Posts Tagged ‘Forest Park’

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Vantage Points

April 5, 2011

In my exploration of St. Louis, I sometimes come across places which offer glimpses of other parts of the city.  Since most of St. Louis is relatively flat, these views are a real treat.  Those areas that are most likely to catch my eye are the more dense neighborhoods that include the Central West End, Midtown and Downtown.  This weekend, while exploring The Hill North of Interstate 44, I captured this view of the CWE:

CWE From the Hill

The fact that The Hill offers good views of other city neighborhoods seems obvious, but to me it’s a recent discovery.  Although this view is new, and the perspective is unique, my favorite views of the city are still those seen while driving down Highway 40.  Too bad it’s such a dangerous place to take photos.

Other Vantage Points:

Downtown from Dogtown

Above view is from Mitchell and Highland.

South St. Louis Riverfront

From Carondelet Coke’s Coal Loader.

Downtown from Cass Avenue Bridge Construction

And Finally a similar view to one that I used in my post on the Cass Avenue Bridge a week or so ago.

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St. Louis Velodrome

March 23, 2011

While surfing around on YouTube recently, I came across a Living St. Louis video on the St. Louis Velodrome, a bicycle racecourse in North St. Louis.  Apparently this current Velodrome is a replacement for one in Forest Park that sat in the area created by the Kingshighway Jog.

After watching this video clip I had to try out the Velodrome.  Although it was interesting to see, my used mountain bike and I were clearly unprepared to properly appreciate the unspectacular loop of asphalt.

Penrose Park Velodrome

Instead of spending time on the Velodrome I ended up exploring the neighborhood on my bicycle.  The Mark Twain neighborhood turned out to be pretty cool.  I found a couple of stretches of brand new brick houses right across the street from Bellefontaine Cemetery that were surprisingly good looking.  There isn’t a whole lot of new construction in North St. Louis, so I was particularly happy to see good quality infill here.

Old and New in Mark Twain

Seeing this Velodrome and the living neighborhood around it was a very positive experience, reminding me how much this city has to offer, and how much of it I have yet to explore.

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New “Attraction Corridor” Signage

July 22, 2010

While Driving down Highway 40 recently I was pleasantly surprised to see new signs that attempt to convince motorists to exit the freeway while driving through the City of St. Louis.  Signs on 170 advise of the “Attraction Corridor” that 40, our main street, has become; and the three main exits on the corridor (Kingshighway, Grand and Broadway) advertise their respective attractions.  The first exit, Kingshighway, has signage that to me is puzzling.

Kingshighway "explore St. Louis" Sign

Three attractions are listed: Forest Park, The Hill and The Loop.  Isn’t the Loop centered around Skinker not Kingshighway?  Isn’t the Central West End an amazing attraction just North of 40 and Kingshighway?  When this question was raised on UrbanSTL today, the answer from Nerfdude struck me as pretty good thinking:

bonwich: Terrific idea, great graphics. But why in God’s name do they have signs in both directions on 64 telling people to get to the Loop via Kingshighway???

Nerfdude: because then you’ll have to explore St. Louis to find what you’re looking for, of course.

Not too bad.  I assume there will be signs @ Delmar and Kingshighway directing people west to the Loop eventually (there are none as of this posting).  Apparently the start date for this was June 23rd and kicked off a project that will continue for the rest of the year and end up placing 300 signs throughout the city and county.  I am very happy with this project but wish that there were more attractions on the signs that are already up!

Explore St. Louis Sign @ Grand

The Central West End is a pretty big omission from the Kingshighway sign, and Midtown Alley would have been a great addition to the Grand sign.  I hope that both of these are added as time goes on. Keep an eye out for more of these helpful signs.

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The Kingshighway Jog

February 17, 2010

Kingshighway is one of the city’s busiest streets, but up until less than 50 years ago, the road yielded to Forest Park instead of visa-versa.  Thanks to Gateway StreetsSunday Links last week, I was able to track down the year that the motorist won out over the city itself by looking at MODOT’s historical highway maps.  I found that 1964 is the first year in which “the jog” does not appear on the state highway map.  One more decision accelerating decline.  Originally, Kingshighway took a 90 degree turn to the East at what is now Hospital Drive and then made another 90 degree turn to the South at Euclid (formerly Lake or Lay).  This was due to the shape of the park!

Map of Forest Park - 1914

This area now has so much traffic concentrated into BJC, Wash-U Med, etc., but these are basically one big campus cut off from the rest of the city.  I just wonder what the area felt like before.  It must have been very different.

Kingshighway Jog

Maybe one day Forest Park will be restored to its original boundaries and Kingshighway restored to it’s original, more pedestrian friendly route.  We need to work with what our city already has to offer, even the sharp edges, instead of destroying it to remove minor inconveniences incurred from one particular perspective.

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World’s Fair Leftovers

January 14, 2010

This week I photographed at least two structures that are remains of the 1904 World’s Fair.  The First was the Birdcage at the Zoo which I visited right after the snow we got a few days ago.

World's Fair Birdcage

The other World’s Fair leftover I photographed was actually a double-whammy.  Both the St. Louis Art Museum and the Statue of St. Louis in front of it (according to this website) are remnants of the St. Louis World’s Fair.

St. Louis Art Museum

The main thing I am missing here is Brookings Hall and other Wash U Buildings.

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Snow Day

January 7, 2010

Today I took a stroll up to Forest Park to witness my first ever day of Sledding on Art Hill.

Art Hill today

I didn’t have a sled but it looked like lots of fun.

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