Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Design Teams Express Support for Highway Removal as Bold Proposals are Unveiled

Yesterday, St. Louis got its first glimpse at the design concepts for the renovations to the Arch grounds and the riverfront.  The bold, stunning proposals unveiled by the five remaining contestants promise a bright future for downtown and the St. Louis region.

For some early impressions on the designs, I recommend checking out the UrbanSTL site, where I believe more detailed reviews will be posted in the near future.  The public also can view the design boards in person at the Arch grounds and at a traveling exhibit.  In addition, each team has released detailed "plan narratives" (downloadable at the CityArchRiver 2015 website) that provide key insights into the teams' ideas that are not immediately clear on the design boards.

Most notably, all but one of the teams has expressed support for the removal of the downtown highway as the ultimate solution for reconnecting downtown to the Arch grounds and the riverfront.  Here is some of what the teams had to say:

“City to River articulates an enormous number of benefits arising from such a scheme…”

          - SOM Team

“..the benefits of removing the highway altogether are clear…”

          - MVVA Team

“Full Circle’s grand loop of transportation facilities could be easily integrated into its [City to River’s] design.”

          - Weiss-Manfredi Team

“We predict fanfare should the elevated highway that cuts off Laclede’s Landing be removed.”

          - The Behnisch Team

It is thrilling that the design teams, consisting of renowned architects and other professionals from around the world, recognize the benefits of highway removal and have prepared designs that are compatible with a new boulevard.  Now it is up to City to River and its many supporters to keep the momentum going.

Come to the Schlafly Tap Room Club Room tonight (7:30 p.m., 2100 Locust Street) to show your support for highway removal! Have your voice heard on this pivotal regional issue. The event is FREE.

View the event on Facebook and RSVP.  Hope to see you there!

UPDATE: See the St. Louis Business Journal's coverage of the design teams' support for City to River's proposal here.  The article also contains a list of some of City to River's key endorsers to date.

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