In my novel, Rockin’ Into Romance, main character, Arianna Stefanoff, has moved with her family to a suburb of St. Louis, MO. The very atmosphere of the area is poles apart from Boston, where she had lived until their move.
I posted a previous blog post sharing a few fascinating facts about Boston. Here I’ll do the same for St. Louis. Every city in our country has its famous landmarks, and unique things for which it’s famous. Most people associate St. Louis with the Gateway Arch and the St Louis Cardinals baseball team. But let’s see what else the city is famous for.
1. The fur trade fueled the growth of this Mississippi River town which was the starting point for (1804) and end of (1806) Lewis & Clark’s monumental journey of discovery. There are more authentic Lewis & Clark historic sites in the St. Louis area than anywhere in the U.S.
2. The 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis popularized a number of new foods, including the hot dog,ice cream cone and iced tea.
3. The first ironclad boat built in America was constructed in St. Louis shipyards in 1861 for use by the Federal Navy during the Civil War. The vessel was designed by James Buchanan Eads, a self-taught engineer who later built the Eads Bridge
4. The Fox Theatre, built at the then-enormous cost of $6 million, opened in 1929 in St. Louis’ Grand Center Arts and Entertainment district. It was one of the first theatres built for “talkies,” with central air conditioning, passenger elevators and an elaborate Siamese-Byzantine interior. It now hosts touring Broadway shows and music and comedy concerts by top performers.
5. 18th U.S. President and Civil War hero Ulysses S. Grant spent many happy years living with his young family in St. Louis. Two of Grant’s homes are on view in South St. Louis County.
6. In 1927, a group of St. Louis businessmen gave financial backing to the first solo transatlantic flight from New York to Paris. The pilot was Charles Lindbergh and the plane was named “The Spirit of St. Louis.” A replica of the plane is located at the Missouri History Museum.
7. The Missouri Botanical Garden’s Climatron, built in 1960, was the world’s first climate-controlled geodesic dome designed as a greenhouse. Today, it houses a re-created rain forest filled with plants and uses E-feron glass to help it use solar energy more efficiently. The Garden also houses the largest authentic Japanese garden in North America.
8. St. Louis is only second to our nation’s capital for the number of free attractions. Major cultural institutions including the St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Zoo, Missouri History Museum and the St. Louis Science Center are among the top attractions open with no general admission charge.
9. The current Busch Stadium was finished in 2006, just in time for the St. Louis Cardinals to win their 10th World Series title. The Cardinals, who moved into Busch Stadium in April, became the fourth team to win the Series in their home stadium’s debut season.
10. The city’s symbol, the stunning stainless steel Gateway Arch, opened in 1965 as a monument to Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase and St. Louis’ role in the opening of the American West. The official name of the Arch is the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Standing 630-feet-tall and spanning 630-feet-wide, the Arch is the country’s tallest man-made monument and is operated by the National Park Service.
There you go. Now you know ten facts about St. Louis that you may not have known before. Have you ever lived in St. Louis? Or near St. Louis? Have you been up in the arch? Have you attended a Cardinal’s game? I’d love to hear from you. Leave your comments below.
PS: Want to know more about Arianna’s story? How about a FREE download of Chapter 1? Check it our right HERE!