Friday, July 07, 2006

Outdoor Air Conditioning

Over the past twelve years, I've been an occasional pedestrian walking along Locust Street in downtown STL. For most of those years, the walks would be lonely ones, down empty sidewalks, past empty buildings. Today, there is a noticeable difference in the feel of the street.

The new sidewalk cafe at the Old Court House was filled to capacity. Heavy equipment was operating in the early phases of the $80,000,000 Syndicate Trust rehabilitation. A twenty (maybe thirty)-something couple crossed the street at 10th and Locust, where the lady asks the gentleman, "and what's happening here?", nodding toward one of the corner buildings. He began describing the beginnings of another adaptive reuse development.

And from the long list of unsolved city mysteries, even when our STL weather is steaming hot, out from a metal grate in front of the US Bank Locust branch (across from the Lashley Baer law firm), pedestrians enjoy a steady blast of free cold air from some unknown source beneath the sidewalk.

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