ArchNews gives an overview of changes to the Gateway Mall in St. Louis.
From an urban planning standpoint, sometimes a garden is not just a garden – especially in St. Louis. City planners see Citygarden, which opens tomorrow, July 1, as the first step in fulfilling a nearly century-old dream in St. Louis – creating a thriving civic space along the Gateway Mall, the 1.1 mile-long ribbon of grass and trees that runs east to west from the grounds of Eero Saarinen’s iconic 1965 Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse to Union Station. The mall “has never fully realized its potential,” acknowledges Deputy Mayor for Development Barbara Geisman. Instead of serving as a bridge between the north and south sides of downtown, it has acted more as a barrier.
What were two square blocks of vacant lawn space on the largely uninterrupted stretch of city-owned green space bordered by office and government buildings, is now a 2.9-acre urban oasis of sculpture, nature, stone, and water.
The project stems from a partnership between the city and the local Gateway Foundation, which has provided funding through $25-$30 million for design and construction and other maintenance.