Not much is happening down along the Levee anymore. There are so many streets blocked off or closed permanently, as in the case of Washington Avenue, removed in the recent Arch renovations, that it is increasingly difficult to impossible to even reach the riverfront. But it is worth it to see the Eads Bridge and MLK Bridge up close. By the way, I finally looked up who Leonor K. Sullivan is and it turns out she’s a really interesting woman; read about her here.
I discovered from a Google Maps search that this sculpture below is part of a pocket park in the process of being constructed. Read about it here (scroll down; you’ll see it); the park is under the MLK Bridge so it’s taking up space that wouldn’t be allowed for buildings anyway.
This street is now just completely blocked off. Again, another link to the riverfront is closed. Is it any surprise that with so many streets closed, that the riverfront is now a locus for trouble on the weekends at night? Isolation is breeding grounds for troublemakers. To the north, of course, is the abandoned pavilion for the old casino on the Admiral.
Walking up Lucas Avenue, the view of the buildings along First Street open because there is nothing but vacant lots between us. There used to be buildings here as late as at least the 1960s. What happaned?
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A city that can’t support it’s legacy is no city at all. The levee has been ignored for untold decades. It used to be hard enough to reach the area and now they have made it next to impossible. The Jefferson Memorial and Arch grounds were unfortunately designed with the modernist notion that complete emptiness is a virtue. It never really connected itself with the very spot it is supposed to be celebrating. When you have so much unimaginative and clueless leadership in the region, and architects who only believe in their own ego, you end up with a dead city.
Anyone who is surprised the Arch Grounds is dead and largely devoid of people after the tourists have visited for the day should not be in charge of public policy. As I noted in my visit to the Louvre, you have to build public space that people actually care about.