Tuesday, January 17, 2012

City+Arch+River Y2K+12

Good public monuments can be international attractions!
Visiting National Parks has always been a favorite experience for many.   The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial has its "ups and downs".  

One plus is that its not a park that someone has to visit in order to experience it.  Having one of the best expressions of modernist architecture as part of the St Louis landscape can be seen for miles around.  

My thought is that could be why the park superintendent took the original Saarinen site plan and stripped it down; removing several key elements which would have contributed to public enjoyment..  Maybe he felt that the Arch and the Museum of Westward Expansion was all that was needed.

From some of the latest press conferences, it seems that may be happening again.  Fair enough.      The economy is still lagging.  Budgetary concerns are hitting the government.  

My wish is that more people would take an interest in what is happening with the City+Arch+River project and its tremendous implications to Downtown St Louis.   When the events were held to unveil the contest winner back in August 2010, I was amazed at how sparse the attendance was.  Fewer people than a high school football game.  Sad.

My trip 18 months ago to the City of San Antonio wouldn't have been the same if it hadn't been for the visionary regional leadership that helped create the San Antonio Riverwalk.  As a result of having a major attraction in its downtown area, the City has become a top convention destination, which has led to more development and economic growth.  When City+Arch+River competition was held, that was the vision I had for the Arch grounds.  Maybe its a crazy thought in these times, this awesome project for downtown shouldn't have to just be a government hand-out.  If enough St Louis residents get behind this project, alternative funding sources could fill in where government falls short.  The plan shouldn't have to be altered.  

Get behind it! by attending the REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY next Wednesday 1/25 from 6-7:30 at the Ferrara Theater at America's Center.   

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