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Thursday, April 19, 2007

When Have You Been to Laclede's Landing?

Walking to Laclede's Landing today on business, I wondered when exactly was the last time that I was there to do anything other than photograph a building or lead a tour group. I was drawing a blank until I remembered an art opening there recently and shows at the shuttered Missisippi Nights, the one venue that seemed to bring any locals not looking for straight-ahead drinking to the Landing.

I'm sure that others have similar difficulty remembering when they have been to Laclede's Landing. The disconnect between the charming, historic and architecturally splendid district and the rest of downtown is huge, and not simply physical. The longer that disconnect perpetuates, the more missed opportunities for the city to celebrate its waterfront heritage and the related great architecture.

In many cities, this would be a premiere residential district. The proximity to the river and the iconic Gateway Arch create commanding views that -- unlike most here -- include the Mississippi River. How much more unique character could one find here? Laclede's Landing is a cultural asset whose fortunes seem lost -- for now.

4 comments:

stlmark said...

Amen, you nailed it on the head. Is there still a wax museum with the Pope in the front window down there?

Anonymous said...

From the outside looking in one would have to conclude that this was a simple mistake by city leaders. From the inside we all know that this strategy of isolating neighborhoods is common throughout the StL region. Highways come first!

Anonymous said...

I was there for a blues festival last year. We saw the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

It was hot and sultry. Great blues weather. It was at night, and there were stages set up in mutliple areas.

I bumped into some friends, including a fellow performing who was onstage at the event.

The main stage was awesome. It was in a well defined area, about 1-2 acres in sixe, surrounded by a multi-story parking garage on the south side, a tall brick wall on the west side, buildings on the north side, and an elevated train track on the east side, directly above the stage.

The blues performers were framed by working freight trains, and about every 20 minutes, another slow moving freight train would pass by right in the middle of a musical number.

It was a phenomenally authentic setting.

www.tobyweiss.com said...

Last time on the Landing... December 1st, 2006 to see the New York Dolls at Mississippi Nights. Susbtitute bands names and dates, and for the past 10 years, Mississippi Nights was the only reason I went there. The Nights is gone, and so am I from the Landing.