The business district of downtown Saint Louis continues to grow and reshape its skyline with dramatic new structures of marble, granite and glass. At the turn of the century, Saint Louis was known as the small industrial capital of the world. Washington Avenue, which passes in front of the America’s Center, was once a prosperous canyon of architecturally beautiful brick buildings housing shoe, clothes and fashion manufacturers.

Saint Louis was established as a trading post on the west banks of the Mississippi River in 1764 by a French fur trapper named Pierre LaClede. Business was good from the beginning. Soon the village became the center of commerce with furs as the main source of exchange for goods.

Today, elements of Old Saint Louis remain as Laclede’s Landing, a nine-block industrial area that once housed companies producing coffee, leather goods, mattresses, tobacco, whiskey, candy, and machinery for the barges. The historic area is located north of the Gateway Arch. At night, horse-drawn carriages and live music add to the downtown atmosphere. Nearby, sightseeing excursions and gaming boats offer additional choices for entertainment.

Directions: America’s Center is located at 701 Convention Plaza, just north of downtown and east of I-70. The Dome is adjacent to the Center and faces Broadway. The facility is west of historic Laclede’s Landing and the landmark Eads Bridge. The Center is approximately six blocks north of Busch Stadium, home to St. Louis Cardinals baseball.