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Saint Louis Gateway Arch
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
11 N. 4th Street
St. Louis, MO 63102
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Kiener Plaza in Downtown to Have Dramatic Makeover
Landscape architect Nate Trevethan (at right), from the Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) Team and representatives from CityArchRiver presented a model of the proposed renovation of Kiener Plaza at a public review, held Monday evening, at Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark.
Kiener Plaza in Downtown to Have Dramatic Makeover
Model of proposed new design for Kiener Plaza was presented by the Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) Team.
Kiener Plaza in Downtown to Have Dramatic Makeover
by Bob Moore,
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, November 10, 2014 - Over the years, the Running Man Fountain has been a silent witness to thousands of wedding parties and civic celebrations. Visitors from all over the world have paused in front of the fountain to take photos of the historic Old Courthouse with the Gateway Arch in the background.

The water in the fountain was often turned red to celebrate the St. Louis Cardinals baseball, blue for the St. Louis Blues hockey, pink for the St. Louis Koman Race for the Cure, teal for Autism, orange for Highway Safety and even green for the Girl Scouts.

In the very near future, the iconic Running Man Fountain, Morton D. May Amphitheater and the massive St. Louis planters will be removed as part of the planned renovation of Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis.

Plans for the new proposed design for Kiener Plaza as part of the overall CityArchRiver project were on display, Monday evening, during a public review held at at Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, across from Kiener Plaza.

Landscape architect Nate Trevethan, from the Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) Team and representatives from CityArchRiver presented a model and illustrations of the proposed features.

Not everyone attending the presentation was impressed with the plans. Some were very unhappy when they learned that the fountain was to be removed.

"You are tearing to shreds tens of thousands of people's memories, their moment in that setting," lamented Rick Rosen, volunteer coordinator, Landmarks Association of St. Louis.

The architect responded that the plan for the new plaza is not perfectly symetrical. "There is an open space that relates strongly to the Old Courthouse and the Arch. It has a balance with views that frame areas such as the Wrainwright Building."

Kiener Plaza was dedicated in 1966. The park's centerpiece is a pool and fountain containing a statue known as "The Runner" by sculptor William Zorach (1887-1966). The plaza is named in honor of Harry J. Kiener (1881 - 1960), donor of the sculpture and fountain. Kiener was an amateur boxer, wrestler and swimmer, but he is most noted for his position on the U.S. track team at the Olympics held in St. Louis in 1904 during the World's Fair. While his main occupation was a steel company executive, he was very generous throughout his life. He served on the Zoological Board and was active at Shriner's Hospital.

Kiener Plaza also features the Morton D. May Amphitheater with a beautiful cascading fountain. The area has often been used for concerts and public events such as the Holiday Lights Celebration.

"We feel that the amphitheater is underused. We would like try using the full space with the entire two blocks and create an interesting park," continued Trevethan.

"I'm not convinced it's a mistake to remove what is there," responded Rosen. However, after seeing many comments online with people referring to the amphitheater as being very special, he said he had to come to the public meeting and express his feelings."

"I just wanted to relate that the water cascading down the steps in the amphitheater has from the beginning been embraced by lots of people and especially kids," stated Rosen.

In response to a question about the proposed plan, Rosen said he would prefer they would just clean the area up and keep the design as it is. "However, there is only one flaw and that is the current design ignores the Wrainwright Building, which is an important part of our history," he said.

"I think we could just put more programmed activities in the amphitheater. The area would be less desirable to the homeless to make it into a permanent home because it would be in constant use," concluded Rosen.

The renovation of Kiener Plaza is being done through a partnership between Great Rivers Greenway, CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation and the City of St. Louis.

CityArchRiver Web Camera Shows Live Construction, Panoramic Gateway Arch Views
ST. LOUIS, MO, ( - CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation features a camera that shows comprehensive views of construction on the renovation of the Gateway Arch grounds and its surroundings.

The robotic camera, placed on the roof of the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch, offer panoramic views of the Gateway Arch grounds and downtown St. Louis in addition to high-resolution images of different components of the CityArchRiver 2015 project.

Visitors to the project website can view archived progress and time-lapse videos of construction:

The robotic camera is added to the other CityArchRiver webcams launched earlier this year that show construction on the Riverfront and Walnut Street Bridge.

St. Louis Gateway Arch Provides Spectacular View of St. Louis City From 360 Feet Above
ST. LOUIS, MO, ( - The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park was established on the banks of the Mississippi River, on December 21, 1935, to commemorate the westward growth of the United States between 1803 and 1890. Cost for the $30 million national monument was shared by the federal government and the City of St. Louis.

The park features the Gateway Arch, designed by architect Eero Saarinen who won the design competition in 1947. The stainless steel structure rises 630 feet high from a 60-foot foundation and spans 630 feet at ground level. Its classic weighted catenary curve sways 1/2" - 1" in 20 mph wind. The Arch weighs 17,246 tons. Nine hundred tons of stainless steel was used to build the Arch, more than any other project in history. Construction on the nation's tallest memorial, built at a cost of $13 million began February 12, 1963 with the "topping out" on October 28, 1965. It was dedicated in 1966.

The floor plan of the Underground Visitor Center follows a circular pattern with galleries depicting a 100-year span of westward expansion and the Tucker Theatre. Additional attractions include two passenger trams to the observation room at the top and the Museum of Westward Expansion.

Visitors to the Gateway Arch can step back in time and savor the past at Levee Mercantile. The 1870s style riverfront general store is located in the Visitor Center beneath the Arch. Many food products selected for Levee Mercantile feature Missouri artisans who use traditional recipes and time-honored production methods.

Monument to the Dream - A documentary film by Charles Guggenheim on the construction of the Arch is shown daily in the Tucker Theatre. Large screen movies are shown on the Arch's Odyssey Theatre's four story high screen featuring a 70 mm projection system and THX Sound.

Summer hours - 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day Weekend. Arch trams will run daily starting at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 9:10 p.m. Trams to the top of the Arch leave at least every 10 minutes.

Winter hours - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week from the day after Labor Day until the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. Arch trams will run daily starting at 9:20 am and ending at 5:10 pm. Trams to the top of the Arch leave at least every 10 minutes.

The Arch is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Accessibility at Gateway Arch - The Arch lobby and Museum of Westward Expansion are accessible by ramps located throughout the building. The Tucker Theater and Odyssey Theatre are both accessible to visitors using wheelchairs. Wheelchairs are available for loan on a first-come, first-served basis (inquire at information desk). Wheelchairs or strollers are not allowed at the top of the Gateway Arch.

Tram tickets: $10 adults (16 & older); $5 children (3 - 15)

Movie Tickets: $7 adults (16 & older); $2.50 children (3 - 15).

Tram & 1 Movie: $14 adults (16 & older); $7.50 children (3 - 15)
Tram & 2 Movies: $18 adults (16 & older); $10 children (3 - 15)

2 Movies: $11 adults (16 & older); $5 children (3 - 15)
Each adult tram ticket includes a $3.00 National Park entrance fee. For more information or reservations, call 877-982-1410.

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Old Cathedral Under Wraps for Two Year Restoration
A $15 million effort is underway to restore the nearly 180-year-old Basilica of St. Louis King of France - known fondly as the "Old Cathedral", which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. See related story: Old Cathedral Under Wraps for Two Year Restoration

Basilica of St. Louis King of France (Old Cathedral)
ST. LOUIS, MO, ( - The St. Louis' historic Old Cathedral, known officially as the Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, is one of the world's most honored churches. It stands on a tiny plot on the downtown riverfront near the south leg of the Gateway Arch. The original log chapel was dedicated over 200 years ago in 1770.

The structure of the Old Cathedral, completed in the autumn of 1834, is a prominent example of Greek Revival architecture in the United States, and it is included on the National Register of Historic Places. The exterior stone facade and the four columns that support the Doric style portico are carved from Joliet stone, mined near Joliet, Ill.

In 1961, the most important honor ever afforded any American church was handed down by His Holiness, the late Pope John XXIII, who decreed Basilican status upon the church. An intensive rehabilitation program on the appearance of the Old Cathedral was completed in 1963.

Visitors can see the tomb of Bishop Joseph Rosati, builder of the present Old Cathedral building, paintings dating back to the late 1700's and a dramatic series of Arteaga photos at the Old Cathedral Museum. The Old Cathredal is located at 209 Walnut Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63102. For more information, call 314-231-3250.

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