ST. LOUIS NEWS TODAY -
Missouri Historic Society Press Releases "Great River City"
The Missouri Historical Society Press has announced the publication of its newest book, Great River City: How the Mississippi Shaped St. Louis by Andrew Wanko, featuring more than 450 images with engaging stories about its history and impact on the city.
"Perhaps better than anyone else, James Eads understood the violence, power, and volatility of the Mississippi River. The bridge would have to withstand strong currents, crushing ice floes, and floods that tripled the river's volume." - Andrew Wanko, 'Great River City A view of the Eads Bridge under construction. Photograph, 1874. Missouri Historical Society Collections.
by Betty Moore, editor, slfp.com
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), October 27, 2019 - With the fall season of new book releases upon us, the Missouri Historical Society Press has announced the publication of its newest book, Great River City: How the Mississippi Shaped St. Louis by Andrew Wanko.
I quickly browsed through an advanced copy, taking note of historical photos, maps, early illustrations, documents and records of well known American history before landing on a chapter about the Eads Bridge. An image of a solitary man standing beneath the massive structure under construction in 1874 caught my eye. A detailed cross-section illustration of the interior of the main entrance shaft was also intriguing.
A cutline described the skeleton mass of steel: "Building the Eads Bridge, 1873. In material, building the Eads Bridge required 2,390 tons of steel, 3,156 tons of wrought iron, 806 tons of timber, and 218,000 tons of limestone block. The final cost was $12 million - equivalent to well over $250 million today."
I have often photographed this impressive bridge with its limestone blocks rising high above the Mississippi River, just north of the Gateway Arch National Park. From Laclede's Landing where the St. Louis Front Page was launched in 1995 from an office in the historic Hoffman Produce building on the north Riverfront, the Eads Bridge stretches across the river on two piers with three arches to the banks of the East St. Louis Riverfront.
This chapter is just one of 56 "snapshots" of St. Louis. Intrigued with the presentation, I went back to the first chapter and spent many hours exploring the content and over 450 images.
After several hours of turning 308 pages, I had discovered many surprising new elements of this city as it evolved over the centuries. The book revealed conflicts as well as celebrations that shaped the city's character, with all the twists and turns of a movie plot.
Great River City is not just another 9" x 12" pretty coffee table book destined to gather dust on a pile of other books on St. Louis. Wanko has carefully woven a diverse tale of life on the Mighty Mississippi that crosses over historical facts into a fascinating reading experience. He has delved deep into the archivals and collections of the Missouri Historical Society for this great river's history, recounting the interaction with early settlements, exploration, slavery, transportation, urban development, tourism, recreation and landmark events.
In notes provided by the Missouri Historical Society Press, author Andrew Wanko, public historian for the Missouri Historical Society, said, "It's never been easier to forget how tied to the river we are. Most books about the Mississippi discuss the economic and geographic connections between the river and St. Louis, but this book looks much deeper at all the ways the river is a part of the city's fabric. For St. Louis, the Mississippi River has always been more than water. It's been a shaping force on millions of lives, and a mirror for the city's triumphs, embarrassments, joys and tragedies."
Great River City: How the Mississippi Shaped St. Louis can be read all in one sitting or returned to over and over again. It's a wonderful collaboration between the Missouri Historical Society and the St. Louis Mercantile Library. Great River City is a companion to the upcoming exhibit Mighty Mississippi opening November 23, 2019, at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park.
Put this book on at the top of your Christmas list for book lovers, amateur historians and exciting trivia events.
About the author
Our "Augmented Reality (AR) tool allows you to try this piece of art, featuring the dramatic "Meeting of the Waters" fountain at Aloe Plaza in front of Saint Louis Union Station, right on the wall you plan to hang it using the camera on your devise. Additional architectural images can be seen on St. Louis Photos and Fine Art.
Andrew Wanko is a public historian at the Missouri Historical Society. He worked extensively on the Missouri History Museum's 250 in 250 exhibit, which celebrated St. Louis's 250th anniversary in 2014, and served as the exhibit lead on Lost Buildings of St. Louis and A Walk in 1875 St. Louis. He also directed the Museum's feature-length documentary Show Me 66: Main Street Through Missouri, which won the 2017 Midwest Regional Emmy for Best Historic Documentary Film.
Upcoming author appearances:
Thursday, November 14, 7 p.m., at the Missouri History Museum
Monday, January 27, 7 p.m., at the St. Louis County Library headquarters
Wednesday, February 12, 7 p.m., at the Missouri History Museum
308 pages, more than 450 images
Ameren Missouri Charges Ahead with New Electric Car Charging Stations
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), October 27, 2019 - There will soon be more places to recharge your car batteries around Missouri. Ameren Missouri has received Missouri Public Service Commission approval for the program that will bring more electric vehicle charging stations to the Ameren Missouri service territory.
It's the latest component of the $11 million investment Ameren Missouri Charge Ahead program to encourage adoption of electric vehicles.
Starting early next year, business owners can apply for incentives to offset construction costs of electric vehicle charging stations.
"More and more electric vehicles are revving up on roads across Missouri. Now is the time to invest in the critical infrastructure to support this trend," said Pat Justis, Ameren Missouri manager of efficient electrification development. "Bringing more charging stations across our area will help increase adoption of electric vehicles and that means a cleaner and brighter energy future for our customers."
The program consists of two distinct pieces:
Charging for long-distance travel
Approved earlier this year, long-distance travel stations will be conveniently located near highways for long road trips. Ameren Missouri expects to open the first of 11 charging stations by the end of 2019 with all stations complete by the end of 2020. Each station will have two DC Fast Chargers and two Level II chargers.
Charging for local travel
Ameren Missouri will provide financial support to help local businesses, including workplaces, multi-family residences and public areas, add electric vehicle charging stations. During the three-year program period, Ameren Missouri expects to assist with 1,000 local-level charging stations at more than 350 locations throughout the area. The local charging stations may be either Level II or DC Fast Charging.
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