Saint Louis Historical
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
11 N. 4th Street
St. Louis, MO 63102
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ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), December 3, 2017 - The National Park Service invites visitors to take in the sights and sounds of the holiday season with Historic Holiday Traditions at the Old Courthouse, where they can enjoy live holiday concerts in the Old Courthouse Rotunda and a historic holiday ball. All events are free and open to the public. The Old Courthouse is located at 11 North Fourth Street in Downtown St. Louis.
"What better way to celebrate the holiday season than at the Old Courthouse?" says Rhonda Schier, Chief of Museum Services and Interpretation. "We invite everyone of all ages to visit the historic courthouse, take in its beautiful authentic Victorian holiday décor, enjoy live music from talented local groups and mark the end of the holiday season with a historic ball in the courthouse rotunda."
FREE HOLIDAY CONCERTS
Celebrate the end of the holiday season as St. Louisans did in 1768. The Twelfth Afternoon Ball at the Old Courthouse recognizes the completion of the Twelve Days of Christmas, which leads to Mardi Gras. This year's ball highlights music, food and dancing from 1768. Dennis Stroughmatt et L'Esprit Creole will perform 18th-century music, Deborah Hyland will lead dances from the time period, and food historian Suzanne Corbett will demonstrate historic food recipes common to St. Louis dinner tables during the 1768 holiday season. King's Cake will be served, and the king and queen of Mardi Gras will be crowned. Free and open to all ages. Historic clothing not required to participate.
HOLIDAY HOURS OF OPERATION
The Gateway Arch Visitor Center and the Old Courthouse will close at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve, December 24, and are closed on Christmas Day, December 25. On Tuesday, December 26 the Old Courthouse will open at 8 a.m. and the Arch will open at 9 a.m. Both the Arch and Old Courthouse are closed New Year's Day.
PARKING AND ROAD CLOSURES REMINDER
A list of downtown St. Louis parking locations within walking distance of the Arch and Old Courthouse is available at http://getaroundstl.com. Metered street parking is also available around the Old Courthouse. Visitors are encouraged to check www.gatewayarch.com/directions for up-to-date information on road detours and construction news before their visit.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Visit www.nps.gov/jeff or www.gatewayarch.com; or call 877-982-1410. Reservations are not required, but large groups should call 314-655-1614 to alert the Old Courthouse of their attendance. Tickets are not required to enter the Arch at this time.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) - In 1826, construction of the original Federal Style Courthouse began on land donated for use as a public square by Auguste Chouteau and J.B.C. Lucas. Construction on the existing Greek Revival style Courthouse began in 1839 and continued through several transitions until 1862.
The courthouse was the scene of many rallies, speeches and several important trials, including the suit by Dred Scott for freedom from slavery and Suffragist Virginia Louisa Minor for the right to vote.
A special exhibit, Dred Scott, Slavery and The Struggle to Be Free, is currently on display in the Rotunda of the Old Courthouse. The exhibit describes several aspects of African-American society and culture, from slavery to free black business owners to the "colored aristocracy" of rich landowners.
In 1940, the city of St. Louis deeded the Old Courthouse to the Federal Government. Today, this nineteenth-century courthouse features restored courtrooms, a decorated dome, Dioramas, the "Gateway To The West" film and galleries depicting the history of St. Louis.
The Old Courthouse, part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park, is open to the public daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is free.
The park features the Gateway Arch, designed by architect Eero Saarinen who won the design competition in 1947. The stainless steel structure rises 630 feet high from a 60-foot foundation and spans 630 feet at ground level. Its classic weighted catenary curve sways 1/2" - 1" in 20 mph wind. Construction on the nation's tallest memorial began in 1961 with the "topping out" in 1965 and dedication in 1966.
At night, horse drawn carriages and live music add to the downtown atmosphere. Nearby, sightseeing excursions offer additional choices for entertainment.
Hours at Old Courthouse:
During the winter, the Old Courthouse is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the Arch is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. During the summer (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day), Old Courthouse is open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Accessibility at Old Courthouse:
Most of the first floor of the Old Courthouse is accessible to wheelchairs, but the upper floors of the Old Courthouse are reachable only by climbing stairs. On the first floor, it is necessary to climb two stairs to enter the theater or the Museum Shop.
Steps above the first floor:
Between first and second floor 33 steps
Between second and third floor 22 steps
Between third floor and the balcony 22 steps
The floor level changes in the upper floors, and single steps separate these different levels.
A wheelchair lift provides access to the Old Courthouse from Broadway, on the west side of the building. The exhibits and rest rooms on the first floor of the Old Courthouse are fully accessible.
Assistive listening devices are available for the theater.
If you are a U.S. citizen and have a permanent disability, you may obtain a free Access Pass at the Gateway Arch Information Desk or at the Old Courthouse Museum Shop. The passport allows free admission to federal areas which charge an entrance fees and provides reductions for other types of user fees.
The Old Courthouse is located at 11 North Fourth Street, just west of the Gateway Arch. The building is approximately two blocks north of Busch Stadium, home of St. Louis Cardinals baseball. Approximately five blocks to the north is the America's Center and Dome Stadium, home of the St. Louis Rams football. The Scottrade Center, home of the St. Louis Blues, is located just 10 blocks west of the Old Courthouse.
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