Southwest Illinois News
St. Louis Attractions Guide St. Louis Entertainment Southwest Illinois Hotels and Motels Guide Southwest Illinois Area Golf Guide St. Louis Job News and Opportunities St. Louis Metropolitan Map St. Louis News Today St. Louis Area Parks St. Louis Fine Restaurant Guide
Southwest Illinois News is a weekly news publication spotlighting attractions, events, entertainment, tourism, jobs and business developments in Southwestern Illinois

Southwest Illinois News
Small Green dotSouthwest, IL News
Small Green dotIllinois Hotels
Small Green dotAlton, IL
Small Green dotBelleville, IL
Small Green dotCahokia Mounds
Small Green dotCollinsville,IL
Small Green dotEast St. Louis, IL
Small Green dotFairview Heights,IL
Small Green dotFort de Chartres,IL
Small Green dotFort Massac, IL
Small Green dotGrafton, IL
Small Green dotLebanon,IL
Small Green dotLewis & Clark
Small Green dotOur Lady of Snows
Small Green dotScott Air Force Base
Small Green dotWaterloo, IL
Blue dotWood River, IL

St. Louis Front Page
Small Green dotSt. Louis News
Small Green dotCommunity Info
Small Green dotSt. Louis CitySide
Small Green dotBusiness News
Small Green dotSt. Charles News
Small Green dotArt Gallery News
Small Green dotHotel News
Small Green dotRestaurant News
Small Green dotStyle St. Louis
Small Green dotNot Just For Kids
Small Green dotEntertainment News
Downtown Saint Louis Map
Small Green dotDowntown Map
Small Green dotAmerica's Center
Small Green dotBusch Stadium
Small Green dotGateway Arch
Small Green dotEnterprise Center
Small Green dotLaclede's Landing
Small Green dotOld Courthouse
Small Green dotUnion Station
Metropolitan Map
Small Green dotMetropolitan Map
Small Green dotCasinos
Small Green dotCentral West End
Small Green dotClayton, MO
Small Green dotDaniel Boone Home
Small Green dotGrand Center
Small Green dotGrant's Farm
Small Green dotForest Park
Small Green dotKimmswick, MO
Small Green dotMO Botanical Garden
Small Green dotSt. Charles, MO
Small Green dotWest Port Plaza
Small Green dotTransportation
Small Green dotLambert Airport
Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park
Thirty-four acres of land encompassing one of the tallest fountains in the world will be transformed into the Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park, completing the dream of Gateway Arch architect Eero Saarinen. Dedication photo (L. to R.): Joel Brunsvold, director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Alan Dunstan, chairman of Madison County; St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay; Marshall Hier, president of Gateway Center of Metropolitan St. Louis; Thomas Schlafly, secretary/treasurer, Gateway Center of Metropolitan St. Louis; and Jerry Kane, president of Metro East Park and Recreation District.
Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park to Fulfill Eero Saarinen's Dream

by Bob Moore
© 2005, Southwest Illinois News

EAST ST. LOUIS, IL, ( June 19, 2005 - The dedication of the Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park, June 18, marked a significant milestone in the revitalization of the East St. Louis Riverfront.

The Gateway Center officially transferred title to the Gateway Geyser and the 34.1 acres of ground leading from the soaring fountain west to the Mississippi River to the Metro East Park and Recreation District.

In remarks before a crowd gathered at the site, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay complimented the effort of many people who worked to make the park a reality. "I'm also looking forward to having people who come visit St. Louis, come by here and get the most spectacular view of the City of St. Louis," said the mayor.

Jerry Kane, president of Metro East Park and Recreation District, stated that Martin spent almost four decades to make it happen and then turned it over to a public park district so it could remain forever. "That in itself is his legacy - not only his vision, but his perseverance. He sets an example for everyone that we can improve the quality of life for all of us."

In an interview following the dedication, Marshall Hier, president of Gateway Center of Metropolitan St. Louis, told Southwest Illinois News that Martin would always joke with St. Louisans who would ask, 'Why are you interested in East St. Louis.' He would say, 'Well that's what I have to look at each morning.'"

Heir stated that the Gateway Center of Metropolitan St. Louis was formed by Malcolm W. Martin, back in 1968 with the intention of doing something on the east side to fulfill Eero Saarinen's dream of having a memorial on both sides of the Mississippi River.

It wasn't until the railroads on the east side had no further use for their tracks, that the property became available. In 1983, Martin's organization purchased 50 acres of land of which this is the remaining 34 acres. Additional property north of the site which could not be incorporated into the park was sold that to the Casino Queen.

In 1984, there was federal legislation to designate this a federal park which would have been fine, but no funding ever came through, stated Hier. "In the early nineties, the thought was, well let's not wait for some park to take this over, let's do something with the property. It was actually, the late Robert Hyland, of KMOX, who suggested to Malcolm, why don't we build the world's highest fountain."

The fountain, powered by three 800-horse-power pumps, discharging 8,000 gallons of water per minute at 250 feet per second, was completed in 1995 at a cost of $4 million. "We think it is the world's highest fountains because it goes up 600 ft on a calm day and then there are four smaller fountains that reach 100 ft," stated Hier.

The next step was approaching the Metro East Park and Recreation District in 2002 about the possibility of their interest in taking over the property. The contract was finally completed back in April 2005 with the closing on June 8.

"At the closing, we transferred not only the 34 acres and the fountains and other improvements, but we also transferred $2.5 million in funds to be used to operate and maintain this property.

Martin's philanthropic work was also inspired by another lawyer, Luther Ely Smith, whose vision paved the way for the Gateway Arch (Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park). A memorial park named for Ely is located east of the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis.

Hier related that Luther Ely Smith grew up in Downers Grove, just outside Chicago. "He went to school in the East and then came to St. Louis to teach school originally. He went to law school and was known as a St. Louis lawyer all his life. In addition to his law practice, he was also heavily involved in civic endeavors including the Arch."

Hier said that Smith had been appointed by President Franklin Roosevelt as part of the commission in Vincennes, Indiana to help bring about a national memorial on the Walbash River. "He was so inspired by what Vincennes had done in this tribute to George Rogers Clark of Revolutionary War fame, that he brought the same idea back to St. Louis."

When Malcolm came back from WWII, Hier continued, he wanted to make himself useful. "He discovered that Luther Ely Smith needed some help in this civic endeavor in bringing the Arch into being. Malcolm volunteered his services and learned civic responsibility from Smith's example," said Hier.

"Neither Smith nor Martin ever lived to see the fruition of the dream. But each of them said, the dream doesn't end with me. There will be others who will carry it on."

Hier stated that both men volunteered their free time and also invested their own money in the civic projects.

"When there wasn't enough funding for the architectural prize that resulted in the Arch being chosen, Luther Ely Smith reached into his own pocket and came up with forty thousand dollars. Back in the late forties, it was real money," noted Hier.

"Malcolm also poured millions of his own money," stated Hier. "He lived frugally. His only indulgence was his apartment in the Mansion House that overlooked East St. Louis. He was very much interested in the well being of East St. Louis."

"What you have is two good men, two good examples. Today we see the completion of the dream of a park on both sides," stated Hier.

The memorial park will include observation decks, a 9-11 memorial, multi-use trails, picnic tables, terraced lawn seating, interpretive signage, wildflowers and a wetland.

A 10-foot tall sign, developed by HOK to mark the official entrance to the park, will be installed later this summer.

Page Bar
Moore Design Group Southwest Illinois News & Saint Louis Front Page is owned and maintained by the Moore Design Group for the sole purpose of disseminating news and information about the Metropolitan Saint Louis area. Text or graphics may not be copied, rewritten or distributed in any manner whatsoever without written permission. For more information, contact All rights reserved world wide © 1996 - 2019 Moore Design Group.
Thin Red Line

St. Louis Photos Prints
Fine Art Prints of St. Louis Attractions

STL Front Page

St. Louis Restaurant Guide
Restaurant Guide

"If it's happening in St. Louis, it's on St. Louis Front Page."

Southwest Illinois News is designed & hosted by the
Moore Design Group.

How To Reach
St. Louis Front Page
3832 S Broadway Street
St. Louis, MO 63188

To submit news, contact: