Celebrating 100 Years
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3832 S. Broadway Street
St. Louis, MO 63118
by Betty Moore, SLFP.com
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), March 2, 2017 - "It's been twenty years in the making," said Joe Edwards, chairman of the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District, as he held up a model of the Loop Trolley. Behind Edwards, the actual red and cream Portland trolley car, "001", gleamed under the lights of the new facility on Delmar during a press conference.
Edwards, long-time booster of University City, joined stakeholders and key partners at a news conference to share highlights of the progress on the $51 million project. "It connects one of the 10 Great Streets in American, Delmar Loop, with the number one city park in the United States, the great Forest Park."
When operating, the three fully restored vintage trolleys, two from Portland and one from Seattle, will run along a 2.2 mile track from the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park to the Delmar Loop. Each trolley car has the capacity to carry 92 - 100 passengers and will travel at speeds up to 25 miles per hour.
Edwards stated that the construction of the Loop Trolley system included about $10 million of related improvement, such as the building of a roundabout on Delmar Blvd near the University City Hall, the rebuilding of an aged bridge over the MetroLink tracks near the Wabash Station and over Forest Park, fiber-optics, gas lines along Delmar, repaving of the entire route, new traffic signals and extensive landscaping.
"Debaliviere Avenue is just gorgeous now with over 125 new trees," stated Edwards. "Several thousand annuals and shrubs will be planted along the route and along Lindell there will be even more trees planted going into Forest Park," said Edwards, adding with a big smile that so many positive things are happening.
Edwards noted that "The clean electric transit aspect of this project is very appealing to younger people in the entire region who want to live around a livable, walkable area."
Pointed to the red and cream "001" Portland Trolley behind him, Edwards proclaimed that "it will bring the new millennium in transit into our city."
"The fixed-track nature does attract investment," Edwards said, highlighting a new 14-story, $66 million apartment building in the Loop at 6105 Delmar Boulevard.
"We know everyone is eager to see trolleys running on the street, which will be an indication we're one giant step closer to pinning down a grand opening date," noted Les Sterman, chairman of The Loop Trolley Company.
"But we have to remind everyone this is a unique and complex project that requires very careful testing to assure safe and reliable operations before we begin service. Our number one priority is to offer a safe, reliable trolley service providing a truly memorable experience for riders, and we're doing everything we can to deliver on that in as timely a manner as possible."
Even during testing, the trolleys will share a lane with other moving vehicles and travel along with traffic, in both directions, up to the speed limit (25 mph) - just like a bus. They will follow the same traffic signals as other vehicles.
"While we don't have the exact dates yet, testing here at the facility is going well, and the first trolley car could be out on the tracks as early as mid- to late-March, pending completion of final documentation in collaboration with the Federal Transit Administration," noted Kevin Barbeau, executive director of the Loop Trolley Company. The next car, painted blue and cream, should be arriving in the next couple of weeks for testing.
Before crossing the street, people should listen for warning bells and horns, and look both ways because the fixed-track trolleys cannot swerve to avoid obstacles and they run in both directions.
by Betty Moore, SLFP.com
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), February 21, 2017 - The excitement is building across the country as the once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse approaches in six months.
Joe Edwards of the Eclipse Restaurant and Moonrise Hotel in the Loop neighborhood rolled out special plans for a unique Loop Eclipse Festival to celebrate the event on August 21, 2017.
Edwards, wearing his trademark space suit, complete with helmet, made the announcement in a media event atop the Moonrise Hotel. In remarks, he outlined details of the day-long Festival which will include the Loop Planetary Walk, live music, food and weekend lodging packages at the Moonrise Hotel, located at 6177 Delmar in the Loop.
"The last time a total solar eclipse took place in this area was in 1442, 50 years before Columbus sailed to the New World. This year, the 70 mile-wide moon shadow will fall across the U.S. from Oregon to South Caroline, including portions of Missouri and Illinois."
"This is really exciting as people will travel all over the world to see eclipses. Six months from today, they can see this special event in St. Louis. An event of this kind won't happen again until 2505," Edwards stated glancing at the iconic lunar model rotating above his head atop the Moonrise Hotel.
Loop merchants, including restaurants and drinking establishments are gearing up for the anticipated crowds with solar-themed dining specials and drinks. Space and solar-themed films and films clips will be screened and the St. Louis Science Center will be participating in the "Eclipse Eve" activities.
He noted that the Eclipse Restaurant at the Moonrise Hotel will be serving special solar-themed dishes. "Clementines has also prepared a special ice cream treat for the occasion. We will also have Moon Pies available."
"The Loop has become a wonderful walkable community for families to bring their kids and enjoy all the new restaurants and shop. They can take the metrolink and then hop on the new Loop Trolley," stated Edwards.
He enthusiastically added that he might just rename the trolley, 'The Solar Eclipse Trolley' for the day.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) - University City was founded in 1906 by businessman Edward Gardner Lewis, who designed it as a model city.
University City is known for its fine residential neighborhoods, art galleries, the business and entertainment district along Delmar Boulevard and the Washington University campus. Two massive lions sculptures by George Julian Zolnay, set atop pylons designed by architects Eames & Young, welcome residents and visitors to the formal city hall plaza.
In 2006, a group of volunteers staged the city's biggest party in 100 years. Their aim was to show that this small but exciting enclave is more a community of culture, diversity and education than even its founder could have imaged.
It was no small task since Lewis was a dreamer, inventor, chemist, artist, education, potter, women's magazine publisher, entrepreneur and politician. But with a theme of 100 Fun things to do in University City, on almost any given day something was happening for fun seekers of all ages.
A celebration was held with the grand opening of Centennial Commons, formerly the Heman Park Recreation Facility. With a nod towards the City's 100th anniversary, the facility underwent a two-year $6M extreme makeover and a name change. The facility is now open for fun, fitness and community events.
The business and entertainment district is also well know as the Delmar Loop, named after the Delmar Streetcar system that provided service for visitors and residents to University City in the early 1900s. The Delmar Loop has been named one of the best 10 streets in America.
In 2000, a strong coalition of supporters, energized by Joe Edwards, owner of Blueberry Hill Restaurant, Pin-Up Bowl, and the Pageant Building, began working on bringing a trolley system back to University City.
Edwards organized the St. Louis Trolley Company (LTC) in 2002 with the help of Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT). The group secured a grant from the East-West Gateway Council of Governments and the Missouri Department of Transportation to purchase and renovate two historic vehicles for the new line. The trolleys are currently on display in front of the Missouri History Museum and Commerce Bank in the Delmar Loop.
On Friday, July 9, 2010, the St. Louis Trolley Company secured nearly $25 million in federal funding for the Loop Trolley System linking Forest Park to the University City Loop. See Loop Trolley System to Connect Forest Park Attractions with University City Loop Businesses.
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