Friday, October 16, 2009

Arch Design Competition

The National Park Service is close to releasing the final General Management Plan for the future of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. The plan will govern the management of the site for the next 15-25 years. The plan is the result of year long public process. A design competition has been discussed as part of the management plan.

Current conditions along Memorial Drive:

A volunteer citizens group has emerged during the process know as "City to River". The mission of the group is to improve connections between downtown and the neighborhoods of the central riverfront. One idea that has been suggested is the replacement of the depressed lanes with a new at grade boulevard. This post is a sneak preview of how such a plan might look. The image above shows Memorial Drive and the depressed lanes at Memorial and Spruce.

Soulard resident, city booster, and local designer Jeremy Claget ( prepared the before and after images shown above and below to provide an example for how the new boulevard would look. Below is an illustration of the intersection of Spruce and Memorial with the new boulevard in place of the depressed lanes (click on the images for an expanded view):

Design concept for new "Gateway Boulevard":

The top priorities of the City to River effort are to enhance economic development opportunities, improve quality of life, and to support transformative change to our downtown area, the Arch grounds, and the riverfront.

City to River is an entirely volunteer, citizen-driven effort. The organization receives no public support or outside funding. All efforts are carried out by City to River volunteers. This effort is a work in progress and needs your help. The National Park Service design competition is likely going to take place sometime after the first of the year. Among the top priorities is improving connectivity between downtown, the riverfront, and the Arch grounds.

If you are interested in learning more about the plans for the riverfront or joining our efforts, please contact us via the comments section below or through email at City to River is working on a website which will launched in the coming weeks.


Matt M. said...

So cool!

Daron said...

Making it a regular street would be ok, but it'd still be as big a gap as Tucker unless you made the sidewalks into huge plazas.

My alternative proposal would be to keep it sunken and create a pedestrian friendly sunken stream based off Seoul's Cheonggyecheon. This would be accompanied by dozens of artful pedestrian bridges across it.

The proposal and pictures can be found here,