Thursday, October 23, 2008
Arch Plans for Memorial Drive and the Depressed Lanes
The content of this post has been updated to reflect clarifications about the Arch design process as described at the Platform editorial page of STL Today.
The original STL Rising post discussed language in the National Park Service's "Alternative 5 - Park in the City". In Alternative 5, there is reference to rerouting Memorial Drive, and in its place developing urban plazas. With the new sculpture park on the Gateway Mall, the plaza on the north side of the Old Post Office, and the Arch itself, downtown already has significant areas dedicated to plazas and open space.
Hence, the idea of developing more urban plazas and open space downtown is a rallying point for opposition among urbanists. Many downtown advocates are calling for increased density in the form of more residential, employment, and retail uses.
STL Rising has been an advocate for exploring the potential of vacating the depressed lanes in front of the Arch and improving Memorial Drive as a grand urban street. The west side of a new Memorial Drive might be an area to provide sidewalk cafes and storefront space with views of the Arch.
At STL Today's Platform blog, the National Park Service provides clarification regarding design options possible under the proposed design competition for the future of the Arch.
The Platform is reporting that according to official statements released by the National Park Service, vacating the I-70 depressed lanes and rebuilding Memorial Drive are possible alternatives for consideration in the design competition.
To read the full Platform editorial click here.
Thanks to the Platform for helping to clarify this issue.