Posts Tagged ‘Highway 64/40’


New Scott Transit Plaza loses Neighbors

December 19, 2010

Last weekend I noticed that one of my favorite buildings had come down.  While driving down 40, I glanced towards the Armory and saw a large lot of dirt to its south instead of the corrugated-steel warehouse that was there last time I had looked.

Beck and Corbitt Steel on Spring

I admit that the building was not an architectural marvel, or even particularly attractive, but I loved it.  With its ring of graffiti underneath the large letters announcing its former tenant, this building told the story of the area now and in the past.  It had me imagining what it was like alongside the train tracks running through the middle of the city when they were alive and productive here.  Only two blocks south of Market Street and directly on the tracks, this was a prime location.  In addition to all of this, the building had a small feature that really attracted me to it.  This Bear (or Badger as I have always called him) was on the West side of the building.  I will miss it.

The Badger

I originally speculated that this would be the site of Metro’s new Park and Ride lot for the new Scott Transit Plaza, but was corrected by Jennifer from NextStopSTL (Thanks!).  Unfortunatly, I still don’t know why this block was raized.  Maybe the land is going to be used by whoever is in the former May Company Warehouse that sits across Spring.


A couple google searches taught me that the Million square foot warehouse sold by Macy’s last year for 2 million dollars has at least 2 tenants now: Hazzard Moving and Storage, and Warehouse of Stuff.  Hopefully this land will be used productivly for those tenants or maybe for some future plans for the Armory (wouldn’t that be cool?).   I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens, but whatever it is, I won’t forget what was here before.

600 S. Spring

I really wish progress didn’t have to be so destructive.


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.


Spring Ave. Viaduct and Surrounding area

January 2, 2010

I have been interested in cities and their history for as long as I can remember.  I enjoyed reading about Heinrich Schliemann‘s discovery of Troy and was fascinated by remnants of the past whose use could be speculated about.  Rarely is there an account like the Iliad to explain a site.  It wasn’t until more recently that I started to really want to personally dig into St. Louis’ history.  I transfered to SLU in 2005 and started to explore the area just south of Campus.  The first place I visited was The Armory.  The Armory was accessible to me because of a pedestrian bridge in between the two directions of highway 40 at Spring Ave, and from this pedestrian bridge I was able to see the remains of the Spring Ave. Viaduct.

Looking North from Market and Spring

For some reason seeing this old viaduct in the tattered state it was in then was fascinating to me.  Immediately I began planning a trip to the more substantial chunk of bridge remaining.

Spring Ave @ Metrolink Tracks

Unfortunately the remains of the viaduct have been torn down, which is really a pity because I wanted to see it restored as a way for SLU students to safely get to the sadly inaccessible Grand Metrolink stop.  UrbanReviewSTL proposed something similar to this back in 2007.  Hopefully the Metrolink accessibility situation will be improved when the Grand Bridge is rebuilt.

Metrolink @ Spring

This whole area where Highway 40 rolls through midtown is very interesting and makes me very curious about what Market street here looked like before the highway was built.  Recent rehabs along Forest Park Parkway such as the University Heights Loft Apartments (which I enjoyed living in for a year), the Spring Street Lofts, Six Row Brewing Company, and the Aquinas Institute of Theology are bringing life to this area that could possibly extend down to the highway and hopefully continue south.  There was a big project being planned for the entire south side of Forest Park Parkway from Vandeventer all the way to Spring or even past it, replacing the Federal Mogul Plant (which seems to be abandoned despite having a 24 hour security guard) with a large shopping center.  Luckily it seems that this is not being planned anymore as I have not been able to find any links which mention it at this time.