Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.
Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

St. Louis, Missouri, Gateway to the West, Part 3 - Tuesday, July 6, 2021

 [Continued from Part 2]

When we exited the museum at the Arch, we were refreshed from spending about an hour in air-conditioned comfort, and our tummies were satisfied after having lunch. Outside, it was hot and a bit humid. We stayed in the shade as we walked.

As we headed back downtown from Gateway Arch National Park, I spotted a small historical marker that looked like it had seen batter days. It's titled, "Battle of St. Louis: Fort San Carlos."  I have a photo of it, but it is hard to read. Here's what it says:

"In the late 18th century, the western world was at war. France and their ally Spain were at war with Britain and American colonists along the North Atlantic were fighting a bitter war for their independence. In 1780 The Revolution in the east migrated west to the small French-born, Spanish-owned trading post along the Mississippi River, Saint Louis.

"Fearing an attack from the English, Spanish officials began to build a series of stone towers, manned with weapons, along the banks of the Mississippi, facing east. The central tower, Fort San Carlos, was located near this spot.

"On May 26, 1780, the British with several hundred of their Native American allies, launched a massive attack on St. Louis.

"The small garrison of Spanish soldiers and the predominantly French inhabitants of the community were able to repulse the attack. By the end of the day, the British and their Native American allies retreated to the north. 

"The fort and Saint Louis survived."

This was the westernmost battle of the American Revolution.

Our next stop was St. Louis Ballpark Village, home of Cardinals Nation. The battle that was fought here circa 2005 was the controversy about tearing down Busch Stadium, which had been home to the Cardinals since 1966. But tear it down they did. Guess what the new stadium is called? New Busch Stadium. No, that wasn't a trick question.

I'm surprised it's not called
Budweiser Stadium!

St. Louis Ballpark Village.

Restaurants and bars to satisfy
Cardinals Nation.

Stan Musial.

New Busch Stadium.

Announcer Jack Buck.

Tribute to Jack Buck.


I enjoyed taking photos of the action-shot sculptures outside the stadium. They're awesome!

Rogers Hornsby connecting on a
home run swing.

Stan Musial's follow-through after
hitting one on the upper deck.

Osbourne "Ozzie" Smith, "The Wizard,"
known for his acrobatic fielding and 
artistic turning of double plays at shortstop.

A very angular building!

"The Protecting Eagle VI," 
by Olivier Stebelle (bronze),

Another unique modern building.

The Old Courthouse: Our "Sights and Historic Highlights" sheet that came with the walk has a great description of this building. (Original 1820s courthouse was expanded in 1839-1845) - The building sits on the site of the beginning of the first overland trail which led wagon trains on their westward journey. The cast-iron dome, designed by William Rumbold, replaced a smaller cupola 1860-1864. 

Slave auctions were held on the steps of the courthouse until 1861 when abolitionists obstructed potential buyers from attending sales. This is the site of the famous Dred Scott trials, events that influenced the start of the Civil War. Scott and his wife sued for freedom based on "free status" they had been granted while living with their owner/employer for a time in free territory. Upon return to Missouri, a slave state, with their former owner, they were again classified as slaves. 

The Scotts brought suit in 1846 for their freedom, claiming that their free status could not be revoked. A verdict in their favor was handed down by a lower court, this was overturned by the Missouri Supreme court; the Missouri Supreme Court decision was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1857. [Grr! The growl is mine.]

The Old Courthouse - site of the
Dred Scott trials.

Across North Broadway from The Old Courthouse is Kiener Plaza Park. This park is THE place to take photos of The Old Courthouse framed by the Gateway Arch. I had so much fun with photography here. Everybody got way ahead of me. Then I received a phone call which took a bit longer. When I turned around, everyone was gone. I couldn't see them anywhere. Then, DeAnne came back looking for me. She got a good shot of me coming out of the park.

"The Runner" sculpture/fountain, The Old
Courthouse, and the Gateway Arch.

My favorite photo.
Me coming out of Kiener
Plaza Park. [Photo Credit:
DeAnne Brown.]

The CityGarden Sculpture Park was fun. When we first walked into the park, we thought we heard beautiful wind chimes. It turns out, there is a low walled-off area where some people were making music that sounded like wind chimes by stepping on something on the ground. I didn't go over to investigate, but DeAnne did. 

Bob got inside someone's head and then he zipped up the landscape! Talented guy!
Bob really got inside someone's head!
He sees the world through new eyes.

How about that lawn zipper?


Okay, interesting.

The White Rabbit.

The neo-classical Civil Courts Building below was completed in 1929. It is 13 floors above ground. It is intended to resemble the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World). Some of the design elements they kept include the Ionic colonnade and the Egyptian Revival stepped pyramid at the top of the building.

Civil Courts Building

Close-up of the Ionic colonnades.

The Civil Courts Building is topped by two chrome sphinxes back to back, each bearing a fleur-de-lis on its chest.

One of the chrome sphinxes.

We also passed by the United States Court House and Custom House. I took some cool photos of a planter, too, but I can't remember which building it was near. The Court and Custom House was built from 1933-1935 using U.S. Treasury Department Funds. The building has 1/2 Egyptian-style columns in a giant order covering five floors. Eagles in an ancient Assyrian manner are on the corners.

United States Court House and 
Custom House.

Eagles in an ancient Assyrian manner
are on the corners of the Custom House.

Quite the unique planter stand!

A ram's head (looks like copper).

A large sculpture in front of
the Custom House.

United States Court House
and Custom House.

Below is the Thomas F. Eagleton Federal Courthouse. This 29-story, 1,037,000 square foot addition to the St. Louis skyline is the second tallest court/judicial building in the world. Only the Richard J. Daily Center in Chicago is taller. The unique architecture is considered a prototype for all future federal court buildings. The stainless-steel domed roof complements The Arch by repeating the same curve as that of the Arch.

Thomas F. Eagleton Federal Courthouse
with the jail in the foreground.

We passed by City Hall again.

A statue of Grant, I believe?

Pierre Laclede Liguest statue.

More awesome eagles!

Pretty archway at the entrance to 
a parking lot.

This building is painted to fool your eyes
(trompe l'oeil).

The Enterprise Center is where the 
St. Louis Blues NHL hockey team plays.

Bob and Gordon waiting
for me again.

We finally made it back to Union Station Train Shed Entertainment Area. This place really has it going on! There's a new aquarium, a carousel, the St. Louis Wheel Ferris wheel, mini-golf, and a pond with a light, music, and fire show. There's also a Landry's Seafood Restaurant, and St. Louis Station Soda Fountain. 

St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station.

St. Louis Soda Fountain at Union Station.

Ice cream was sounding pretty good right about now. We walked up to the entrance of the St. Louis Union Station Soda Fountain thinking we would go to the ice cream counter and get ice cream cones. Not so fast Buck-o. We were stopped at the door by a hostess. In order to get ice cream, we had to get a table. The wait was an hour and ten minutes. Umm...no! We left and decided to look for ice cream elsewhere. The hostess told us there wasn't anywhere else to get ice cream nearby. 

DeAnne and I took a ride on the carousel. I get on them whenever I can! That was fun. The guys just sat there, watched us, and took photos. DeAnne and I took photos of each other up close and personal. 

Me and DeAnne. [Photo by 
Bob Alton.]

DeAnne. [Photo by Susan Alton.]

My ride. [Photo by Bob Alton.]

My close-up. [Photo by
DeAnne Brown.]
St. Louis Wheel cars.

St. Louis Wheel
The bar in St. Louis Union Station -
in the evening you can watch a laser
light show in the ceiling from here.

Gorgeous decorations high up in the 
barrel roof.

Painting (or photograph?) behind the 
Union Station check-in desk.

A seating area in the Union Station 
Market. Note: This is where we found
ice cream. A drumstick was $8.00!!

Lovely Tiffany glass windows representing
the eastern, central, and western 
railroad terminals.

There is a unique feature on the second floor of the Union Station Hotel, right at the top of the stairs. It is called a Whispering Arch. DeAnne pointed it out to us. She told me to stand on one side of the arch and had Bob stand on the other side. Then she had Bob whisper to me from across the room. I could hear everything he said. The sound was transported across the arch!

The Whispering Arch immortalized.

St. Louis Union Station Hotel.

A planter with lions on it

St. Louis Union Station Hotel -
Hilton Curio Collection.

This says "Terminal Hotel, St. Louis
Union Station."

And with that, we all walked back to the start point, hopped in our cars, and headed home. All of us were exhausted from a 15k walk, the heat, and the seven hours it took to see all that. (And wait for me to take photos. Thanks, guys!)

I think everyone took a nap when they got home. It was a great day and we learned so much about St. Louis. I certainly didn't expect to be so immersed in the Westward Expansion, Lewis & Clark, the Dred Scott trial, and so much cool architecture. This city is definitely worth a return visit. 

Thanks for sticking around to read all that. Whew! I am drained and it is bedtime. I'll be picking up my walking partner at 5:45 a.m. tomorrow to walk before it gets too hot in San Antonio.

Good night, all.


  1. You did a stupendous job, researching history to the smallest detail and cleverly writing about all of it. I so very much appreciate your blog and Gordon and I enjoyed your visit very, very much. Please come back again. We have Forest Park, you know!

    1. Well, that's a great comment. Thank you. I love to research things, especially the details of architecture. Buildings in the past have so much detail and so many unique pieces of art. In some cases, even the brickwork is amazing. You can bet we'll be back. Next time, we'll stay longer! I'm sure your tourism department would love to hear that. LOL.


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