Can the Gateway Arch Become the Next Millennium Park?
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is a well-recognized symbol of the city and its historical significance in westward migration. The grounds surrounding it, designed by Dan Kiley, are also beautiful. But the lovely site is isolated from the city and from the Mississippi River, partly due to Interstate 70, a huge highway that cuts off the park from downtown St. Louis and makes pedestrian access difficult.
As we approach the Arch’s 50th anniversary, the “Framing a Modern Masterpiece” competition, coupled with federal dollars, makes improving access to the park and revitalizing St. Louis’s downtown more than just a dream. The competition to properly frame this national masterpiece is underway, and one of the five final proposals got our attention. City To River aims to turn the Arch grounds into a version of Millennium Park and the highway into a boulevard resembling Michigan Avenue. According to Kevin Muesenfechter of City To River, “The boulevard would allow for easier pedestrian access between the riverfront and downtown, and it would allow for the redevelopment of land along the boulevard that could spark an estimated $1.1 billion in investment over the next 20 years.”
This proposal emphasizes walkability and smart growth to revive downtown St. Louis by turning a highway into a boulevard, an action CNT has strongly supported in the past. For more information on the proposals for the park still in the running, visit the “Framing a Modern Masterpiece” website.