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Commentaries

Celebrating the Arch Grounds Competition
Aired September 29, 2010
St. Louis excels at the grand gesture. Art Hill, the Gateway Mall and the Arch are inspiring, but the smaller experiences of walking through the park, or the visitor’s experience at the Arch have been neglected and often leave a more lasting, and all-too-often, negative impression.

What the Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates winning design does is improve the visitor experience at every point. In their words, they build literal and figurative bridges from the City to the Arch to the River.

A New Vision for the Arch - Less, Not More
Aired June 15, 2010
Great boulevards epitomize the energy and vibrancy of a city. Cities are most alive where different modes of activity intersect. A grand boulevard says in no uncertain terms that you stand at the threshold of a great city. St. Louis deserves a great boulevard.

We have one of our nation's great icons at our doorstep in Eero Saarinen's incomparable modernist masterpiece. And yet, in a city that loves outdoor patios and sidewalk dining, it's absurd that we cannot sit at a café across from the National Park and take in the majesty of our Arch and river.

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Alex Ihnen

Alex Ihnen

Alex Ihnen is the editor of the urbanstl.com website which covers urbanism, architecture and development issues in St. Louis, and a Steering Committee member of City to River an all-volunteer citizens group with a mission to advocate for improved connections between the communities of the central riverfront and the Mississippi River.

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