Saint Louis Central West End - The Heart of the City
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The Central West End - "The Heart of the City"

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World Chess Hall of Fame Central West End
The world's largest chess piece, standing at 14 feet 6 inches tall, is located in front of the World Chess Hall of Fame, at 4652 Maryland Avenue in the Central West End. © file photo
Chess Tournament Puts Spotlight on Central West End
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, August 3, 2016 - It is the summer of sports - but Rio is not the only international competition gaining attention in August. The world's top chess players are headed to the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL), located in the World Chess Hall of Fame, Aug. 5-16, to compete for a total prize fund of $300,000 in the pinnacle of chess tournaments held on U.S. soil - the Sinquefield Cup.

The Sinquefield Cup is the third of four stops on the 2016 Grand Chess Tour (GCT) - a circuit of international chess events featuring the world's elite chess talent, created in partnership between the CCSCSL, Chess Promotions, Ltd. (London Chess Classic) and the Kasparov Chess Foundation. The tournament is named after Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield, founders of the CCSCSL.

The 2016 Sinquefield Cup features ten of the top international chess players from eight different countries. Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana, now a Saint Louis resident, is entering the tournament with home field advantage after taking the U.S. Championship title at the CCSCSL in April.

Another top-ranked American, GM Hikaru Nakamura, is coming off a noteworthy win, beating the No. 1 player and World Champion, GM Magnus Carlsen, for the first time ever this July. The third U.S. player ranked in the top ten, GM Wesley So, is coming back to Saint Louis as the U.S. Championship runner-up, and GM Levon Aronian from Armenia may be experiencing a career comeback, as the defending Sinquefield Cup champion returns to try and claim the title once again.

In a recent field change, GM Vladimir Kramnik regretfully withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup due to health issues. The CCSCSL invited fellow Russian, GM Peter Svidler to replace Kramnik as the 10th participant in the tournament. GM Svidler is a seven-time Russian Champion, 2015 World Cup runner-up and participated in the 2016 Candidates tournament.

The Sinquefield Cup is the final, major event held at the CCSCSL annually. In addition to the Sinquefield Cup, the U.S. Championship, U.S. Women's Championship and U.S. Junior Closed Championship - the "Triple Crown" of chess championships - make up the most prestigious chess tournaments held in the United States each year.

"Top grandmasters view Saint Louis as the hotbed for chess, and this year's competition for the 2016 Sinquefield Cup is at an all-time high," said Tony Rich, Executive Director of the CCSCSL. "It's an exciting time to be a fan of chess as the sport continues to become more fiercely competitive and popular."

The 2016 Sinquefield Cup will be streamed live daily on, featuring play-by-play and analysis from the world-renowned commentary team of GM Yasser Seirawan, GM Maurice Ashley, and WGM Jennifer Shahade. Live spectators may view the action in the tournament hall and enjoy additional GM-led commentary on-site.

CWE Named of America's Top 10 Great Neighborhood
The Central West End or "The CWE," as locals often call it, is a neighborhood designed for the pedestrian with its array of sidewalk cafes, boutiques, historic streetscapes, and even the World Chess Hall of Fame on Maryland Ave as seen above.
APA Names Central West End As One of America's Top 10 Great Neighborhoods
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, October 5, 2014 - Amaerican Plannning Association's (APA) flagship program - Great Places - celebrates places of exemplary character, quality, and planning. Places are selected annually and represent the gold standard in terms of having a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for tomorrow.

APA Great Places offer better choices for where and how people work and live. They are enjoyable, safe, and desirable. They are places where people want to be - not only to visit, but to live and work every day. America's truly great streets, neighborhoods and public spaces are defined by many criteria, including architectural features, accessibility, functionality, and community involvement.

The Central West End was recently designated as one of America's Top 10 Great Neighborhoods. The following is a summary by the APA.

Located west of downtown St. Louis, the Central West End or "The CWE," as locals often call it, comprises 112 city blocks nestled between St. Louis's crown jewel Forest Park (a 2013 APA Great Public Space) and the St. Louis University campus.

The CWE is a neighborhood designed for the pedestrian with its array of sidewalk cafes, boutiques, historic streetscapes, and even the World Chess Hall of Fame. Locals and tourists alike flock to the neighborhood's mixed-use district along Euclid Avenue. Iconic griffin-adorned lamp posts, tree-lined sidewalks, and a dense clustering of statues and other public art add to the CWE's pedestrian-scaled amenities and attractions.

The Central West End is home to 14,000 residents, with twice that number employed at the neighborhood's medical campus. The Washington University School of Medicine and BJC Healthcare campus, combined with the St. Louis College of Pharmacy and the Cortex Innovation District, form one of the largest regional centers of employment and are national leaders in medical research and tech startups.

The historic neighborhood's housing stock primarily dates back to the early 20th century, built largely in response to the 1904 World's Fair in nearby Forest Park. World's Fair-era hotels, now restored and converted to high-rise apartments, overlook large single-family, architect-designed homes in ornate Classical Revival styles. Adding to the architectural mix will be no less than three new high rises, representing the largest residential building boom witnessed in the city in decades.

Engaged community leadership is pursuing alternative transportation options for the neighborhood, including a Bus Rapid Transit line, a streetcar line, and a new MetroLink light rail stop within Cortex (a recent recipient of a federal transportation grant) to further the Central West End's status as a car-optional neighborhood.

Active neighborhood groups work to preserve the local flavor and host annual events to showcase the Central West End including the sometimes risqué Central West End Halloween party (in its 31st year) and the always aromatic St. Nicholas Greek Festival (in its 97th year), drawing tens of thousands of visitors for cleverly costumed people-watching and mouth-watering baklava.

A Holiday Window Walk highlights CWE storefronts adorned with festive decorations and holiday lights, while Taste of Central West End highlights the diverse culinary offerings of the neighborhood, among many other annual neighborhood events.

Multi-cultural galleries, specialty shops on Euclid Avenue One of St. Louis' featured business districts hosts an assortment of fine restaurants, multi-cultural galleries, specialty shops on Euclid Avenue, Maryland Plaza and McPherson Ave.

ST. LOUIS, MO, ( - The Central West End is an eclectic, cosmopolitan showplace of St. Louis. Located in the central corridor of the City, just north of Forest Park, the area is a popular gathering place. A fine selection of restaurants and sidewalk cafes are nestled in with notable art galleries, antique shops, specialty shops, boutiques and bookstores.

The area was created during the period of the City's westward expansion in the late 19th century and the building boom of the 1904 World's Fair. During this time, private streets with beautiful, luxurious residences were built. Today, the stately homes on tree-lined streets maintain the prestigous neighborhood.

The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, located at 4431 Lindell Blvd., contains the world's largest collection of mosiac art, covering 83,000 square feet. The cathedral, designated a basilica in 1997, was built between 1907 and 1909.

The interior mosaics took a father and son team nearly 80 years to create using than 41 million pieces of tile in over 7,000 colors. A Mosaic Museum, located in the lower level of the cathedral, traces the contruction and installation of tiles. The glittering green dome is a landmark feature of the Central West End.

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Angel of Harmony at New Cathedral Basilica St. Louis
The Angel of Harmony, a stainless steel sculpture of an African-American angel, created by artist Wiktor Szostalo, features massive uplifted wings comprised of copper and brass wind chimes.
The Angel of Harmony, a stainless steel sculpture of an African-American angel, was commissioned by the Archdiocese of St. Louis for the visit of Pope John Paul II in January, 1999. The sculpture, created by artist Wiktor Szostalo, features massive uplifted wings comprised of copper and brass wind chimes.

It is the gift of Adelaide Schlafly in memory of her late husband, Daniel. The angel's arms are outstretched over three children of different ethnic and racial backgrounds playing a "Hymn of Peace" on diverse instruments. Quotations from the New Testament, Pope John Paul II, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and a dedication to Mr. Schlafly are inscribed on the base.

A life-size bronze sculpture of Pope John Paul II, by artist Rudy Torrini, sits on a red Missouri granite base outside the cathedral. The sculpture was commissioned by the Archdiocese of St. Louis to commemorate the Papal Visit, January 1999. For more information, call (314) 458-4343.

The Chase Park Plaza, at Kingshighway between Lindell and Maryland Plaza, has been rennovated for hotel accommodations and upscale private residences. The complex features restaurants, a movie theatre and banquet facilities.

A new fountain, retail shops, restaurants, sidewalks with planters and historic style street lights create a European feeling on Maryland Plaza.

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