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.

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.

St. Louis Copes with the COVID-19 Virus

ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), March 20, 2020, – Today, the St. Louis Public Health Commissioner issued the following Order #4:

1. Effective 12:01 a.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020, all public and private events and gatherings with more than 10 attendees are prohibited; including conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other assemblies are forbidden; this paragraph does not include the day to day operations of schools, institutes of higher learning, and businesses.

2. For the avoidance of doubt, businesses providing food, food processing, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, construction, trash collection, retails, grocery and consumer goods, home repair/hardware and auto repair, pharmacy, and other medical facilities, biomedical and healthcare, post offices, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and pet stores, warehousing, storage, and distribution, public transportation, child care facilities, hotels, and commercial lodging may remain open, subject to limitations provided in prior orders, but must to the extent practicable, implement Centers for Disease Control guidance, including:

  • Maintain a distance of 6 feet between persons;
  • Ensuring employees practice appropriate hygiene measures, including regular, thorough handwashing;
  • Ensuring that employees who are sick remain home; and
  • Regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

As schools are closed, families can find local and regional sources for meal support, in St. Louis County and St. Louis City, by visiting the following link: All Our Kids – Stl Food Sites

Out of concern for the health and safety of visitors, staff, and volunteers, and the potential spread of COVID-19 in our city and region, museums, restaurants, bar, theatres, casinos, public attractions, etc. have closed for at least four weeks or longer.

Many restaurants are providing pickup/curbside/carry-out/take-out service only. Visit St. Louis Fine Restaurant Guide for a list of participating restaurants in each neighborhood.

Parks are open, but visitors and residents are encouraged to maintain social-distancing and limit their activities.

These are challenging times for our community. We are all in this together and together we will get through it safely and with deep gratitude and care for the collective efforts of doctors, nurses, and first responders.

Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing Underground Railroad Site Dedicated

 The Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing, the first site in Missouri to be accepted in the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom was dedicated, Nov 1, in a special ceremony on the Riverfront Trail. The site is located just north of the Merchants Bridge, which was built in 1889 was an alternative to the Ead’s Bridge

The dedication of the site, which corresponded with the anniversary of the First Civil Rights Act of 1866, was attended by members of the National Park Service, state and local officials. “We’re standing on hallowed ground,” said Dr. Kris Zapalac, historic preservation specialist, Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

“It was here that eight or nine people cautiously boarded a small boat in the early hours of May 21, 1855,” noted Zapalac. “They had arrived here with the help of two people – Isaac, a free person of color, and Mary Meachum, widow of the founding pastor of the First African Baptist Church of St. Louis.”

We’re standing on hallowed ground,” said Dr. Kris Zapalac, historic preservation specialist, Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Zapalac, who did considerable research on the site, commented that the information had been pieced together from newspaper articles that appeared within days of the event, criminal court records, census records, maps, city directories and Henry Shaw’s financial records.

“We know the name of only one of those who began their journey to freedom that night,” stated Zapalac. She stated that Esther and the two children with her were the property of Henry Shaw. Other African Americans in the boat belonged to the sheriff and other leading citizens of St. Louis.

According to historians, Esther and her companions were met on the Illinois bank by police agents and owners, Zapalac said. Shots were fired, wounding Freeman, an Illinois resident who was waiting with wagons to transport the freedom seekers to Alton.

Illinois law made it illegal to own slaves in Illinois. However, the Fugitive Slave Act also made it illegal to assist those attempting to escape. “Esther paid a high price for having sought freedom,” continued Zapalac. “Henry Shaw paid Bernard M. Lynch, St. Louis’ leading slave-dealer, to sell her down river to Vicksburg. Since no mention was made of Esther’s children on the sales receipt, we assume they were separated from their mother,” she said.

According to records, Mary Meachum and “Isaac” were indicted in St. Louis Criminal Court on May 24, 1855, on two counts each of having “enticed a slave out of State.” Zapalac stated that Isaac was eventually acquitted, but no records revealed the disposition of the case against Mrs. Meachum, whose home was used as an “underground railroad depot”.

“The Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing is a remarkable addition to our Riverfront Trail,” stated St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay. “We honor Mary Meachum and the other “abolitionist agents” – both white and black – who risked their lives to make that dream of freedom come true for so many others.”

“I encourage everyone – people throughout our region, our state, and around the country, to visit the Trail, but to also take a special moment to appreciate this amazing crossing where blood was shed and history was made,” said the Mayor.

Webster Groves High School Expands with New Addition

S. M. Wilson will break ground today on construction of a $21.1 million, four-story addition to Webster Groves High School.

The 106,000 square foot addition will include new classrooms, state-of-the-art science labs, vocational labs, a main band room, private band practice rooms and art studios. The expansion will be built to resemble the look of the existing historical buildings on the campus, including the use of terrazzo floors and steps, and limestone accents.

The vocational lab, which will be on both the ground floor and in the basement of the building, will be served by a freight elevator. The ceiling of the basement will feature high-tech sound and vibration controls to keep lab noise from disrupting activities on the first floor.

The first floor will house the fine arts programs, which will include visual, instrumental and vocal arts classes. The second floor will house the social studies programs.

The roof of the building will feature a vegetation area surrounded by a glass curtain wall to be cared for by students. In addition, three 20,000 gallon outside water harvesting tanks will be located at the base of the building for rain collection and irrigation for the field behind the building.

S. M. Wilson will provide general contracting services for the project, which is expected to be completed in the fall of 2012. Wight & Company is architect for the project.

S. M. Wilson is a 90-year-old, full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis. It is one of the largest general construction and construction management firms in the St. Louis area. The company posted $345 million in 2010 revenues, and ranks 149th in Engineering News-Record’s 2010 list of Top 400 commercial contractors nationwide.

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.

The Jewel Box

The Jewel Box, an Art Deco floral conservatory built in 1936 by the City of St. Louis, has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The designation was given by the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior because it is, “locally significant in the area of architecture.

The Art Deco building is an outstanding example of greenhouse design.” The application was submitted by the Landmarks Association of St. Louis on behalf of the City of St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry.

The Cabanne House, home of the St. Louis Ambassadors, is the only other structure in Forest Park on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Jewel Box has delighted visitors since it opened in November 1936. The floral conservator was designed by William Becker, an engineer with the City’s Board of Public Service.

It has been widely hailed for its radical engineering and its design quality, with unconventional, cantilevered, vertical glass walls rising majestically 50 feet high. The building has 15,000 square feet of glass and all horizontal surfaces are constructed of metal. It is surrounded by rose gardens, lily ponds, statuary and monuments.

After an eleven-month, $3.5 million renovation, the Jewel Box in Forest Park reopened to the public December 11, 2002 to reveal a stunning transformation. The restoration of the Jewel Box included new and/or specially cleaned glass, modern heating and cooling systems, lead paint and asbestos abatement, new floral displays and a reconfiguration of the layout.

New amenities such as a bride’s room, catering facilities, additional restrooms and a central fountain have created a unique and charming gem for St. Louis. Permanent floral installations will be enhanced on a seasonal basis with flowering plants from the City’s greenhouses.

The regular hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Admission is $1. It is free from 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays and Tuesdays. The Jewel Box is located on Wells and McKinley Drives, east of the St. Louis Zoo in Forest Park. For more information, call 314-531-0080.

The Jewel Box is available for rental for weddings and other special events through the St. Louis City’s Parks Department. Call 314-289-5300 for information or reservations.

Girls and Coding Receive Time to Shine by Animating Trees at President’s Park

Girls can use the introductory programming language Blockly, at madewithcode.com, to animate the lights on state and territory trees that decorate President’s Park through the holiday season.

The animation debuted at the 92nd annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, December 4, at the White House. The tradition of the tree lighting ceremony dates back to 1923 when President Calvin Coolidge lit the first fir tree outside the White House, and this is the first year kids from across the country will be in control of the state and territory holiday tree lights!

Girls can head to madewithcode.com to code a design for one of the 56 state and territory trees. Girls can select the shape, size, and color of the lights, and animate different patterns using introductory programming language and their designs will appear live on the trees.

In a post on Google, the premier sponsor of the 2014 National Christmas Tree Lighting, Pavni Diwanji, Vice President, Engineering, explained how a program called Made with Code was launched earlier this year to inspire millions of girls to try coding, and help them understand the creative things they can do with computer science.

“As the mom of two girls, I know that technology is a pathway for their future success. Still, even as coding becomes more important, less than 1% of high school girls say they’re interested in pursuing computer sciences in college. But I’m also an engineer, so I’ve seen firsthand how exciting CS can be. I fell in love with code early – my dad was an engineer and he encouraged me to enter a programming competition in the seventh grade. I gave it a shot, and I’ve never looked back. Ever since that day, I’ve known that when I program something, I’m creating something totally new for the world.

That’s what Made with Code is about: discovering that creating something new and exciting – whether it’s a holiday tree, a video game or a driverless car – can be accomplished with the power of code.

But it’s also about building an ecosystem of support for girls through parents and teachers, and to show girls other women who are using CS to achieve their dreams. This challenge also kicks off Google’s commitment to CSEdWeek, a week dedicated to inspiring students to get interested in computer science that’s become one of the biggest education initiatives online. Over the coming week, thousands of Googlers will join the hour of code, and announce a few other special projects that we will fund through the holiday season and coming year.”

Once you have successfully coded a state or territory holiday tree, you can download a gif to share with family and friends. Goolge will also send an approximate time your animation can be seen on youtube.com.

Donation For Imagination Kicks Off to Inspire Creativity in Kids

ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), December 2, 2014 – Julius Jr. and Blick Art Materials has announced “Donation for Imagination,” a new art supplies drive benefitting kids nationwide. The initiative was established to inspire creativity in kids by providing art supplies to nonprofit organizations, schools and after-school art programs.

Julius Jr. Partners with Blick Art Materials for “Donation for Imagination” Program (PRNewsFoto/Julius Jr.)

The drive kicks off today as an official partner of #GivingTuesday, a globally recognized day dedicated to giving back, and runs through December 24, 2014. Supporters of the effort can make donations at conveniently located donation bins at 66 Blick stores nationwide and online through Blick’s Art Room Aid website.

The Julius Jr. “Donation for Imagination” program has transitioned from what began as the Paul Frank Art Supplies Round-Up, the first-ever national art supplies drive for kids, which Saban Brands and Blick Art Materials debuted during the 2012 holiday season. Over the past two years, donations to the drive have topped more than $120,000 in art supplies, benefitting more than 35,000 children.

“For the third year in a row, Saban Brands has partnered with Blick Art Materials to inspire donations of thousands of art supplies across the nation, first with Paul Frank, and now with Julius Jr.’s ‘Donation for Imagination’,” said Elie Dekel, President of Saban Brands. “We’re excited about the evolution of the program as creativity, invention and imagination are all core elements of the Julius Jr. television series, making this a very natural transition and partnership.”

Through this partnership with Blick Art Materials, the program encourages Julius Jr. fans and Blick shoppers to donate new and gently used art supplies to local children’s art non-profits. In addition to serving as a central donation destination, Blick stores are supporting the effort with a special 20% discount for products purchased as donations. Customers who donate will also receive a thank-you offer good for 20% off their own purchases from Dec. 26 through Dec. 31. Each store will work with either a local children’s art non-profit or Blick’s national partner, Dreaming Zebra, to distribute donations to their community.

Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse Close During Shutdown

Due to the government shutdown, the Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse, which are part of the National Park Service, will be closed and will reopen during regularly scheduled hours as soon as the government resumes operations.

In a note on the website for the Gateway Arch, officials said that if the Gateway Arch and the government are closed at the time of your scheduled tram ride to the top and/or documentary movie, your ticket price will be refunded as soon as possible. There is no way to know the duration; however, for current information on the shutdown, visit www.nps.gov/jeff.

Vote for The Gateway Arch Museum and Visitor Center
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), December 16, 2018 – Visitors and residents can vote for the Gateway Arch National Park and Museum as the Best New Attraction in 2018!

The Gateway Arch, one of the nation’s most recognizable landmarks, got its own new museum and visitor center in 2018. The six themed exhibit areas tell the story of Native Americans, rebels and explorers who contributed to the nation’s pioneering spirit.

As of Sunday, December 16, the Leaderboard ranks:

1. Gathering Place – Tulsa
2. National Comedy Center – Jamestown, N.Y.
3. Chicago Architecture Center – Chicago
4. The Gateway Arch Museum and Visitor Center – St. Louis
5. Tower of Voices – Laurel Highlands, Penn.

Every vote counts and we’re making our way to the top spot. You can vote daily in the USAToday Readers’ Choice Awards until Monday, January 7, 2019. To vote, please visit Vote for The Gateway Arch Museum and Visitor Center

The new museum at the Gateway Arch invites visitors to experience exhibits including Jefferson’s Vision, Riverfront Era, New Frontiers, Manifest Destiny, Colonial St. Louis and Building the Arch.

Visitors can enter the new west entrance without a single stair step or ramp and enjoy sweeping view of the Old Courthouse and St. Louis through the sweeping wall of glass.

New Museum at Gateway Arch Welcomes Visitors

ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) – The Museum at the Gateway Arch and new West Entrance, opened in July 2018, marking the last major pieces of the $380 million dollar project.

From the new Lobby, visitors descend via elevators or stairs to mezzanine level or the lower, main level of the Museum/Visitor Center. The mezzanine level includes space for educational activities and special events and introduces visitors to themes presented in the new exhibits. On the lower level, at the base of the stairways and escalators, is the new exhibit gallery that connects to the larger new exhibit gallery area in the renovated existing building.

The riverfront era exhibit features an intricate scale model of a five-block section of the city in 1852.

The new exhibits provide an engaging, interactive museum experience. Several new exhibit galleries take visitors back in time to explore multiple perspectives of Thomas Jefferson’s vision of a continental nation, the role of St. Louis as the gateway to westward expansion during the 19th century, and the legacy and heritage of individuals and cultural groups who played significant roles. Visitors also get a close-up look at the history of the construction of the iconic Gateway Arch and the architects, engineers and builders who made it happen.

The exhibits showcase illustrated historical narratives, primary source documents, historical art and artifacts. An assortment of multimedia exhibits allow visitors to view large-screen video re-enactments of the Lewis and Clark expedition, participate in simulated electronic journeys west, and learn about colonial history with animated maps and timelines. The exhibits were designed by Haley Sharpe Design with multimedia design provided by Aperture Films.

An assortment of multimedia exhibits allow visitors to view large-screen video re-enactments of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Pacific Studio of Seattle, Washington, a small business and a nationally recognized creator of exhibits, was awarded a $17.1-million fabrication contract for the Visitor Center Exhibits Project at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. The design of the exhibits has been completed to meet the standards of Universal Design, so that the environment can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.

A new office area for Metro, operators of the Arch Tram, will be constructed in the current location of the Museum Store. The Museum Store will move to the space formerly occupied by the Odyssey Theater and a limited Food Service Concession will be located in the current area of the Levee Mercantile store.

The existing public bathrooms have been upgraded with new fixtures, accessories, and finishes. New finishes, ramps, and other accessibility improvements have been made to the exits leading to the Arch legs.

Basilica of St. Louis King of France (Old Cathedral)

The nearly 180-year-old Basilica of St. Louis King of France, known fondly as the “Old Cathedral”, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) – The St. Louis’ historic Old Cathedral, known officially as the Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, is one of the world’s most honored churches. It stands on a tiny plot on the downtown riverfront near the south leg of the Gateway Arch. The original log chapel was dedicated over 200 years ago in 1770.

The structure of the Old Cathedral, completed in the autumn of 1834, is a prominent example of Greek Revival architecture in the United States, and it is included on the National Register of Historic Places. The exterior stone facade and the four columns that support the Doric style portico are carved from Joliet stone, mined near Joliet, Ill.

In 1961, the most important honor ever afforded any American church was handed down by His Holiness, the late Pope John XXIII, who decreed Basilican status upon the church. An intensive rehabilitation program on the appearance of the Old Cathedral was completed in 1963.

Visitors can see the tomb of Bishop Joseph Rosati, builder of the present Old Cathedral building, paintings dating back to the late 1700’s and a dramatic series of Arteaga photos at the Old Cathedral Museum. The Old Cathredal is located at 209 Walnut Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63102. For more information, call 314-231-3250.

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.

Bonsack Gallery Features Tim Lane Illustrations

ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), February 4, 2018 – The Bonsack Gallery at John Burroughs School features a group of illustrations created by Tim Lane for his upcoming biographical novel, Just Like Steve McQueen, through Tuesday, April 3.

Tim Lane is an Ignatz Award-nominated graphic novelist whose books include The Lonesome Go and Abandoned Cars. His comics are widely published in both literary and comics anthologies, including The Best of American Comics series (2017), Fantagraphic’s Hotwire and MOME, The Kean Review, River Styx, Smoke Signal and DC Comic’s Bizarro World. He also produces the comic book Happy Hour in America. His next book, Toybox Americana, is due for publication in January 2019.

As a freelance illustrator, Lane’s clients have included Penguin Books, The Rolling Stone, The London Times, Wired, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, Utne Reader, The Boston Globe, McSweeney’s, among many others. His work has regularly appeared on The New York Times OP-ED page and was included in All the Art That’s Fit to Print (And Some That Wasn’t): Inside the New York Times Op-Ed Page, edited by former New York Times art director Jerelle Kraus.

His sketchbook work was included in the sketchbook anthology: GRAPHIC: Inside Sketchbooks of the World’s Great Graphic Designers, edited by Steven Heller and Lita Talarico.

Lane is also featured in the award-winning book, Inside Art Direction: Interviews and Case Studies, edited by Steven Brower.

Bonsack Gallery is located at 755 South Price Road. Call 314-993-4040 for more information.

“Winter Selections – In the Abstract”

ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) – Atrium Gallery’s exhibition “Winter Selections – In the Abstract,” runs through March 31.

Featured will be a group show highlighting some of our favorite works with light and intense color for a seasonal winter warm up. Artists included are James Kuiper, Michael Marshall, Fredrick Nelson, Kirk Pedersen, Doug Salveson and Steven Sorman.

The Atrium Gallery is located at 4814 Washington Avene in the Central West End. Call 314-367-1076 for more information.

Fanfare of Quilts Quilt Show

ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) – An exhibit of over 350+ quilts will be on display, March 17 – 18, at Greensfelder Rec Center at Queeny Park, located at 550 Weidman Rd., Ballwin, MO.

The event includes special exhibits, vendors, antique bed turning, demonstrations, and quilt raffle. Quilts cover a broad range of styles, including traditional, art, and modern. The show includes a special exhibit by internationally acclaimed quilt artist Suzanne Marshall.

Another exhibit titled Landscapes of Grief (Art Quilts by Karen Tye) will also be featured. A charity ticket raffle will be held to benefit Missouri Veterans Endeavor. Concessions will be available. Cost is $7, good for both days.

Call 636-751-6440 for more information.



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