St. Louis is Rebounding From a Long Decline by Focusing on Its Historic Heritage

By on November 9, 2018

From Forbes:  Don’t for a moment think that the city fathers of St. Louis weren’t thinking of Paris’s Arc de Triomphe, Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, New York’s Statue of Liberty or San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge when they put up their 630-foot tall Gateway Arch. If iconic is an over-used word these days, none better applies to the Arch, finished in 1965.

I remember seeing its graceful shape far off in the distance when my wife and I drove across America in 1977, and my son remembers the looming sight of it when he did the same drive in 1998. Now there’s a vast new visitors center and museum at its base, amidst well-landscaped grounds (they buried a highway that used to run through it), that will tell you everything you’d want to know about the design and construction of this Midwestern wonder of the world.

Although St. Louis has only 320,000 people, it has the feel of a bigger city as it sprawls along the Mississippi River, married briefly to both the Missouri and the Illinois and crisscrossed by four interstate highways, with 79 designated neighborhoods.

This is the city so lovingly exalted in the 1944 movie “Meet Me in St. Louis,” centered around the opening of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (though filmed on MGM’s back lots), the same year it hosted the Summer Olympics.

The city dates back to fur trading days, founded by the French in 1764, acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Steamboats plied its rivers by 1818, and Missouri became a state three years later.

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