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A beautiful botanical garden situated at 4344 Shaw Boulevard


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  • Missouri Botanical Garden
  • 4344 Shaw Blvd. - St. Louis
  • Missouri 63110 - United States
  • (314) 577-5100

Explore St. Louis Archiyecture

St. Louis makes a stunning first visual impression. It has a look that is all its own in America today: red brick, cobblestone streets, terra cotta friezes and stained glass.

The Gateway Arch - The best example of St. Louis' love of dramatic architecture soars 630 feet above the Mississippi River. The graceful, stainless steel curve of the Gateway Arch has become the internationally recognized symbol of St. Louis. Designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and completed in 1965, the structure's stainless steel sheathing provides a glimmering reflection of sunrise and sunset along the Mississippi.

Laclede's Landing - Just north of the Arch, the Laclede's Landing entertainment district welcomes visitors to its nine square blocks of restored warehouses along the Mississippi River. The warehouses, which once held cotton, tobacco and other steamboat cargo, now house a collection of restaurants and clubs. The buildings' decorative cast iron and brick fronts reflect rarely preserved commercial architectural styles from the mid-1800's.

Eads Bridge - Crossing the Mississippi at Laclede's Landing, the stately Eads Bridge, which opened in 1874, is the river's oldest remaining span and the first ever constructed with steel trusses. Its builder, James Eads, first made his name by inventing the diving bell to salvage steamboat wrecks in the Mississippi. The bridge's graceful arches now carry light rail trains across the water.

St. Louis Union Station - Downtown, St. Louis Union Station's magnificent Grand Hall is a barrel-vaulted wonder of gilt work, stained glass and statuary. Designed by architect Theodore Link in 1894 in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, Union Station was once the largest and busiest passenger rail station in the world. Today, the massive building, which was created to resemble a French fortress, houses a hotel and a festival marketplace of shops, restaurants and clubs.

The Grand Center - St. Louisans fell in love with the movies at the fabulous Fox Theatre, an elaborate 1929 movie house. Visitors can learn about the theatre's ornate and quirky Siamese-Byzantine interior on regularly scheduled tours. The Fox anchors the Grand Center, St. Louis' art and entertainment district, where the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra's Powell Hall, modeled after the French palace of Versailles, and the Sheldon Concert Hall, known for its nearly perfect acoustics, both host regular performances.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis - Just west of Grand Center, the majestic Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis rises over the Central West End neighborhood. The Romanesque-Byzantine cathedral contains the world's most extensive collection of mosaic art. Although the building was finished in 1914, its hand-set interior mosaics were not completed until the late 1980's.

St. Louis Art Museum - West of the Cathedral in Forest Park, the St. Louis Art Museum perches atop Art Hill, Cass Gilbert designed the Roman Revival building as the Fine Arts Palace for the 1904 World's Fair.

Offbeat St. Louis

A dog museum, giant teeth, and a hall of fame dedicated to bowling top the hit parade of unusual attractions in St. Louis.

American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog - The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog may sound offbeat, but in reality exhibits are dedicated to the history of the dog in art. Sorry, no stuffed Lassies here, but you will find plenty of fun while learning all about humankind's furry friends.

International Bowling Museum and Cardinals Hall of Fame - Get a unique perspective on two of America's favorite sports at the International Bowling Museum and Cardinals Hall of Fame. The facilities house momentos, trophies, and videos depicting the proud Cardinal baseball tradition, along with unusual galleries celebrating the history and heroes of professional bowling. Don't miss the bowling pin-shaped car and the diorama of cave men learning to bowl.

St. Louisians are able "to enjoy the changes of the four-season climate without undue hardship of prolonged periods of extreme heat or high humidity." This is the verdict, not just of the local people, but of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce which continues by saying:

Winters are brisk and stimulating, seldom severe. Temperatures drop below zero or below an average of two or three days per year. Snowfall of an inch or more occurs five to ten days in most years.

Temperatures above 90 F or higher occur about 35-40 days a year. Extremely hot days of 100 F or more are expected no more than five days per year.

Normal annual precipitation is little less than 34 inches. Thunderstorms occur normally between 40 and 50 days per year. There have been only four tornadoes in the past 116 years which produced extensive damage and/or loss of life.

Discover a community where diversity is valued and the variety of human experience is explored in visitor attractions and special events throughout the year. Native Americans, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and a host of other cultures from across the globe have shaped St. Louis from its beginnings.

Many wealthy black St. Louisans owned land in what is now known as the Laclede's Landing entertainment district along the Mississippi Riverfront. The first St. Louis land grant to a woman of color, named only as "Ester" in the Spanish documents, was located in the historic district just north of the Gateway Arch. Clamorgan Alley, another Laclede's Landing street, is named for Jacques Clamorgan, a West Indian fur trader who was a prominent early St. Louisan.

The Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis is one of America's most important historic sites because of the role it played in leading the country to Civil War. It was here that slave Dred Scott sued for his freedom and the freedom of his wife Harriett in 1847. Ten years later, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Scott was not a citizen and could not sue. The outcome of this case pushed the nation closer to the brink of war. Scott, who was freed by a new owner after the decision, died in St. Louis in 1858. The last known slave sale in St. Louis was held on the steps of the Old Courthouse when an antislavery crown refused to bid on slaves offered as part of a property sale in 1861.

Recreations of the Dred Scott trial are conducted throughout the year at the Old Courthouse, and Scott's grave can be visited at Calvary Cemetery. Scott's case and other African-American achievements are on display at the Black World History Wax Museum in St. Louis.

The grave of Elijah Parrish Lovejoy, a prominent abolitionist newspaper editor from St. Louis, is capped by a soaring monument in nearby Alton, Illinois. Lovejoy was killed by a pro-slavery mob while defending the printing press of his anti-slavery newspaper. While in Alton, visitors can tour a variety of important historic sites associated with the Underground Railroad system which moved slaves to freedom before and during the Civil War.

For 22 seasons, the St. Louis Black Repertory Company has been presenting "Theatre with Soul" to audiences seeking modern entertainment in St. Louis. Headquartered in the Grand Center arts and entertainment district, Black Rep performances are held in the Grandel Theatre.

The story of Native Americans in St. Louis begins before the arrival of explorers and pioneers, when the region supported an enormous city called Cahokia. The 20,000-person metropolis thrived from 700 A.D. until sometime after 1300 A.D. When explorers first mapped the Mississippi River in the 1500's, the great society of the Mound Builders had been abandoned.

Today at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site and Interpretive Center, visitors can enter the world of the Mound Builders within sight of the Gateway Arch. Walk in their steps up Monk's Mound, the largest of the area's surviving earthen structures, and see the 2,200-acre World Heritage Site below. Another attraction, Mastadon State Historic Site in Imperial, Missouri, half an hour south of downtown St. Louis, explores the relationship between Ice Age mammals and the Native American tribes that hunted them in prehistoric Missouri.

By the 1820's, most later Native American tribes had migrated west in the wake of American expansion across the continent. The Trail of Tears, marking the forced march of the Cherokee nation from the East to the established "Indian Territory" of the west, brought additional Native Americans through Missouri. Today St. Louis' 3,500 Native American residents from various tribes gather at Pow Wows held in St. Louis throughout the year. An excellent examination of Native American views on the American westward movement can be visited at the Museum of Westward Expansion under the Gateway Arch.