As St. Louis prepares to host its first All Star Game in 43 years, our downtown is looking pretty good. Although Ballpark Village has not yet been built, the new City Garden a few blocks north of the stadium is well worth visiting. This beautifully landscaped garden, in the heart of downtown, provides an ideal setting for some magnificent outdoor art. Unfortunately, as nice as our downtown is, Lambert Airport, where thousands of visitors will get their first and last impressions of St. Louis, is definitely not up to All-Star Standards.
It hasn't always been this way. When the All Star Game was held here in 1966, our airport welcomed baseball fans and other visitors to the City with a critically acclaimed sculpture by Henry Moore. Three years later, in 1969, this work by a world renowned artist was removed in order to make room for more parking. Four decades later itís both ironic and inexplicable that an airport that's nearly empty apparently does not have enough room to display world class art.
Back in the 1960s St. Louisans recognized the value of welcoming visitors to the City with museum quality art at Lambert Airport. Just as the public art at City Garden enhances our downtown, the art on display at our airport can make a statement to visitors from all over the world. Let's not wait until the next All Star Game in St. Louis before bringing world class art back to Lambert Airport.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Tom Schlafly is an attorney in St. Louis.