Thursday, 25 April 2013

Postcard from St. Louis 2.

The Basilica of St. Louis (the 'old' cathedral) and the Gateway Arch

The Basilica survived the demolition of many blocks of waterfront buildings to make way for the construction of the arch and its park.  It looks a little bit like a toy church when you see the two together from this vantage point (the deck of our apartment block) and really brings home how big the arch is (630 feet or 192 metres tall ... and wide).

I decided to be brave and venture up inside the arch on Monday when it was quiet and there were no queues.  More importantly it meant that the teeny, tiny, little pods that you travel up and down in weren't packed full!!

Looking due west

You can see the Old Courthouse in the centre with City Garden stretching out behind it (where many of the sculptures are).  On the left you can just see the ball park.

South west looking through a very dirty window ... made me think about who gets the job of cleaning windows way up there or do they not bother and just hope the rain does a good job?!

The most notable landmark here is Busch Stadium, home of the Cardinals baseball team.  Our apartment block and Andy's office block are also in the picture ... but neither are very pretty or noteworthy!  Andy probably has his shortest commute to work ever - it's less than a ten-minute walk!  Most of the high-rises in the picture are hotels. 

North west

More hotels and the conference centre (in front of and attached to the Edward Jones dome - the flat white building) which is home to the Rams, St. Louis' NFL (American football) team.  We're not short of sporting venues - or hotels - round here!

Looking East

I haven't ventured over to the other side of the Mississippi yet - that's Illinois over there!  Frankly it's not a great view - there's a casino (the red building to the left) and some industrial buildings.  These photos were taken on Monday and the river is a lot higher now - we're five feet over flood stage and it's still rising.  I know it always looks sunny in my photos (I'll admit to being a fair weather photographer!), but we've had a lot of rain in the last week both here and further upstream.... that combined with melting snow from further north means there's a more water coming our way.

Inside the top of the arch!

There isn't a lot of space at the top ... I'm so glad that I had already been up and come down before our building manager told me about her brother being stuck up there for 2 hours with a party of school kids the other week when a fuse blew and the trams stopped working!!  

More photos soon - I'm not tired of playing tourist yet!!


  1. I went up in that arch years ago. 1981 to be exact. I don't think I could do it now. Too claustrophobic! I'm so glad you are showing us all of these photos. It's very interesting. And how nice that Andy can walk to work.
    Expect more water. It rained all night last night and half of today. I wonder if we will ever get spring?

    Cindy Bee

  2. Good on you Fiona for being brave and venturing up the arch in one of those pods! If the river keeps on rising you may be looking for higher ground. PBS had a news item on the floods there this afternoon and said there was more to come as the snow is melting early upriver.

  3. 2 hours with a party of school kids in that small space sounds like hell indeed :)

    Looks like you are having fun exploring your new city. Keep those photos coming!