St. Louis Front Page presents St. Louis CitySide, an overview of the City Government of Saint Louis. From time to time, we will take an indepth look at many of the projects in which the city is involved and how these projects will affect residents and visitors.
Entrance to the Riverfront Trail, just north of Laclede's Landing in downtown St. Louis.
Gateway Transportation Center Will Be Hi-tech, Modern and Very Convenient for the Traveling Public
Proposed Downtown Schnucks Store Will Cater to Residents and Office Workers
Comptroller Announces Audits Now Available Online
Gateway Mall Master Plan Unveiled
New $16 Million Justice Center Garage Planned for Downtown St. Louis
Downtown Projects Receive Awards For Dedication to Downtown
Proposed Downtown Stage Project to Provided Permanent Entertainment Area Around the Soldier's Memorial
Groundbreaking for Rosati House Apartment Complex Marks New Beginning
Horizon Club Opens As Safe Haven for Homeless in Downtown St. Louis
City Garden Unfolding on the Gateway Mall
The "City Garden" - a unique public garden with extensive landscaping and modern and contemporary sculpture - is unfolding on the Gateway Mall.
ST. LOUIS, (SLFP.com), August 10, 2008 - Mayor Francis G. Slay and other city officials broke ground for "City Garden" on April 22. Just three months later, the site on the Gateway Mall has been literally turned upside down, with water lines being laid underground for irrigation and fountains and concrete foundations being built for water features and other parts of the project.
"It's exciting to see how quickly this project is moving," Slay said. "We all knew that it had to move quickly to meet the construction deadline, but seeing it actually happening is still very satisfying."
The garden is being built on the two blocks between Eighth and Tenth and Chestnut and Market streets. The two blocks are part of the Gateway Mall and are owned by the City. The site, which covers 2.9 acres, was formerly vacant.
The garden is a joint project of the City and the private, non-profit Gateway Foundation. Under a cooperation agreement approved by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen in July 2007, the City will own the garden improvements and will continue to own the land, while Gateway will provide the funding - an estimated $20-25 million. Specifically, Gateway is paying for design and construction, state-of-the art lighting, ongoing maintenance, security, and insurance expenses. The City's only expenses will be for water and electricity.
Among the garden's major features will be:
Illustration of the City Garden area being built on the two blocks between Eighth and Tenth and Chestnut and Market streets. See archived story: Gateway Mall Master Plan Unveiled
Nelson Byrd Woltz, a Charlottesville, Va.-based landscape architectural firm, prepared the plan for the garden. Nine St. Louis-based firms supported Nelson Byrd Woltz in the design process, including Studio Durham Architects, which designed the café.
- More than 20 kinds of trees, including shade and flowering species, as well as shrubs, exotic plants and lush flowers. The Missouri Botanical Garden played a key role in the selection of the plantings and is under contract with the Gateway Foundation to maintain the City Garden.
- Three spectacular water features. A 145-foot rectangular basin with a six-foot waterfall will be placed between Eight and Ninth streets near Chestnut. A state-of-the-art water spray plaza - with 102 jets and custom lighting - will be showcased between 9th and 10th streets near Market, and a granite disc featuring a scrim of water will sit on the corner of 8th and Market.
- A café with indoor and outdoor seating along Chestnut Street.
- An eight-foot limestone wall, evoking the limestone bluffs of the Mississippi River in the shape of an arc, running along the entire length of the garden's north side.
- A meandering 18-inch-tall polished granite-capped wall, evoking a serpentine river, along the garden's southern border. This wall will offer seating and break the space into multiple smaller parts, or "rooms," offering more intimacy and visual interest while showcasing dozens of flowers and shrubs.
- Sculpture by nationally and internationally renowned artists.
- A double-row of gingko trees along both blocks on the Market Street side. The city intends later to extend the tree promenade to help knit together the entire Gateway Mall.
- A state-of-the-art LED video wall displaying video art, movies, and hopefully, championship baseball games.
The idea for a garden featuring sculpture on the two blocks dates back at least to 1999, when it was featured in the master plan for downtown written by Downtown Now and approved by the Board of Aldermen.
Early in 2008, the city unveiled a master plan for the entire Gateway Mall, which again featured the garden on the two blocks. St. Louis-based BSI Constructors is the general contractor. The deadline for completion is July 1, 2009, in time for the All Star Game at Busch Stadium. See Downtown St. Louis City Garden Is a Big Hit
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