St. Louis

Population

2010: 319,294, #58 in U.S., #2 in Missouri

1950: 856,796, #8 in U.S.

2010 Metropolitan Area: 2,812,896, #18 in U.S.

1950 Metropolitan Area: 1,681,281, #9 in U.S.

In 1900, St. Louis was the 4th-largest city in the U.S. (after New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia), with a population of 575,238. It was on the top-10 list from 1850 through 1960.

Setting

St. Louis was founded by the French in 1763 along the Mississippi River, just south of the confluence with the Missouri River. Citygarden, a two-block-long sculpture park, opened downtown in July 2009.

Buildings

Tallest buildings: Gateway Arch, 630 feet (1965), and One Metropolitan Square, 593 feet (1989)

List of tallest buildings

The Gateway Arch, on the banks of the Mississippi, has an observation deck.

Stores

In 2013, Macy’s closed its department store in the 21-story Railway Exchange Building (1913), formerly the home of May’s Famous-Barr store. The St. Louis Centre, an enclosed downtown mall, opened in 1985 and closed in 2006.

Trains

Amtrak's Missouri River Runner goes west to Kansas City, and the Lincoln Service goes northeast to Chicago. The Texas Eagle goes southwest to Little Rock, Dallas, San Antonio, and Los Angeles. Amtrak uses the Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center (2008), located a block east of the historic Union Station (1894), which now has a hotel, restaurants, and shops.

Metrolink is a light-rail system that opened in 1993. It has two lines, going west from downtown to Union Station, Lambert Airport, and the western suburbs, and east across the Mississippi River into Illinois.


 

 

 

 



Mississippi River and Gateway Arch
(Photo by Bev Sykes)

Museums

The Museum of Westward Expansion, at the base of the Gateway Arch, is undergoing renovation. The National Blues Museum opened in 2016. The City Museum and the Old Courthouse are also downtown.

Theaters

The three-screen MX Movies opened in 2013. The Fox Theater (1929) a restored movie palace just west of downtown, has a variety of concerts and other events. When the Fox opened in 1929, it was reported to be the second largest movie theater in the U.S. The Peabody Opera House (former Kiel Opera House, 1934) has concerts and touring Broadway shows.

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra plays at Powell Hall (the former St. Louis Theatre, 1925, rebuilt 1968), just west of downtown.

Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals of the National League play at Busch Stadium (2006). The NHL St. Louis Blues play at the Scottrade Center (1994). The St. Louis Cardinals played at The Dome at America's Center (1995) until moving to Los Angeles in 2016. The Dome now hosts a variety of concerts, conventions, and other events.

Map of Downtown St. Louis

Downtown St. Louis Partnership

Convention and Visitors Commission

St. Louis Architecture

Built St. Louis