One Last Look at 2018

By on January 4, 2019

From Webster-Kirkwood Times:

St. Louis Landmarks Mark Milestones

Gateway Arch Museum

After years of planning and construction, the new Gateway Arch Museum of Westward Expansion opened on July 3, just in time for St. Louis’ Independence Day celebrations.

The 46,000-square-foot interactive museum under the Arch is state-of-the-art and packed with hands-on exhibits and video displays telling the history of St. Louis.

Thanks to the renovation of the Arch grounds and the “lid” built over the interstate below, the new museum is just steps from the bustle of downtown.

All of the changes to the Arch grounds and the renovation of the museum were part of the $380 million CityArchRiver project. The non-profit Gateway Arch Park Foundation is now tasked with its upkeep.

Soldiers Memorial

On Nov. 3, the 80-year-old Soldiers Memorial Military Museum reopened after a stunning, two-year, $30 million renovation.

The museum makes St. Louis the focal point with a multi-layered look at the city’s military history. It opened to the public just in time for Veterans Day.

The Missouri Historical Society assumed operation of the museum in 2015. Funding for the renovation was covered by anonymous historical society donors.

The Muny Celebrates 100 Years

The Muny, officially titled “The St. Louis Municipal Opera Theatre,” celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2018 with a bang. Its Centennial Gala drew 750 patrons, and “An Evening with the Stars” entertained nearly 7,000 attendees.

The Muny owes its origin to a 1914 show on Art Hill, a grandiose celebration of St. Louis’ 150th anniversary called the “Pageant and Masque.” The show was so successful that its planners decided to put on another large-scale production in 1917 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

Requiring a more intimate setting than the previous show, Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” moved away from Art Hill to a grassy area in Forest Park with a slight incline between two oak trees.

Each performance after that saw a little more permanence added to the location, slowly building up The Muny in Forest Park into what St. Louisans know today.

The Muny recently embarked on a $100 million fundraising effort that will fund major capital improvements, including a complete rebuild of the Muny stage, the support, maintenance and upkeep of the aging 11.5 acre campus, and the building of the theatre’s endowment, which supports The Muny’s ever-growing education and outreach programs.

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About Dede Hance