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St Louis in Missouri.
St. Louis is an independent city and the second-largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri. The city has a 2010 population of 319,294 and is the principal municipality of Greater St. Louis, population 2,892,874, the largest urban area in Missouri, the 4th-largest urban area in the Midwest, and 15th-largest in the United States.
The city is divided into 79 government-designated neighborhoods. The divisions have no legal standing, although some neighborhood associations administer grants or hold veto power over historic-district development. Nevertheless, the social and political influence of neighborhood identity is profound. Some hold avenues of massive stone edifices built as palaces for heads of state visiting the 1904 World's Fair. Others offer tidy working-class bungalows or loft districts. Many of them have endured as strong and cohesive communities.
Among the best-known, architecturally significant, or well-visited neighborhoods are:
Central West End
Old North St. Louis
Shaw (Adjacent to the Missouri Botanical Garden, and named after its founder, Henry Shaw)
Parks and gardens
The city operates 105 parks that serve as gathering spots for neighbors to meet, and contains playgrounds, areas for summer concerts, picnics, baseball games, tennis courts, and lakes. Forest Park, located on the western edge of the central corridor of the City of St. Louis, is one of the largest urban parks in the world, exceeding Central Park in New York City by 500 acres (2 km²).
The Missouri Botanical Garden, also known as Shaw's Garden, is one of the world's leading botanical research centers. It possesses a collection of flowering plants, shrubs, and trees, and includes the Japanese Garden, which features gravel designs and a lake filled with koi; the woodsy English Garden; the Kemper Home Gardening Center; a rose garden; the Climatron; a children's garden and playground; and many other scenic gardens. Immediately south of the Missouri Botanical Garden is Tower Grove Park, a gift to the City by Henry Shaw. Tower Grove Park is one of the oldest "walking" parks in the United States, and hosts annual outdoor concerts free to the public.
The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is a 90.96-acre (368,100 m2) national park located on the downtown riverfront where the city was first founded in 1764. It commemorates the westward growth of the United States between 1803 and 1890. The centerpiece of the park is the stainless steel Gateway Arch, which is the most recognizable structure in the city. It was designed by noted architect Eero Saarinen and completed on October 28, 1965. At 630 feet (192 m), it is the tallest manmade monument in the United States. Located below the Arch is the Museum of Westward Expansion, which contains an extensive collection of artifacts. It tells the details of the story of the thousands of people who lived in and settled the American West during the 19th century. Nearby and also part of the memorial is the historic Old Courthouse, one of the oldest standing buildings in St. Louis. Begun in 1839, it was here that the first two trials of the Dred Scott case were held in 1847 and 1850. This park is also the location of the annual July 4 festival, Fair Saint Louis.
The Citygarden is a two-block (2.9-acre (12,000 m2)) urban sculpture park, located in Downtown St. Louis. Citygarden is a joint project between the city and the Gateway Foundation, with the former paying for landscaping, water, and electricity, and the latter paying for construction and the art in the park. The landscaping includes plants native to Missouri and water fountains; featured art at the garden include those from artists such as Fernand Léger, Aristide Maillol, Julian Opie, Tom Otterness, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Mark di Suvero. The park is also divided into three sections, each of which represent a different theme: river bluffs; flood plains; and urban gardens. The park also has a restaurant – The Terrace View.
The St. Louis Art Museum, located in the City's premier park, Forest Park, and dating from the 1904 World's Fair, houses an impressive array of modern art and ancient artifacts, with an extensive collection of master works of several centuries, including paintings by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Pissarro, Picasso, and many others. The privately owned City Museum offers a variety of exhibits, including several large faux caves and a huge outdoor playground. It also serves as a meeting point for St. Louis's arts scene.
The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, located in Grand Center, is an arts institution in a world-renowned building designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Tadao Ando. Also located in Grand Center is the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, this non-collecting museum is recognized nationally for the quality of its exhibitions and education programs. The Eugene Field House, located in downtown St. Louis, is a museum dedicated to the distinguished children's author. The Missouri History Museum presents exhibits and programs on a variety of topics including the 1904 World's Fair, and a comprehensive exhibit on Lewis and Clark's voyage exploring the Louisiana Purchase. The Fox Theatre, originally one of many movie theatres along Grand Boulevard is a newly restored theater featuring a Byzantine facade and Oriental decor. The Fox Theatre presents a Broadway Series in addition to concerts. The St. Louis Union Station is a popular tourist attraction with retail shops and a luxury hotel.
Notable churches include the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis (more commonly known as "the New Cathedral"), a large Roman Catholic cathedral designed in the Byzantine and Romanesque styles. The interior is decorated with the largest mosaics collection in the world. In January 1999, Pope John Paul II spoke in the Cathedral Basilica as part of a two day visit to St. Louis. The Cathedral Basilica is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Louis, the principal see of the Province of Missouri. Archbishop Robert James Carlson is the Archbishop of St. Louis; he succeeded Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke in April 2009. Archbishop Burke was named the Prefect of the Vatican's Supreme Court, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, by Pope Benedict XVI in on June 27, 2008. On November 20, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI elevated Burke to the cardinalate.
The Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (1834) (commonly known as the "Old Cathedral") is the oldest Roman Catholic cathedral west of the Mississippi River. It is located adjacent to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Among other architecturally significant churches in the region are the abbey church of Saint Louis Abbey, whose distinctive architectural style garnered multiple awards at the time of its completion in 1962, and St. Francis de Sales Oratory, a neo-Gothic church completed in 1908 and the largest church in the city aside from the Cathedral Basilica.
The Gateway Arch, part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, is the city's best-known landmark, as well as a popular tourist site. This Memorial commemorates the acquisition and settlement by the citizens of the United States of America to the west of the Mississippi River. The Arch, and the entire 91 acres (370,000 m2) of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial park, occupy the exact location of the original French village of St. Louis (1764–1804). No buildings from that era exist today.
The Hill is an historically Italian neighborhood where many of the area's best Italian restaurants can be found. The Hill was the home of Yogi Berra, Joe Garagiola, and other noted athletes. The boyhood homes of Berra and Garagiola, and broadcaster Jack Buck's first home were all located on the same block of Elizabeth Avenue. Three granite plaques mark the location of each home as well as the dates when their most famous residents were inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Hill was also home to five soccer players from the 1950 U.S. World Cup soccer team that upset top-ranked England. A stretch of Dagget Avenue, in the heart of The Hill, was renamed Soccer Hall of Fame Place, to honor these players.
Forest Park, which covers an area of 1,293 acres and is one of the largest urban parks in the nation, is home to many of St. Louis's most popular attractions: the Saint Louis Zoological Park; the Municipal Theater (also known as The Muny, the largest and oldest outdoor musical theater in the United States); the St. Louis Science Center (with its architecturally distinctive McDonnell Planetarium); the Saint Louis Art Museum; the Missouri History Museum; the Jewel Box horticultural conservatory; several lakes, and scenic open areas. Forest Park underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in 2004 for the centennial of the St. Louis World's Fair.
The Saint Louis Zoological Park, one of the oldest and largest free-admission zoos in the country, is home to an Insectarium, River's Edge, and Fragile Forest. The St. Louis Zoo has been named #1 zoo by Zagat Survey's U.S. Family Travel Guide. The zoo is located adjacent to the St. Louis Art Museum. Free admission to the Zoo and Art museum, as well as the History Museum, is made possible by the revenue generated by the St. Louis Zoo-Museum Tax District.
St. Louis is the host to the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the oldest botanical institutions in the United States and a National Historic Landmark. Featuring 79 acres (320,000 m2) of horticultural displays, the Gardens have been serving the St. Louis region since their 1859 foundation by Henry Shaw.
The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum is located near Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis. Laclede's Landing, located on the Mississippi River front directly north of the historic Eads Bridge, is popular for its restaurants and nightclubs.
St. Louis possesses several distinct examples of 18th and 19th century architecture, such as the Soulard Market District (1779–1842), the Chatillon-de-Menil House (1848), the Bellefontaine Cemetery (1850), the Robert G. Campbell House (1852), the Old Courthouse (1845–62), the original Anheuser-Busch Brewery (1860), and two of Louis Sullivan's early skyscrapers, the Wainwright Building (1890–91) and the Union Trust Building.
On the Riverfront, two sculptural groups have been designated a National Lewis and Clark site by the National Park Service. This includes a twice life-sized grouping of Lewis and Clark by Harry Weber which commemorates the celebration of the bicentennial of the expedition. The Lemp Mansion, home of the ill-fated Lemp family (brewers of Falstaff Beer), is considered one of the most haunted places in the nation. It is open to the public as a restaurant, murder-mystery dinner theater, and bed and breakfast. St. Louis is also the resting place of the slave Dred Scott, the man who led to the addition of the fourteenth-amendment.
Entertainment and performing arts
The world-renowned Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1880, is the second-oldest U.S. orchestra. The orchestra has received six Grammy Awards and fifty-six nominations. Powell Symphony Hall on North Grand Boulevard has been its home since 1968. Leonard Slatkin, largely credited with building the orchestra's international prominence during his 17-year tenure as Music Director, is Conductor Laureate. Its current Music Director is David Robertson.
The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is an annual summer festival of opera performed in English, co-founded by Richard Gaddes in 1976. Union Avenue Opera, formed in the early 1990s, is a smaller company that performs opera in their original languages. A $74 million renovation of the Kiel Opera House was approved in June 2009. Other classical music groups include the Arianna String Quartet, the quartet-in-residence at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus, and the Young Catholic Musicians, a group of young choir and band members from more than 60 metro-area parishes.
St. Louis has long been associated with great ragtime, jazz and blues music. Early rock and roll singer/guitarist Chuck Berry is a native St. Louisan who still performs there several times a year. Soul music artists Ike Turner and Tina Turner, Fontella Bass, and jazz innovator Miles Davis began their careers in St. Louis or on the 'East Side' (East St. Louis, Illinois). The city was the home or adopted home of notable R&B and bluesmen, including Little Milton, Oliver Sain, Albert King, Henry Townsend (musician), Johnnie Johnson (musician), and Bennie Smith. It was here that Scott Joplin wrote what was perhaps his most famous song, "The Entertainer (rag)". Louis Jordan was buried here (his last wife's home town) when he passed away. St. Louis has also been a popular stop along the infamous Chitlin' circuit. The musical tradition gave the name to the city's National Hockey League team, added in the 1967 NHL expansion: the St. Louis Blues.
Popular entertainment in St. Louis thrived in the 1950s and 60s around Gaslight Square, a nightclub district that attracted nationally known musicians and performers. Today this area is the site of a new housing development. St. Louis is home to musical artists Living Things, Sheryl Crow, Barbara Carr, Gravity Kills, Story of the Year, Modern Day Zero, Stir, Strawfoot, Cavo, Greenwheel, Ludo, 7 Shot Screamers, MU330 and The Urge. In the 1990s, the metro area produced prominent alt-country bands Uncle Tupelo — a Belleville, Illinois trio often considered the originators of the style, whose members went on to found Wilco and Son Volt;— and The Bottle Rockets. Rap and hip-hop artists include Nelly, The Saint Lunatics, Ali, Murphy Lee, Chingy, Huey, J-Kwon, Jibbs, and FLAME. Akon is a Senegalese-American R&B singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, businessman, and philanthropist also from St. Louis.
The theater district of St. Louis is in midtown's Grand Center, St. Louis, which is undergoing major redevelopment. "Grand Center" can refer to the district itself or to the not-for-profit agency Grand Center, Inc. (GCI), which administers arts and urban-renewal programs in the area. The district includes the Fox Theatre, one of the largest live Broadway theaters in the United States; the Powell Symphony Hall; the Saint Louis University Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art; The Sun Theater (now under redevelopment); The St Louis Black Repertory Theater Company; the Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis; the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts; the Sheldon Concert Hall; and the Grandel Theatre.
The Muny (Municipal Opera Association of St. Louis) is an outdoor amphitheater located in Forest Park. It seats about 11,000 people, and its charter reserves 1,500 seats at the top of the amphitheater are free on a first-come-first-serve basis. In 2010, The Muny presented its 92nd season. The theater is influential with the Actors' Equity Association.
St. Louis is home to over 81 theatre and dance companies, including and one of the largest theatrical production companies in the U.S., The Fox Associates. Fox Associates, L.L.C., was formed in 1981 to purchase, renovate and operate the 4,500-seat Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri. The Fox, which had once been at the center of the St. Louis "movie" theater district, had been closed since 1978 and was in need of major restoration and new entertainment programming to elevate it once again as the major venue for entertainment in St. Louis. The restoration was completed in 1982 as the Fox reopened for Broadway productions, country, rock, pop, and jazz acts. It has become one of the highest grossing theatres in the country. The Fox Associates group has helped produce some of Broadway's biggest hit musicals and has been influential in St. Louis's theater productions. Other theaters in St. Louis include The Pageant , The Repertory and The Roberts Orpheum Theater .
There are a few local comedy clubs in the St. Louis area, like the Funny Bone, although there are currently none in the city itself. Comedians like Redd Foxx, Kathleen Madigan, Cedric the Entertainer, Greg Warren and The Sklar Brothers are among the noteworthy comics with roots in the area. Improvisational comedy in St. Louis, traces its roots back to The Compass Players, many of whose players went on to start The Second City theater in Chicago. Improv institutions such as The Improv Trick, The Improv Shop and CORE Improv focus on providing training to improvisational performers.
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