to be adapting well.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Brown joined host Sarah Fenske for a deeper dive into the new activity at Union Station. Joining the conversation was St. Louis Aquarium curator Aaron Sprowl, who discussed the wide-ranging creatures and their transition to a new space. The segment included an audio tour of the aquarium, first impressions from children and adults alike, and plenty of questions from listeners who called into the show.

CEO of Downtown St. Louis Inc. Missy Kelley joined Friday's talk show to discuss new developments in the city.
Lara Hamdan| St. Louis Public Radio

With Wednesday night’s win, the St. Louis Cardinals advanced to the National League Championship Series for the first time since 2014. 

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with Missy Kelley, the CEO of Downtown St. Louis Inc., about the economic boost the Cardinals’ success is providing to the St. Louis area. They also talked about Ballpark Village’s new high-end housing options, and Kelley shared her top picks for businesses that have opened downtown in recent years.

Love Vs Money is installed on the the roof of Kaldi's in Citygarden.
Provided | Kevin A. Roberts

A downtown St. Louis sculpture park is marking its 10th anniversary with three new installations.

The Gateway Foundation, a nonprofit promoting art and design, opened Citygarden in July 2009 with 25 sculptures. The new additions include a giant zipper revealing the earth and a whimsical figure uplifted by a heart balloon but weighed down by money. Both are already in place. On June 6, the park will install the final celebratory sculpture, a smiling face inspired by the moon.

Local historian NiNi Harris is the author of 14 volumes focused on the Gateway City’s history and architecture. She joined Thursday’s talk show to share highlights from her latest published work, “This Used to Be St. Louis.”
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

When NiNi Harris isn’t busy writing, she’s most likely reading – old documents such as city directories, that is.

“It sounds like I have a pretty boring life, doesn’t it?” the local historian said with a laugh on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air. “I read old census records.”

But it’s that very attention to such records that has led Harris to some of the most fascinating stories she tells in her books – 14 of which she’s published thus far.

Thomas Hawk, Flickr, Creative Commons

In the second installment of the weekly ‘Behind the Headlines’ segment, “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh discussed three top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people that produced them and influenced them. 

Here’s what we talked about:

Downtown restaurant closures

Wikimedia Commons

Downtown St. Louis has been characterized by myriad personae over the years. It’s a place where Native Americans arrived by canoe and built a grand mound city. It’s also a place that holds both great Victorian architecture and International Style skyscrapers.

Arcade Apartments, Arcade Building
(courtesy of Missouri History Museum, St. Louis)

Updated Friday, Dec. 11, 5 p.m. Developers say that construction is complete on the Arcade Apartments. Construction crews wrapped up their work last week and the first residents have moved in.

Jeff Huggett, a developer at Dominuim, says more than 100 of the apartments have been reserved. In a statement, he says the Arcade Building project is the largest apartment renovation in St. Louis in decades.

Our original story:

The Arcade Building in downtown St. Louis is set to reopen in December for the first time since it closed in 1978.

Alex Ihnen (left) and Mary Ostafi (right) joined host Don Marsh in studio.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

A couple of initiatives in downtown St. Louis are changing the way that St. Louis’ old buildings are preserved—by transforming them.

Mapped: Weekend detours downtown

May 28, 2015
Detours for drivers using interstates to get around downtown St. Louis this weekend
Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio

MODOT will close sections of I-55 and I-44 south of downtown this weekend. For more details, our original report follows:

Some drivers headed into downtown St. Louis are in for a complicated route beginning this weekend.

Paul Sableman | Flickr

Five license plate recognition cameras paid for by the civic booster organization Downtown STL Inc. will be installed in downtown this month.

Missy Kelley, the chief operating officer for the organization formerly known as the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis, would not say where the cameras will be placed, or give an exact date for activation. Downtown STL Inc. spent about $66,000 on the cameras.

Brett Loehmann, a graduate student in the Sam Fox Design and Visual Arts program at Washington University, photographs the Railway Exchange Building on Sept. 17, 2014.
Sid Hastings / Washington University Photos

A graduate architecture class wants to change the Railway Exchange Building.

The 1.2 million-square-foot, 100-year-old building at Locust and Sixth streets in downtown St. Louis was once home to the Famous-Barr flagship store and its parent company’s headquarters. It was converted to a Macy’s store in 2006, but that closed last year.

Downtown St. Louis,  looking east
© Mapbox, © OpenStreetMap

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: There’s little argument that downtown St. Louis has experienced a whirlwind of change in the past decade.

“If we want to compare downtown today to where it was 10 years ago, there’s no comparison,” said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. “It’s far beyond almost anybody’s expectations in terms of the development, the investment, the number of new residents and the vibrancy that we’re seeing downtown.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 11, 2013 - On Wednesday, along Edgewood Street in downtown Atlanta, 80-foot-sections of steel rail were lowered into trenches in the street. It was the first section of rail for Atlanta Streetcar, following a process that took 10 years and millions of dollars.

The first rails went into the historic Martin Luther King district of Atlanta and, once complete, will feature an east-west line with 2.6 miles of rail.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 7, 2010 - The Arch grounds competition begins its third phase today with the announcement of five finalists, and that is good news indeed for the region. After watching the Arch and its environs for almost a half a century as a citizen and a reporter, I feel confident saying that this process, which appears to be firmly on track, has enormous potential for lasting good. This is not simply a redesign of the Arch grounds or a new scheme of plantings and promenades. It is a bold effort to pull together and propel forth a broken element of the St. Louis cityscape, one that has been, throughout its history, an island of monument and green set apart either by design or by accident from the city and from the river over which it looks.

Bernar Venet, 2 Arcs x 4, 230.5 Degree Arc x 5. The pink sign on the recent photo The safety of children who come to Citygarden is the sole responsibility of their caregivers. Playing in or near or on sculpture is inherently dangerous.
Rachel Heidenry and Donna Korando

Philanthropist M. Peter Fischer didn't mince words at the St. Louis Award ceremony Thursday. Do the Gateway Mall right, he said, and keep the hands of commercial developers and politicians off it.

Fischer, who is the 82nd person to receive the award, is known for elusiveness rather than garrulousness. It was a surprise to many that he was willing not only to accept the St. Louis Award for his philanthropy but also that he was also going to receive it in a public ceremony.