Train Travel Returns to Historic Saint Louis Union Station

Since the purchase in October 2012, Lodging Hospitality Management (LHM) has invested more than $40 million in the property. The project included renovating the historic Grand Hall, with its barrel-vaulted ceiling of unsurpassed gilt work, stained glass over the entrance, to include an award-winning 3-D projection mapping light show, new furnishings and a 65-foot-long bar.

The station’s Midway was re-established as a convention and exhibit hall and the property’s 539 hotel rooms were branded as the St. Louis Union Station Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton™ under LHM’s ownership.

Recently, nine beautifully restored rail cars began leaving the National Historic Landmark train station for private, three-hour excursions around the St. Louis metro area’s rails. Corporate outings and pre-planned rolling or stationary events are now available under the train shed, including receptions, smaller meetings and parties.

Beyond the train excursions, Union Station owner LHM has announced major changes and enhancements designed to transform the National Historic Landmark train station.

The existing mall area is set to be converted into 48 train-themed hotel rooms and 30,000 feet of private event space bringing the total number of hotel guest rooms to 587 and total event space to 137,000 square feet. Guests will receive a personalized train ticket for their room at check in. Inside the new train-themed rooms, high-end features include 50-inch TVs with sound bars for an in-room theater experience, hardwood floors and walk-in showers.

The St. Louis Wheel, a 200 foot tall observation-style Ferris wheel, will be installed near the Hard Rock Café and will be open year-round. The wheel will feature 42 fully enclosed gondolas, each seating up to eight adults. One VIP gondola will feature leather bucket seats, a stereo system, and a glass floor for a unique viewing experience.

The project will transform the property’s existing indoor and outdoor retail and entertainment spaces with a new food-train park under the facility’s massive train shed, added green spaces, light shows and a fountain and fire show at the lake as a focal point of the new outdoor experience.

Across from Union Station are Aloe Plaza and the magnificent Carl Milles’ Fountain with elaborate bronze sculptural pieces representing the meeting of the rivers.

Union Station is located at 1820 Market Street, between 18th and 20th Streets. The historic building is north of I-64 and just four blocks west of Scottrade Center. The landmark is within walking distance of Busch Stadium and the Gateway Arch.

Experience Missouri’s Frontier at Daniel Boone Home

Step back in time to experience the Missouri frontier of the early 1800s at the historic Daniel Boone Home, in the Femme Osage Valley at Defiance, MO. Visitors can see museum pieces including explorer and statesman Boone’s writing desk, “Long Rifles,” family dishes and period furniture in a special guided tour.

The four-story Georgian-style structure was hand-built with quarried Missouri limestone and black walnut by the Boone family over seven years. The house resembles Daniel’s birthplace in Pennsylvania and ancestral residences in Devon, England. The house was home to Daniel, his wife Rebecca and their ten children.

The drawing room features Daniel’s writing desk. His famous portrait hangs over one of seven black walnut mantels hand-carved by Boone. The couch, cc. 1650, is made of apple wood hand carved by Daniel’s grandfather.

“Our goal is to preserve our Early American heritage and make it real for children,” said Barb Stum, who is a period hearth cook. Stum delights in explaining how families lived in the early 1800s to school children.

“We want people to get the feel of the way things were back then,” she noted. “When you talk history with dates, places, and people, it can get very boring. However, when children can come in and see first-hand someone spinning or making candles, it really makes an impression.” The Boonesfield Village features seven buildings including a one-room schoolhouse, a chairmaker’s shop, a chapel, and a wealthy merchant’s home.

Strum related a story that Daniel traded his bridle, saddle and horse for 650 acres of land. In 1813, when Daniel was 80, he sent his youngest son, Nathan, to New Orleans to register the property to serve as a “living will.” New Orleans was the seat of government at the time for the Louisiana territory. “So that is why the house is referred to as the Nathan Boone home even though Daniel lived in this house longer than any other home and help build it.”

Historic Marker at the Daniel Boone Home.

The house features a private apartment for Daniel and Rebecca so they could have peace and quite, noted Stum. She added that when the house was put back together in the early sixties as a touring home, many of the original family furniture pieces were donated by Boone’s family. Recently, the historic home and village was merged with Lindenwood University. Funds will be used to continue the restoration of the Boone Home, maintain the gardens, restore and put up more old buildings in the village.

The hour and one half tour includes a 25-minute movie, Daniel Boone in Missouri, filmed on location with re-enactors and volunteers. This historical site is located on Highway F, 35 miles west of St. Louis. For directions, group tour rates or information on wedding chapel bookings, call (636) 798-2005.

Historic Washington Avenue Garment District Reborn As Saint Louis Loft District

At the turn of the twentieth century, Washington Avenue was once a prosperous canyon of architecturally beautiful brick buildings housing shoe, clothes and fashion manufacturers.

The sidewalks were alive with people window shopping and buying in the famous garment district. The corridor of warehouses also boasted a burgeoning printing industry.

Over the years, numerous studies focused on Washington Avenue with a vision of bringing it back to life with a vital neighborhood of residential lofts, galleries, nightclubs and other attractions.

At the turn of the twenty-first century, plans were set in motion again for improvements to enhance Washington Avenue’s appearance. The Washington Avenue Streetscape Project became one of the first phases of the Downtown Now! Development Action Plan to be implemented. Funded was provided by $4 million from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, and $13 million from the Missouri Dept. of Transportation enhancement program.

The design plan was created by a consultant design team led by Wallace Robert & Todd, a Philadelphia-based planning and design firm, working with five St. Louis companies including Kiku Obata & Company and David Mason and Associates Inc. In addition to the new lights, the design plan included a plaza, trees, and widened sidewalks along Washington Avenue from Tucker Blvd. to 18th Street and the connecting side streets to Lucas and St. Charles streets.

MHS to Launch Inaugural ‘Threads’ Fashion Show

The Missouri Historical Society introduces Threads: History Never Looked So Haute, a new biannual cocktail party and runway show that is a unique merger of history and fashion.

The inaugural Threads event will be held April 13, 2019, at the Missouri History Museum. Threads is a fundraiser to benefit the exhibitions, collections and programs of the Missouri Historical Society, a 501c(3) charitable organization.

For the inaugural Threads, The Missouri Historical Society has invited Project Runway alumni and local university fashion students to create haute couture designs that are inspired by items from the Missouri Historical Society’s textile collection. The designs will be debuted at the Threads runway show.

With more than 18,000 pieces of clothing and accessories, the Missouri Historical Society houses one of the most extensive textile collections in the country. Pieces in the collection date from the late 18th century to the present and include men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, accessories and household textiles.

Threads will begin with a pre-show cocktail party for VIP guests. All Threads guests will experience a unique history-inspired runway show, followed by a dessert reception. VIP tickets will be available for $500. General admission tickets will be available for $175. Tickets go on sale in March 2019.

After the Threads Runway Show, the new designs created by Project Runway stars and fashion students from local universities will be installed in an atrium show on the lower level of the Missouri History Museum. The Threads atrium show is free and open to the public April 13, 2019, through July 14, 2019.

Missouri History Museum Puts Spotlight on Muny Memories with “Behind-the-Scenes” Exhibit
ST. LOUIS, MO, (PRNewswire-USNewswire) – Celebrating its centennial season in 2019, the show has gone on at The Muny year after year. To commemorate this milestone, another Forest Park landmark is recreating 100 seasons of Muny magic. The Missouri History Museum is putting the spotlight on the oldest and largest continuously operating outdoor-theatre in the United States in Muny Memories: 100 Seasons Onstage.

This 6,000-square-foot exhibit will examine the history of The Muny through approximately 130 artifacts, including 10 costumes and 87 props from favorite Muny shows. Muny memories come to life through interactive media, oral histories from Muny stars and staff, and opportunities to learn a dance step or two.

“Sharing the story of 100 seasons of Muny magic within the historical narrative of the St. Louis region presented quite a challenge,” said Sharon Smith, curator of civic and personal identity for the Missouri History Museum and content lead for the exhibit. “This exhibit is as much about St. Louis as it is about musical theatre. There are stories about Forest Park, St. Louisans who made it big, and of course the personal stories of how generations of St. Louisans have grown up seeing at least one Muny performance.”

This 6,000-square-foot exhibit will examine the history of The Muny through approximately 130 artifacts, including 10 costumes and 87 props from favorite Muny shows.

Usually the final production is the only thing the audience sees, however, visitors to Muny Memories: 100 Seasons Onstage are invited to “follow the yellow brick road” behind the set of the Scarecrow scene (as used in the 2016 Muny production of The Wizard of Oz) for a “behind-the-scenes” look at how that Muny magic is brought to life. From there, visitors will learn about everything from show selections and auditions to the big stars that have graced the Muny stage, including Cary Grant, Pearl Bailey, Mary Wickes, Betty White, Debbie Reynolds, Bob Hope, Jennifer Holliday, and more.

Muny Memories also gives visitors the rare opportunity to see some of the many props kept in the Muny storehouse including, the carriage from Cinderella (1995 and 2003), the lamppost from Singin’ in the Rain (2005), the deathbed from The King and I (2012), the black umbrella from Mary Poppins (2013), the white wedding dress from Aida (2016), one of Ursula’s tentacles from Disney’s The Little Mermaid (2017), and Tevye’s milk wagon with milk tins from Fiddler on the Roof (2016) which was repurposed as a newspaper cart in Newsies (2017).

The exhibit features a number of interactive elements including an area where visitors can put on their dancing shoes and join a rehearsal with Muny choreographer Michael Baxter to learn the finale from A Chorus Line. Other interactive features include a section that invites guests to cast their vote for their favorite Muny stars, a searchable database of all of the Muny show programs, and “photo ops” with musical characters such as Annie and Sandy from Annie and the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz.

Muny Memories is designed to be enjoyed by visitors of all abilities. Guests with low vision will be able to touch examples of set materials, like those used for the Scarecrow scene in The Wizard of Oz, or use a relief map of The Muny complete with braille to get an idea of the space. Visitors can also learn about some of the ways The Muny makes shows accessible through an audio description of two scenes from the 2016 production of The Wizard of Oz described by Elaine Laws of Mind’s Eye, the company which provides visual descriptions for each Muny show.

As part of programming for the exhibit, the public is invited to join the Missouri History Museum for Muny Tuesdays on select Tuesdays during the 2018 Muny season. Visitors to the Museum will enjoy refreshments, games, prizes, performances, and demonstrations before Muny performances.

“One hundred seasons is a lot to explore, even in a 6,000-square-foot exhibit. In addition to the artifacts, costumes, and props, visitors will learn about The Muny and the history of this region through hundreds and hundreds of photographs,” said Smith. “Whether you’ve experienced the theatre from the front row or the free seats, or have never been to the Muny at all, this exhibit has something for you. I believe visitors to Muny Memories: 100 Seasons Onstage will walk away from the exhibit with a real sense of why The Muny truly is ‘Alone in Its Greatness.”

Muny Memories: 100 Seasons Onstage is on display through June 2, 2019. Admission is free.

YouthBuild Participants Visit Aquarium Construction Site at Saint Louis Union Station

Five participants from SLATE’s YouthBuild program and SLATE staff recently visited the construction site of the City’s first Aquarium located at St. Louis Union Station and participated in a presentation prepared by Shawn Brinker, Project Manager at McCarthy Construction. This visit is the first in a series planned by SLATE aimed to encourage participants lacking work experiences to consider careers in construction trades.

McCarthy is a lead contractor of the Aquarium and works alongside property owner, Bob O’Loughlin of Lodging Hospitality Management, to develop Union Station into a regional entertainment destination. With this and many other large construction projects coming soon to the City of St. Louis, unemployed individuals have a unique opportunity to learn construction trades and obtain industry certifications free of charge, get paid while they learn, and enjoy meaningful careers that could last them a lifetime.

Because of its significant costs, roughly $300 million, Union Station construction project is seeking support from public funding and, therefore, will be subject to monitoring, as outlined by the City Ordinance 69427. The Ordinance sets workforce diversity goals for the City’s construction projects using public funding. SLATE has been entrusted to track these numbers and help contractors meet and exceed their diversity goals. SLATE’s partnership with McCarthy improves the employment rate for the City of St. Louis and sets best practices for workforce inclusion for the region at large.

“McCarthy is proud to collaborate with SLATE on our projects in the St Louis region with a goal of attracting diverse talent to our industry. Workforce development is a key focus for McCarthy and SLATE is a natural partner in that endeavor,” said Shawn Brinker.

With contactors and labor unions ready to hire diverse workers, SLATE’s YouthBuild participants are among the prime candidates to choose careers in construction as pathways to prosperity. Now that both YouthBuild and the Construction Intake Center are housed at the SLATE office on Market Street, young participants of SLATE programs enjoy immediate access to construction careers. SLATE’s full-time Construction Intake Liaison, Armand Paulet, maintains strong relationships with construction contractors and labor unions, and offers young men and women career options normally unavailable to them.

Missouri Students Win Big at National SkillsUSA Competition
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), July 8, 2018 – Nearly 300 Missouri high school and college students joined more than 6,000 students from around the country in Louisville, Kentucky, June 25-30 for the SkillsUSA 54th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, the world’s largest showcase of skilled trades.

The students competed against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in fields such as electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assistance and culinary arts.

Missouri students brought back a total of 30 first-, second- and third-place medallions, and 106 placed in the top 10 against students from all 50 states and two U.S. territories.

“Missouri’s success at the national level is a testament to our educators’ passion of ensuring our students graduate job-ready day one,” said Joey Baker, SkillsUSA Missouri’s State Executive Director. “Our students graduate with the workplace, personal and technical skills necessary to be successful in college or their chosen careers.”

Dr. Roger Dorson, interim commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, said, “Congratulations to these students, not only for their strong finish in competition, but for honing their craft to such a high degree. We are proud of what they have accomplished on the state and national stages.”

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry that helps ensure the U.S. has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 400,000 member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and colleges. SkillsUSA programs cover 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations. The programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics.

Contemporary Art Museum to Host Amy Sherald Exhibit

The Contemporary Art Museum will feature new and recent paintings by Amy Sherald in a solo exhibit, May 11, 2018 – August 19, 2018. The exhibit was organized by executive curator Lisa Melandri.

Sherald, the artist behind the official Michelle Obama portrait, paints staged narratives and constructed identities, creating portraits of African Americans – most of whom she meets during the course of her day. She deftly represents the features of each sitter with the masterful draughtsmanship of American realism.

But she decorates her subjects with fantastical props and costumes: brightly colored pin-striped suits, multi-scooped ice-cream cones, rabbits in hats, giant coffee cups, and cotton candy. A lush, color-field backdrop serves as setting.

An obvious care is taken with each portrait: how a prop is chosen, how it is held, the style and fit of clothing, the contrast or complement of colors, the choice of backdrop, or void, with the color intensity of a candied fantasy, and the expression and gesture of the figure.

The artist has talked about her artmaking as an act to “image the versions of ourselves that thrive when extricated from the dominant historical narrative.” Her work lends truth and reality to history. “My paintings hold up a mirror to the present and reflect real experiences of blackness today and historically,” she says, “in everyday life and within the historical art canon.”

Amy Sherald, who was born in Columbus, GA 1973, and lives in Baltimore, received her MFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art (2004) and BA in Painting from Clark-Atlanta University (1997), and was a Spelman College International Artist-in-Residence in Portobelo, Panama (1997). In 2016, Sherald was the first woman to win the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition grand prize; an accompanying exhibition, The Outwin 2016, has been on tour since 2016 and opened at the Kemper Museum, Kansas City, MO in October 2017.

The Contemporary Art Museum is located at 3750 Washington Blvd. in the Grand Center Entertainment District. For more information, call 314-535-4660.

St. Louis Airport Opens First “Common Use Club”

Wingtips St. Louis, the first and only common-use lounge at STL opened Friday, January 5 in Terminal 2 across from Gate E31. Terminal 2 serves Southwest Airlines and will soon welcome WOW Air with its new Trans-Atlantic international service to Iceland, beginning in May.

The term “Common Use” means that members and their guests do not need to be a frequent flyer, a premium member or ticketed on any particular airline. The lounge provides guests with an upscale environment to relax, refresh and recharge while they wait for their flights. Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi is also available to all guests.

At Wingtips, guests can recharge themselves and their devices with power outlets available throughout the lounge and portable power banks available by request. Every traveler will have access to complimentary in-lounge amenities including restrooms and a food buffet with snacks throughout the day and hot options available for breakfast and dinner. Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and selection of spirits, wines and beers are available for guests 21 and older.

“We are excited to expand Wingtips to St. Louis. Airport lounges are changing, and we know that travelers want an upscale airport lounge experience regardless of the airline they are flying,” said Sally Leible, president of St. Louis-based Airport Terminal Services (ATS) which owns and operates Wingtips. “People expect greater flexibility and the amenities to make their air travel experience more pleasant. Our members and guests now have a place in Terminal 2 where they can escape the bustle of the airport and unwind prior to their flight.”

“We are excited for the opening of STL’s first common-use club because it has been one of the amenities most requested by our passengers,” said Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “With demand and growth at Terminal 2 because of new non-stop routes on Southwest Airlines and a new international carrier this spring, Wingtips St. Louis offers travelers great options for rest and relaxation, refreshments or a more private place to do business at the airport.”

“Black Americans in Flight” mural in Terminal 1 Bag Claim. Photos courtesy Lambert St. Louis International Airport

Airport Mural Showcases History of Tuskegee Airmen
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) – The history of the Tuskegee Airmen, who soared soared into combat to help the U.S. win air battles during World War II, is showcased in a mural, “Black Americans in Flight”, that has been on display at Lambert International Airport since 1990.

“Black Americans in Flight” was painted by St. Louis artists Spencer Taylor and Solomon Thurman to highlight the contributions of African American achievements in aviation from 1917 to the space age.

The Tuskegee Airmen prominently featured in the mural, which features 75 portraits, include Eugene Jacque Bullard, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr, Clarence “Lucky” Lester, and Wendell Pruitt, a St. Louis pilot who received a Distinguished Flying Cross after downing three planes and sinking a destroyer. Those who supported black aviators are also featured, including Eleanor Roosevelt and President Harry S. Truman. Some of those same Tuskegee Airmen are also featured in the film “Red Tails”.

“Black Americans in Flight” has been recently cleaned and restored in its original location in the Terminal 1 Bag Claim. Lambert has also unveiled extensive renovations around the 51-ft mural that enhances its visibility with a new waiting area that is located directly across from a major concourse exit for arriving passengers.

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) – Lambert has grown from a balloon launch location called Kinloch Field to a major transportation center. The original hayfields were purchased by Major Albert Lambert and renamed Lambert Field in 1920. The airport has played an important role in air transportation. Col. Charles Lindbergh departed from Lambert Flying Field in 1927 St. Louis for New York to begin his historic non-stop solo flight to Paris, France.

Lambert kicked off 2010 with a campaign to overhaul its main roadway with all new signs and other infrastructure enhancements. The $1.2 million Wayfinding Signage Project will greatly improve visitor experiences by simplifying and improving airport messaging which will include renaming Lambert’s terminals.

The addition of all new signs now makes it possible for Lambert to adopt numerical terminal designations which are commonly used because they are sign friendly, easier to understand and easier to remember.

The “Main Terminal” will become Terminal 1. The “East Terminal” will become Terminal 2. Other features of the new signage program includes simple consistent messaging, color-coded symbols, distinct interstate signage, airline terminal locations, improved car rental signage and improved parking lot information.

For more information on flights and services at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, log onto www.flystl.com

Delta Queen One Step Closer to Passenger Service

 The U.S. Senate has passed S.89, a bill to amend title 46 by an impressive vote of 85 to 12 bringing the Delta Queen one step closer to restoring overnight passenger service.

Bill S.89 will now move to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. If passed, this legislation will exempt the Delta Queen from the 1966 Safety at Sea Act (P.L. 89-777) which was intended to prohibit wooden cruise ships from carrying U.S. citizens overnight on oceans far from shore. The legendary riverboat, which in 1966 was the only overnight vessel operating on America’s inland rivers, has been barred from carrying overnight passengers since an exemption to the 1966 Safety at Sea Act for the vessel lapsed back in 2008.

Congress immediately passed a law following the 1966 Safety at Sea Act exempting the Delta Queen from the law which was approved nine times over the next 40 years. When the last exemption expired in 2008, the then owners failed to secure a renewal and the vessel became a dockside hotel in Chattanooga, Tenn. from 2009 until 2014. In 2015, new owners bought the vessel with a mission to completely restore the historic icon and restore overnight passenger service.

In a release, Cornel Martin, President and CEO of The Delta Queen Steamboat Company, said: “Even before acquiring the vessel, we have been working with Congress to renew the exemption. The fact that the U.S. Senate would make time in their extremely busy schedule to consider this legislation is a testament to the importance of the Delta Queen to America’s history. This is a truly important step in our voyage to return the Delta Queen to cruising throughout America’s heartland and Deep South.”

The Delta Queen is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is classified as a National Historic Landmark and has recently been designated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a National Treasure.

“The rich history that the Delta Queen will bring to our city perfectly complements our historic destination and will help to develop a greater awareness of Kimmswick,” said Mayor Philip D. Stang, City of Kimmswick. “We are extremely appreciative of the substantial economic impact the Delta Queen will bring to Kimmswick and to all of the ports along her route.”

The vessel’s return to America’s rivers will initiate millions of dollars in repair work, provide more than 175 permanent jobs aboard the vessel and in the company’s corporate headquarters and bring thousands of expected new visitors each year to more than 80 river towns and ports along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland, Kanawha, Illinois and Arkansas Rivers. The Delta Queen has provided overnight cruises safely on America’s rivers for more than 80 years.

“The Delta Queen is the last chance for us to provide Americans and international visitors alike the opportunity to see our great country from the decks of an authentic 1927 paddlewheel steamboat,” Martin stated.

The newly opened Port of Call Restaurant & Lounge, located at 6035 Second Street, serves French-inspired American fare with a continental twist in a refurbished historic home built in 1772. Image courtesy Delta Queen Steamboat Company

The Delta Queen Steamboat Company has officially opened its corporate offices and Port of Call Restaurant, Lounge and Gift Shop in downtown Kimmswick, marking an important milestone in the vessels homeport city.

In a release, Leah Ann Ingram, Chief Operating Officer at Delta Queen Steamboat Co, said “It is deeply gratifying to us that throughout this process the City of Kimmswick, Jefferson County and many others have been tremendous partners, we thank you for your support. Moving forward we are completely committed to doing our part in supporting the economic development including the creation of quality jobs for the city and the region.”

The Delta Queen was recently named to National Trust’s 2016 11 Most Endangered List, which helps raise awareness of the threats facing some of the nation’s greatest treasures. The steamboat, which began service as an overnight passenger vessel in 1927, is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places and classified as a National Historic Landmark. The Delta Queen was purchased by the current owners in February 2015 with the goal to restore the vessel and return it to overnight cruise service. It is expected that the Delta Queen will begin and end a number of its cruises each year in Kimmswick and will visit more than 80 other ports in the United States.

“The opening of the Delta Queen offices and Port of Call Restaurant & Lounge in Kimmswick is deepening the positive impact the Delta Queen has already had on our historic riverboat town by creating more jobs for our residents and greater experiences for our visitors,” said Kimmswick Mayor Philip Stang.

The new Port of Call Restaurant & Lounge serves French-inspired American fare with a continental twist in a refurbished historic home built in 1772. Dining rooms throughout the restaurant are themed to coincide with the history of the Delta Queen as the establishment’s presence is helping preserve the historic vessel.

“Our overall goal is to offer visitors the full Delta Queen experience which will help preserve the history of this national treasure,” said Delta Queen Steamboat Company President and CEO Cornel Martin. “The interior beautifully represents the history and nostalgia of America’s last authentic steamboat, showcasing the elegance of her cabins and public spaces.”

In order for the iconic Delta Queen to cruise again, officials must first secure a Congressional Exemption to allow the vessel to return to the overnight cruise trade. The community may take action by urging lawmakers through the National Trust for Historic Preservation to support House Bill HR 1248, and Senate Bill S 1717. If Congress fails to pass this legislation, a remarkable piece of the Nation’s maritime history will be lost.

Historic Kimmswick “Where Yesteryear Becomes Today”

Shops along Market Street

In 1859, a German dry goods merchant, Theodore Kimms, purchased about 160 acres of land from the widow of Captain George Waters. Kimms laid out the small town and named it after himself. The early German community was settled by wealthy families from St. Louis and immigrant stonecutters.

The town prospered early on due to easy access to railroad and river transportation. According to Nadine Garland, past President of the Kimmswick Historical Society, the early community of 1,500 was served by a post office, 4 schools, 2 train stations, a dentist and several doctors. “The town boasted a bank, hotel, flouring mill, iron works foundry, lumber mill and brewery. Many who settled in Kimmswick were stonemasons. They cut the limestones to build the Old Courthouse in St. Louis from the quarries surrounding Kimmswick,” said Garland. She noted that at one time there were 14 mineral springs in the area which were the source of salt used by the early American Indians.

After the turn of the century, the town was bypassed and almost forgotten with the coming of automobiles, Garland explained. Many historic buildings fell into decay and were torn down. The loss of boat and train traffic and the building of nearby Hwy 55 almost sealed the fate of Kimmswick.

However, in 1969, Lucianna Gladney Ross, led an energetic movement to save the town. An active Kimmswick Historical Society continues the effort of restoration and now has a museum in what was once the Kimmswick Bible Church at 3rd and Vine Streets.

During the “Great Flood of ’93”, the town of Kimmswick was saved through the efforts of thousands of volunteers and the National Guard who sandbagged and built the earthen levee. Today, the little town has a population of about 150 people who live and work in many original buildings that have been lovingly restored. Several “saved” historic log buildings have been moved from other areas and re-assembled to preserve history.

Mastodon State Historic Site

Visitors to Kimmswick can step back in time to spend a delightful afternoon browsing through numerous antique, artisans and collectibles shops.

Daniel Boone Home Will Become Part of St. Charles County Park System

The Historic Daniel Boone Home and surrounding property in Defiance is on the verge of becoming a St. Charles County park with a donation from Lindenwood University.

Lindenwood, which has owned the home and property since 1998, is gifting nearly 300 acres to the people of St. Charles County. An agreement was approved by the County Council on April 25, and the transaction is expected to be complete by mid-May. The property will be named Lindenwood Park.

Julie Mueller, Lindenwood vice president and COO, Dr. Michael Shonrock, Lindenwood system president; St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann; and Bettie Yahn-Kramer, St. Charles County parks director, at a ceremony announcing the university’s donation of the Historic Daniel Boone Home and surrounding property to St. Charles County.

“I am grateful the heritage of the Boone home will continue,” said Lindenwood President Michael Shonrock. “We appreciate the partnership of the county and are excited the area will be preserved as a county park.”

Ehlmann said the county already is assessing opportunities for expanding current programming on the property, which currently includes tours, events and educational programs.

“My enthusiasm for this donation is two-fold,” Ehlmann said. “First, it enables us to expand our county park system to provide more green space for outdoor activities, and second, I am thrilled that we will be part of sharing this rich history of our region with others.”

The nearly 300-acre site includes the Historic Daniel Boone Home, adjoining 66-acre Boonesfield Village historic site, and more than 200 acres of surrounding property. The county will continue to operate the Village complex, including the Boone home, as a tourist site.

The university holds a variety of academic activities at the site, including field biology, archaeology, history, and recreation leadership classes and activities, and will continue to do so under the agreement.

Lindenwood acquired the Boone home in 1998 from a private owner and purchased the additional property over the next several years. The home itself, a four-story Georgian-style structure, was built by Boone’s son Nathan with Boone’s help. Boone spent his final years in the home and died there in 1820. Boonesfield Village consists of more than 20 additional historic structures, all of which were relocated to the property over the course of several years.

People Figures Arrive in St. Louis

 Last September, the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission and FOCUS St. Louis joined forces to announce a unique temporary public art project to promote and support the arts in the St. Louis bi-state region. Over 400 area designs were submitted for The People Project. Today, 80 People Figures, created by local artists, students and citizens, were unveiled throughout the region.

Visitors to the St. Louis area will see Figures stationed on street corners, in shopping malls, and in front of several city halls and businesses. After the six-month public exhibition, the works of art will be auctioned at Phillips-Selkirk on October 20th. The People Figures will also be auctioned on the Internet in October and November.

“We have everything from a giraffe-headed man to a trio of acrobats to a flying griffin on display in this exhibition,” said Porter Arneill, director of The People Project. He noted that unlike similar projects in other cities, these Figures could be molded in any position. The flexibility allowed for some very imaginative ideas.

“It gives the City a unique and imaginative flavor that sets us apart from other areas,” said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, standing next to “Impossible Standman”, created by Syberg Studio and Gallery.

Mayor Francis Slay was intrigued by the artistic interpretation using life-sized wooden mannequins. “At first I was wondering who came up with this wild idea. But that’s what makes the project great. It is imaginative and creative and gives us something to talk about. It also gives artists an opportunity to display their talents in a way that is accessible to the public,” he said with a smile.

Mayor Slay commented that he’d like to see a Figure in or near City Hall, but preferred leaving the theme up to the artist and the Art Commission. “This is a great collaboration between businesses and not-for-profits in working together to create some kind of community uniqueness and community pride,” he noted. For more information on The People Project, call 314-531-5150

Visitors to Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis can enjoy the colorful “Blues Man”, one of 175 People Figures adopted by corporations, civic organizations and individuals. Additional figures were also unveiled in Clayton, St. Charles and O’Fallon, IL for the first phase of the People Project.

(L. to R. back row) Carolyn Losos, co-chair of The People Project, Dan Lowery with his People Figure called “Two plus Two Is Seven Up Mass Portrait”, O’Fallon Mayor Gary Graham, Ned Drolette, Jill McGuire, executive director of the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission; (front row) Porter Arneill, Director of The People Project and Christine Chadwick, executive director of Focus were on hand for the first unveiling at City Hall in O’Fallon, Illinois.

Bradley Drury stops to take a close digital video shot of the “Mystery Lady” sculpture by Cheryl A. Sander.



Clayton, Missouri, the county seat of St. Louis County, is a thriving metropolitan area located west of Forest Park and north of...