Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We have a winner!!!

The National Park Service's International "Framing a Modern Masterpiece Contest" is complete! Their goal: redesign the site of the Arch to integrate the memorial and surrounding grounds with St. Louis, the Mississippi River, and Illinois on the other side.

The winner was announced today! Incredibly exciting. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates has been picked among five finalists who were competing for the right to redesign the Arch grounds. The new design is expected to be completed by 10/28/2015, the 50th anniversary of the topping of the Arch.

According to Doug Moore of StlToday.com, the winning design includes:

-Removing the existing parking garage on the north end of the grounds and replacing it with an amphitheater, playground and new entrance to Laclede's Landing.

-Adding a garage on the south side, with the top used for an ice rink in the winter and a beer garden in the summer.

-Replacing many of the trees on the grounds to create more uniform walkways.

-Adding a cobblestone plaza between the Arch and the river for markets and events.

-Adding elevated walkways on the Illinois side, reaching 35 feet and winding through a new bird sanctuary. The sanctuary would be created by capturing East St. Louis storm water, forming an urban habitat for a diversity of birds.

-A lid over I-70 that would lead to a new western entrance and into an expanded museum below the Arch.

HERE is StLToday's gallery of the chosen design. In addition, check out this video...