Saturday, May 29, 2010

And More St. Louis-Union Station, The Arch, St. Charles, Melvin Price Lock and Dam and Jefferson Barracks

Union Station opened in 1894 and closed in 1978. When it opened it was the world's largest and busiest train station and its trainshed had the largest roof span in the world. The clock tower is over 200 feet tall.

The gold-leafed Grand Hall with its Romanesque Arches and 65 ft ceiling still looks elegant and has been restored to what it was when it was built.

Below the Grand Hall there were 41 tracks and at one time over 22 different railroad companies who used this station. This is a picture of what the passenger terminal was like in its hey dey. In the 1940s it could handle 100,000 passengers a day, but passenger service started declining in the 1950s and 1960s, and after Amtrak took over all passenger service there were only 3 trains who serviced St. Louis. In the 1970s this was not enough to maintain the buildings and the station was closed. It was reopened in 1985 with a hotel, shopping mall, restaurants and food court.

A few blocks further east is the Mississippi River. The river front road was closed due to high water.

Eads Bridge was built in 1874 and at the time was the longest bridge in the world. The designer and builder, James Eads, was the first bridge builder to use the cantilever design. The bridge, still in use today, was important for providing transportation, other than boat, across the Mississippi River.

That small, black tip sticking above the water is actually the top of a statue of Lewis and Clark.

Here is what the statue looks like when it isn't under water. Even this photo, taken several years ago, has water lapping at the foot of the statue. Does it always flood in St. Louis?

Here Max and I are in the egg (as I call it), heading to the top of the arch.

Looking down 630 feet to the river. The Arch is 630 feet wide at the base, as well as 630 feet tall, making it the tallest monument in the U.S. Note what looks like a small platform in the water on the right side.

It is actually a viewing platform next to the river with the road between it and the arch. As you could see from the previous picture, it was all under water. This photo is from several years earlier.

This is taken from the west side of the historical court house, looking east towards the arch. The court house is now a museum.

A bronze tribute to St. Louis jazz.

A few blocks a way is the old historic district, now comprised mostly restaurants and small shops.

About 15 miles NW is St. Charles, on the Missouri River. It was where Meriweather Lewis joined up with William Clark for the Corps of Discovery.

This is a replica of the keelboat Lewis and Clark used to venture up river. Every few years they put it in the water and take the boat up river a ways.

I think their garden got washed out.

The driftwood hit this walkway while we were standing close by. You can see it shattered the first few boards. I wouldn't want to be out in any kind of boat in that flooding water.

St. Charles was celebrating the anniversary of Lewis and Clarks departure, which was 206 years ago, on May 16, 1804. Luckily we were visiting on May 16 and got to participate in the festivities.

Old downtown St. Charles. In 1804, when Lewis and Clark were there, only about 20 families actually lived in the town. But by 1820 blocks of buildings like these had sprung up and the town was flourishing.

On another day we visited the Melvin Price Lock and Dam on the Missouri River. It was opened in 1994, after replacing a previous dam demolished in 1990.

I am standing, several stories up, next to the high water mark of the 1993 flood.

Here is a photo of the dam in 1993, still not completed, mostly underwater.

Jefferson Barracks is now a city park in south St. Louis. Originally established in 1826 as an infantry school of practice, it was a major military installation until 1946. It served as a gathering point for troops and supplies for the Mexican War, Civil War, various Indian conflicts, the Spanish-American War, Philippine War, World War I and World War II. There is now a museum, a memorial and a National Cemetary. Some of the older buildings are still being used as an Army Guard Base. But most of the location is now a city park.

Although I took lots more pictures and I'm sure I haven't mentioned everything I did while in St. Louis, I think you probably got a feel for how busy I was. Remember I was only there one week. It was a great stop and I would love to go back and do more exploring.


Brad said...

Hey Judy, I'm hoping that either you or Diana can get a group shot of all the WINs at the gathering so far.
Also, I plan on meeting up with you guys sometime around June 10!!!!! Can't wait to get back to the group!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the photos of St. Louis Station. I was an estimator for the contractor that renovated it and did a lot of estimating on that job. There was a lot of pigeon poop and it had to be removed before work could be done because of possible sickness.

Love the photo of you and Max in the Egg