St. Louis, Missouri

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This article is about the independent city. For for other uses of the name St. Louis, see Saint Louis.
St. Louis, Missouri
Image:Flag of St. Louis, Missouri.png
Image:Stl cityseal.jpg
Flag Seal
Nickname: "Gateway City, Gateway to the West, or Mound City"
Location in the state of Missouri
Coordinates: 38°38′53″N, 90°12′44″W
Country United States
State Missouri
County Independent City
Mayor Francis G. Slay (D)
 - City 66.2 mi² - 171.3 km²
 - Land 61.9 mi² - 160.4 km²
 - Water 4.2 mi² - 11.0 km²
Elevation 141.7 m
 - City (2005) 352,572
 - Density 5,695.8/mi² - 2,198.1/km²
 - Metro 2,786,728
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)

The City of St. Louis (en. IPA: [seɪntˈ luːɪs] fr. [sɛ̃ lwi] ), is an independent city completly surrounded by St. Louis county on the west, and the Mississippi river on the east, in the U.S. state of Missouri. Sometimes written Saint Louis the city, named after Louis IX of France, is adjacent to but not part of St. Louis County, Missouri, thus giving it an almost-unique situation similar to Baltimore, Maryland in comparison to other metropolitan areas. This separation between the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County skews the statistics, especially when St. Louis news events are reported in the media.

St. Louis is known for its long standing French and German heritage and Victorian past. While St. Louis has embraced its deep roots as the Gateway to the West, it also has modernized into a globally known contributor in the health care and scientific research fields. The St. Louis renaissance can be attributed to large scale construction and renovation efforts seen throughout the city in conjunction with corporate support and strong civic organizational efforts. St. Louis has seen its population increase as a direct result of the committed efforts of St. Louisans to return their city to the grand international status it was once known for dating back to the 1904 World's Fair and first Olympic Games ever held in the United States.

The city has several common nicknames, including the "Gateway City", "Gateway to the West", and "Mound City". It is called "Gateway to the West" because of the many people who moved west starting near St Louis; first, because the lower Missouri River was the first leg of the Oregon Trail, and later, because of wagon trails. The Mound City name originated with the Native American burial mounds that once were common in the city. These were removed to fill sink holes filled with stagnant water that were thought to be a source of Cholera. The city is also sometimes called "St. Louie", or "River City". Alternatively, many young people who live in St. Louis have begun to call it "The Lou". Another popular synonym for St. Louis is "STL" in reference to the airport code for the city (STL) and a long-standing use of an interlocked S, T, and L by the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. The City of St. Louis lies in the heart of Greater St. Louis, which includes counties in the states of Missouri and Illinois. It is the largest metropolis in Missouri and the 18th largest metropolis in the United States. The population of Metro St. Louis as of 2005 is approximately 2,786,728 according to the US census bureau.


[edit] History

Prior to the arrival of French explorers in 1673 the area that would become St. Louis was a major center of the Mississippian mound builders. The presence of numerous mounds, now almost all destroyed, earned the later city the nickname of "Mound City."

[edit] City founding and early history

European exploration of the area had begun nearly a century before the city was founded. Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette, both French, traveled through the Mississippi River valley in 1673, and five years later, La Salle claimed the entire valley for France. He called it "Louisiana" after King Louis XIV; the French also called their region "Illinois Country." In 1699, a settlement was established across the river from what is now St. Louis, at Cahokia. Other early settlements were downriver at Kaskaskia, Prairie du Pont, Fort de Chartres, and Sainte Genevieve. In 1703, Catholic priests established a small mission at what is now St. Louis. The mission was later moved across the Mississippi, but the small river at the site (now a drainage channel near the southern boundary of the City of St. Louis) still bears the name "River Des Peres" (River of the Fathers).

In 1763, Pierre Laclède, his 13-year-old "stepson" Auguste Chouteau, and a small band of men traveled up the Mississippi from New Orleans. In November, they landed a few miles downstream of the river's confluence with the Missouri River at a site where wooded limestone bluffs rose 40 feet above the river. The men returned to Fort de Chartres for the winter, but in February, Laclede sent Chouteau and 30 men to begin construction. The settlement was established on February 15, 1764.

The settlement began to grow quickly after word arrived that the 1763 Treaty of Paris had given England all the land east of the Mississippi. Frenchmen who had settled to the river's east moved across the water to "Laclede's Village." Other early settlements were established nearby at Saint Charles, Carondelet (now a part of the city of St. Louis), Fleurissant (renamed Saint Ferdinand under the Spaniards and now Florissant), and Portage des Sioux. In 1765, St. Louis was made the capital of Upper Louisiana.

Apotheosis of Saint Louis, a bronze statue of the city's namesake on horseback, was widely used as a symbol of the city before construction of the Arch.

From 1766 to 1768, St. Louis was governed by the French lieutenant governor, Louis Saint Ange de Bellerive, who was not appointed by French or Spanish authorities, but by the leading residents of St. Louis. After 1768, St. Louis was governed by a series of governors appointed by Spanish authorities, whose administration continued even after Louisiana was secretly returned to France in 1800 by the Treaty of San Ildefonso. The town's population was then about a thousand. During the period when commandants appointed by Spanish authorities governed St. Louis, meetings of leading residents were also held from time to time, and "syndics" were sometimes elected to carry out certain governmental tasks.

St. Louis was acquired from France by the United States under President Thomas Jefferson in 1803, as part of the Louisiana Purchase. The transfer of power from Spain was made official in a ceremony called "Three Flags Day." On March 8 1804, the Spanish flag was lowered and the French one raised. On March 10, the French flag was replaced by the United States flag. French continued, along with English, to be one of the major spoken and written languages in St. Louis until the 1820s.

[edit] 19th century expansion and growth

St. Louis first became legally incorporated as a town on November 9, 1809, though it elected its first municipal legislators (called trustees) in 1808.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition left the St. Louis area in May 1804, reached the Pacific Ocean in the summer of 1805, and returned on 23 September 1806. Both Lewis and Clark lived in St. Louis after the expedition. Many other explorers, settlers, and trappers (such as Ashley's Hundred) would later take a similar route to the West. Missouri became a state in 1820. St. Louis was incorporated as a city on December 9 1822. A U.S. arsenal was constructed at St. Louis in 1827.

The steamboat era began in St. Louis on July 27 1817, with the arrival of the Zebulon M. Pike. Rapids north of the city made St. Louis the northernmost navigable port for many large boats, and Pike and her sisters soon transformed St. Louis into a bustling boom town, commercial center, and inland port. By the 1850s, St. Louis had become the largest U.S. city west of Pittsburgh, and the second-largest port in the country, with a commercial tonnage exceeded only by New York.

Immigrants flooded into St. Louis after 1840, particularly from Germany, Bohemia, Italy and Ireland, the latter driven by an Old World potato famine. The population of St. Louis grew from fewer than 20,000 in 1840, to 77,860 in 1850, to just over 160,000 by 1860.

Two disasters occurred in 1849: a cholera epidemic killed nearly one-tenth of the population, and a fire destroyed numerous steamboats and a large portion of the city. These disasters led to political action: old cemeteries were removed to the outskirts of the town; sinkholes were filled and swamps drained; water and sewer public utilities started; and a new building code required structures to be built of stone or brick.

In the first half of the 19th century, a second channel developed in the Mississippi River at St. Louis. An island ("Bloody Island") formed between the two channels, and a smaller island ("Duncan's Island") developed below St. Louis. It was feared that the levee at St. Louis might be left high and dry, and federal assistance was sought and obtained. Under the supervision of Robert E. Lee, levees were constructed on the Illinois side to direct water toward the Missouri side and eliminate the second channel. Bloody Island was joined to the land on the Illinois side, and Duncan's Island was washed away.

Militarily, the Civil War (1861-1865) barely touched St. Louis; the area saw only a few skirmishes in which Union forces prevailed. But the war shut down trade with the South, devastating the city's economy. Missouri was nominally a slave state, but its economy did not depend on slavery, and it never seceded from the Union. The arsenal at St. Louis was used during the war to construct ironclad ships for the Union.

[edit] St. Louis during the Gilded Age

On July 4, 1876 the City of St. Louis voted to secede from St. Louis County and become an independent city. At that time the County was primarily rural and sparsely populated, and the fast-growing City did not want to spend their tax dollars on infrastructure and services for the inefficient county. The move also allowed some in St. Louis government to increase their political power.

"The City of St. Louis has affected me more deeply than any other environment has ever done, I consider myself fortunate to have been born here, rather than in Boston, or New York, or London."
T. S. Eliot on St. Louis

As St. Louis grew and prospered during the late 19th and early 20th Century, the city produced a number of notable people in the fields of business and literature. The Ralston-Purina company (headed by the Danforth Family) was headquartered in the city, and Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest brewery, remains a fixture of the city's economy. The City was home to both International Shoe and the Brown Shoe Company. Notable residents in the field of literature included poets Sara Teasdale and Marianne Moore, T. S. Eliot, William Burroughs, and Kate Chopin as well as playwright Tennessee Williams.

St. Louis is one of several cities that claims to have the world's first skyscraper. The Wainwright Building, a 10-story structure designed by Louis Sullivan and built in 1892, still stands at Chestnut and Seventh Streets and is today used by the State of Missouri as a government office building.

Nikola Tesla made the first public demonstration of radio communication here in 1893. Addressing the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the National Electric Light Association, he described and demonstrated in detail the principles of radio communication. The apparatus that he used contained all the elements that were incorporated into radio systems before the development of the vacuum tube.

In 1896, one of the deadliest and most destructive tornadoes in U.S. history struck St. Louis and East St. Louis. The confirmed death toll is 255, with some estimates above 400, and injuries over 1,000. It left a mile wide continuous swath of destroyed homes, factories, mills, saloons, hospitals, schools, parks, churches, and railroad yards. Damages adjusted for inflation (1997 USD) make it the costliest tornado in U.S. history at an estimated $2.9 billion. Several other tornadoes have hit the city making it the worst tornado afflicted large city in the U.S.; with the most deadly and destructive occurring in 1871 (9 killed), 1890 (4 killed), 1904 (3 killed, 100 injured), 1927 (79 killed, 550 injured), and 1959 (21 killed, 345 injured).

By the time of the 1900 census, St. Louis was the fourth largest city in the country [1]. In 1904, the city hosted a World's Fair and the Olympic Games, making the United States the first English-speaking country to host the Olympics. Citizens of St. Louis still look back fondly on the events of 1904; there were several events held in 2004 to commemorate the centennial.

[edit] 20th century

St. Louis had developed a lively immigrant gang culture by the early 20th century, leading up to much bootlegging activity and gang violence. One gang leader, from an Irish part of the city referred to as "Kerry Patch" (now almost entirely non-Irish-populated, the area is now part of the Old North St. Louis neighborhood) was named "Jelly Roll" Hogan. Hogan's gang is mentioned in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie. In the 1920's there were shoot outs on Lindell Boulevard between Hogan's Gang and the gang known as Egan's Rats. A Priest was brought in to broker peace between the gangs in 1923, but this truce only lasted a few months before two more people were killed in a public shoot out. In 1924, Egan's Rats made off with $2.4 million in bonds from a mail truck. Hogan during this time was a state representative. He was elected in 1916, eventually became a state senator, and spent forty years in elected office.

Though St. Louis did not segregate people, for example, on street cars, there was still serious discrimination against African-Americans. During World War II, the NAACP successfully campaigned, through protests and picket lines, to get the Federal government to stop keeping African-Americans from working in war plants. Some 16,000 jobs were gained in this way. White southerners no longer had to be brought to St. Louis to do the work.

In 1942 sit-ins were held in protest of the downtown department stores -- Scruggs, Vandervoorts and Barney; Stix, Baer and Fuller; and Famous-Barr -- refusing to serve African-Americans. This is the first time the tactic of a sit-in at an eating establishment was used.

In 1960 Theodore McNeal, the first African-American state senator[citation needed], was elected. Interestingly enough, it was "Jelly Roll" Hogan who he defeated in the election. White voters overwhelming voted for McNeal.[citation needed]
Aerial of the St. Louis skyline from above

St. Louis experienced major expansion in the early 20th century due to the formation of many industrial companies. The city reached its peak population at the 1950 census, reflecting a national housing shortage after World War II. The continued trend of suburban development and highway construction shifted the population into the St. Louis County suburbs over the next several decades. While the overall population of the St. Louis MSA has always been growing, the St. Louis city population, as discussed below, is increasing once again.

[edit] Recent developments

Washington Avenue Loft District

Recently, there has been a significant upturn in construction in Downtown St. Louis. The Bottle District, an entertainment district named after a large Vess soda bottle that stands near Interstate 70, will open in spring 2007 and will be located in an area just north of the Edward Jones Dome. The St. Louis Cardinals' new Busch Stadium opened in 2006. Ballpark Village will be built where the former Busch Stadium stood. For several years, the Washington Avenue Loft District has been gentrifying with an expanding corridor along Washington Avenue from the Edwards Jones Dome westward almost two dozen blocks. Rehabilitation of other downtown areas is planned, such as around the Old Post Office, Cupples warehouses and St. Louis Centre. The Forest Park Southeast neighborhood near the Missouri Botanical Garden and the old Gaslight Square district are also going through extensive renovations. In 2005 the US census bureau reported St. Louis had a net population gain of 4,383 the first the city has had since 1950.

[edit] Geography

[edit] Topography

A simulated-color satellite image of the St. Louis area taken on NASA's Landsat 4.

According to the United States Census Bureau, St. Louis has a total area of 171.3 km² (66.2 mi²). 160.4 km² (61.9 mi²) of it is land and 11.0 km² (4.2 mi² or 6.39%) of it is water. The city is built primarily on bluffs and terraces that rise 100-200 feet above the western banks of the Mississippi River, just south of the Missouri-Mississippi confluence. Much of the area is a fertile and gently rolling prairie that features low hills and broad, shallow valleys. Both the Mississippi River and the Missouri River have cut large valleys with wide flood plains.

Limestone and dolomite of the Mississippian epoch underlies the area and much of the city is a karst area, with numerous sinkholes and caves, although most of the caves have been sealed shut; many springs are visble along the riverfront. Significant deposits of coal, brick clay, and millerite ore were once mined in the city, and the predominant surface rock, the St. Louis Limestone, is used as dimension stone and rubble for construction.

Image:St Louis Rivers.png
The Rivers around St. Louis

The St. Louis Geologic fault is exposed along the bluffs and was the source of several historic minor earthquakes; it is part of the St. Louis Anticline which has some petroleum and natural gas deposits outside of the city. St. Louis is also just north of the New Madrid Seismic Zone which in 1811-12 produced a series of earthquakes that are the largest known in the contiguous United States. Seismologists estimate 90% probability of a magnitude 6.0 earthquake by 2040 and 7-10% probability of a magnitude 8.0 [2], such tremors could create significant damage across a large region of the central U.S. including St. Louis.

Near the southern boundary of the City of St. Louis (separating it from St. Louis County) is the River des Peres, virtually the only river or stream within the city limits that is not entirely underground. Most of River des Peres was either channelized or put underground in the 1920s and early 1930s. The lower section of the river was the site of some of the worst flooding of the Great Flood of 1993.

Near the central, western boundary of the city is Forest Park, site of the 1904 World's fair, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904, and the 1904 Summer Olympics, the first Olympic Games held in North America. At the time, St. Louis was the fourth most populous city in the United States.

The Missouri River forms the northern border of St. Louis County, exclusive of a few areas where the river has changed its course. The Meramec River forms most of its southern border. To the east is the City and the Mississippi River.

[edit] Climate

St. Louis has a humid continental climate, and has neither large mountains nor large bodies of water to moderate its temperature. The area is affected by both cold Canadian arctic air, and also hot, humid tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico. The city has four distinct seasons. The average annual temperature for the years 1971-2000, recorded at nearby Lambert-Saint Louis International Airport, is 56.3 °F (13.5 °C), and average precipitation is 38.75 inches (980 mm). The normal high temperature in July is 90 °F (32 °C), and the normal low temperature in January is 21 °F (−6 °C), although these values are exceeded at times. Temperatures of 100 °F (38 °C) or more occur no more than five days per year, while temperatures of 0 °F (-17.8 °C) or below occur 2 or 3 days per year on average. The official all-time record low is -22 °F (-30.0 °C) and the record high is 115 °F (46.1 °C).

Winter is the driest season, averaging about 6 inches of total precipitation. Springtime, March through May, is typically the wettest season, with just under 10.5 inches. Dry spells of one or two weeks duration are common during the growing seasons.

St. Louis usually experiences Thunderstorms between 20 and 30 days per year. Especially in the spring, these storms can often be severe, with high winds, large hail and tornadoes. St. Louis is located within America's Tornado Alley, and has been affected on more than one occasion by particularly damaging tornadoes. Other occasional weather events include snowstorms and ice storms.

A period of warm weather late in autumn known as Indian summer can occur – roses will still be in bloom as late as November or early December in some years.

Month <ref>St. Louis, Missouri - Summary (2006). Weatherbase.</ref> Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg high °F (°C) 39 (3) 44 (6) 54 (12) 67 (19) 76 (24) 85 (29) 89 (31) 87 (30) 80 (26) 69 (20) 54 (12) 43 (14) 66 (18)
Avg low °F (°C) 21 (−6) 25 (−3) 34 (1) 46 (7) 55 (12) 65 (18) 69 (20) 67 (19) 59 (15) 48 (8) 36 (2) 26 (−3) 46 (7)
Rainfall in. (mm) 2 (51) 2.1 (53) 3.3 (84) 3.6 (91) 3.9 (99) 3.8 (97) 3.8 (97) 3 (84) 3 (84) 2.8 (71) 3.1 (79) 2.6 (66) 37.1 (942)

[edit] Flora and fauna

Before the founding of the city, the area was prairie and open forest maintained by burning by Native Americans. Trees are mainly oak, maple, and hickory, similar to the forests of the nearby Ozarks; common understory trees include Eastern Redbud, Serviceberry, and Flowering Dogwood. Riparian areas are forested with mainly American sycamore. Most of the residential area of the city is planted with large native shade trees. The largest native forest area is found in Forest Park. In Autumn, the changing color of the trees is notable. Most species here are typical of the Eastern Woodland, although numerous decorative non-native species are found; the most notable invasive species is Japanese honeysuckle, which is actively removed from some parks.

Large mammals found in the city include urbanized coyotes and occasionally a stray whitetail deer. Eastern Gray Squirrel, Cottontail rabbit, and other rodents are abundant, as well as the nocturnal and rarely seen Opossum. Large bird species are abundant in parks and include Canada goose, Mallard duck, as well as shorebirds, including the Great Egret and Great Blue Heron. Gulls are common along the Mississippi River; these species typically follow barge traffic. Winter populations of Bald Eagles are found by the Mississippi River around the Chain of Rocks Bridge. The city is on the Mississippi Flyway, used by migrating birds, and has a large variety of small bird species, common to the eastern U.S. The Eurasian Tree Sparrow, an introduced species, is limited in North America to the counties surrounding St. Louis. Tower Grove Park is a well-known birdwatching area in the city.

Frogs are commonly found in the springtime, especially after extensive wet periods. Common species include the American toad and species of chorus frogs, commonly called "spring peepers" that are found in nearly every pond. Some years have outbreaks of cicadas or ladybugs. Mosquitos and houseflies are common insect nuisances; because of this, windows are nearly universally fitted with screens, and "screened-in" porches are common in homes of the area. Populations of honeybees have sharply declined in recent years, and numerous species of pollinator insects have filled their ecological niche.

[edit] Metropolitan statistical area

The St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area is the largest Metropolitan Area in Missouri, and the 18th largest in the United States, and has an estimated total population of 2,786,728 as of July 1, 2005. This area includes Saint Louis County (1,004,666), the independent City of Saint Louis (352,572), the Missouri counties of Saint Charles (329,940), Jefferson (213,669), Franklin (99,090), Lincoln (47,727), Warren (28,764), and Washington (24,032), and the Illinois counties of Madison (264,309), Saint Clair (260,067), Macoupin (49,111), Clinton (36,095), Monroe (31,040), Jersey (22,456), Bond (18,027), and Calhoun (5,163).

[edit] Cityscape

Lafayette Square Homes

The city is divided into 79 neighborhoods. The divisions have no legal standing, although some neighborhood associations administer grants or hold veto power over historic-district development. Nevertheless, the social and political influence of neighborhood identity is profound. Some hold avenues of massive stone edifices built as palaces for heads of state visiting the 1904 World's Fair. Others offer tidy working-class bungalows or loft districts Many of them have successfully retained a remarkable camaraderie that is missing from many American towns today.

Among the best-known, architecturally significant, or well-visited neighborhoods are Downtown, Midtown, Benton Park, Carondelet, the Central West End, Clayton/Tamm (Dogtown), Dutchtown South, Forest Park Southeast, Grand Center, The Hill, Lafayette Square, LaSalle Park, Old North St. Louis, Compton Heights, Princeton Heights, Shaw (home to the Missouri Botanical Garden and named after the Garden's founder, Henry Shaw), Southwest Garden, Soulard (home of the second-largest Mardi Gras festival in the nation), Tower Grove East, Tower Grove South, Hortense Place (home to many grand mansions) and Wydown/Skinker.

[edit] Culture

[edit] Cuisine

[edit] Tourism

There are several museums and attractions in the city. The City Museum offers a variety of interesting exhibits, including several large caves and a huge outdoor playground. It also serves as a meeting point for St. Louis' young arts scene. The Eugene Field House, located in downtown St. Louis, is a museum dedicated to the distinguished children's author. The Missouri History Museum presents exhibits and programs on a variety of topics including the 1904 World's Fair, and a comprehensive exhibit on Lewis and Clark's voyage exploring the Louisiana Purchase.The Fox Theatre, originally one of many movie theatres along Grand Boulevard, is now a newly restored theatre featuring a Byzantine facade and Oriental decor. The Fox Theatre presents a Broadway Series in addition to concerts.

There are several notable churches in the city, including the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis New Cathedral), a large Roman Catholic cathedral designed in the Byzantine and Romanesque styles. The interior is decorated with lovely mosaics, the largest mosaic collection in the world. The Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (1834), also known as the "Old Cathedral," is the oldest Roman Catholic cathedral west of the Mississippi River. The Old Cathedral is located adjacent to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. The Memorial frequently called "the Arch" is arguably the city's best known landmark, as a well as a popular tourist site. This Memorial commemorates the acquisition and settlement, by the citizens of the United States of America, of all of the lands west of the Mississippi River that are part of the nation today. The Arch, and the entire 91 acres of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial park, occupy the exact location of the original French village of St. Louis (1764-1804). No buildings from that era exist.

Image:A02 6003 427x640.JPG
View of the Arch from the Old Cathedral.

The Hill is an historically Italian neighborhood where many of the area's best Italian restaurants can be found. The Hill was the home of Yogi Berra and many other noted baseball players. The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame and St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum is also located near Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis.

Laclede's Landing, located on the Mississippi Riverfront directly north of the historic Eads Bridge, is popular for its restaurants and nightclubs. St. Louis also possesses several distinct examples of 18th and 19th century architecture, such as the Soulard Market district (1779-1842), the Chatillon-de Menil House (1848), the Bellefontaine Cemetery (1850), the Robert G. Campbell House (1852), the Old Courthouse (1845-62), the original Anheuser-Busch Brewery (1860), and two of Louis Sullivan's early skyscrapers, the Wainwright Building (1890-91) and the Union Trust Building.

The Lemp Mansion, home of the fated Lemp family which had multiple suicides, is considered one of the most haunted places in the nation.

There are also several notable museums in surrounding cities. The Delmar Loop, in University City, just west of the St. Louis city line, is a popular entertainment, cultural and restaurant district. The Butterfly House is located in western St. Louis County.

The Museum of Transportation is in Kirkwood, a suburb in southwestern St. Louis County. Many large steam locomotives, classic cars, and even a boat are some of the spectacles.

Six Flags St. Louis, known as "Six Flags over Mid-America" when it opened in 1971, is an amusement park in Eureka, Missouri, in far west St. Louis County. It is one of the original Six Flags.

Saint Charles is the seat of St. Charles County and first capital of the state of Missouri.

Cahokia Mounds, located 8 miles east of St. Louis near Collinsville, Illinois, holds the ruins of a city of the ancient Mississippian aboriginal culture. Similar mounds within St. Louis, used as construction fill in the 1800s, gave the city one of its nicknames, "Mound City".

Magic House, a children's hands-on exploration museum, and Worldways Children's Museum, an international children's cultural museum, are both in Kirkwood.

[edit] Performing arts

St. Louis is the home of the world-renowned Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra which was founded in St. Louis in 1880--the second oldest orchestra in the nation--and which has over the years been honored with six Grammy Awards and fifty-six nominations. Historic Powell Symphony Hall on North Grand Boulevard has been the permanent home of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra since 1968. Leonard Slatkin has served as one of the more prominent of the orchestra's previous conductors (presently he conducts the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC), followed by the late Hans Vonk. The current Music Director of the Orchestra is David Robertson.

The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is an annual summer festival of opera performed in English, originally co-founded by Richard Gaddes in 1968 (he is now the director of the Santa Fe Opera). Union Avenue Opera Theatre, formed in the early 1990s, is a smaller but thriving company that performs opera in the original languages.

Other local classical music groups of note are the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus and the Arianna String Quartet, the resident quartet at the University of Missouri-Saint Louis.

The Blanche M. Touhill performing arts center, is located on the Uniersity of Missouri-Saint Louis campus and is used for many concerts and performances. The state-of-the art contemporary facility opened in 2003.

St. Louis has long been associated with great ragtime, jazz and blues music. Early rock and roll singer/guitarist Chuck Berry is a native St. Louisan and continues to perform there several times a year at Blueberry Hill. Soul music artists Ike Turner and Tina Turner and jazz innovator Miles Davis began their careers in nearby East St. Louis, Illinois. St. Louis has also been a popular stop along the infamous Chitlin Circuit.

Popular Music and entertainment in St. Louis peaked in the 1960s due to the popularity of Gaslight Square, a thriving local nightclub district that attracted nationally known musicians and performers. This area was all but extinct by the early 1970s and today is the site of a new housing development.

In the 1990s, the metro area produced several prominent alt-country artists, including Uncle Tupelo — a Belleville, Illinois trio often considered the originators of the style, whose members went on to found Wilco and Son Volt in 1994 — and The Bottle Rockets. More recently, the rise of Nelly, The Saint Lunatics, Flame (of Cross Movement Records) Murphy Lee, Chingy, J-Kwon, Ebony Eyez, Jibbs, and other musicians have made it one of the centers of rap and hip-hop, often mentioned side-by-side with New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Detroit.

[edit] Parks and outdoor attractions

Image:Forest PK bridge.jpg
Old footbridge in Forest Park.
The city operates 105 parks that serve as gathering spots for neighbors to meet, and contains playgrounds, areas for summer concerts, picnics, baseball games, tennis courts, and lakes.

Forest Park, located on the western edge of the central corridor of the City of St. Louis, is one of the largest urban parks in the world, outsizing Central Park in New York City by 500 acres. It offers many of St. Louis' most popular attractions: the Saint Louis Zoological Park, the Municipal Theatre (also known as, The Muny, the largest and oldest outdoor musical theatre in the United States), the St. Louis Science Center (with its architecturally distinctive McDonnell Planetarium), the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, several lakes, and scenic, open areas. Forest Park completed a multimillion dollar renovation in 2004 for the centennial of the St. Louis World's Fair. The Zoo, Art Museum, and Science Center are all world-class institutions. The Zoo-Museum Tax District provides them operating funds, so general admission to them, as well as to the History Museum, is free.

The Missouri Botanical Garden, also known as Shaw's Garden, is one of the world's leading botanical research centers. It possesses a beautiful collection of flowering plants, shrubs, and trees, and includes the Japanese Garden, which features a lake filled with koi and gravel designs; the woodsy English Garden; the Home Gardening Center; a rose garden; the Climatron; a children's garden and playground; and many other scenic gardens. Immediately south of the Missouri Botanical Garden is Tower Grove Park, a gift to the City by Henry Shaw.

The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is a 90.96 acre national park located on the downtown riverfront where the city was first founded in 1764, and commemorates the westward growth of the United States between 1803 and 1890. The centerpiece of the park is the stainless steel Gateway Arch, which is the most recognizable structure in the city. It was designed by noted architect Eero Saarinen and completed on October 28, 1965. At 630 feet (192 m), it is the tallest manmade monument in the United States. Located below the Arch is the Museum of Westward Expansion, which contains an extensive collection of artifacts and details the story of the thousands of people who lived in and settled the American West during the nineteenth century. Nearby and also part of the memorial is the historic Old Courthouse, one of the oldest standing buildings in St. Louis. Begun in 1839, it was here that the first two trials of the Dred Scott case were held in 1847 and 1850. This park is also the location of the annual July 4th festival, Fair Saint Louis.

[edit] Sports

<tr bgcolor="#ADADAD">
<td width="150px">Club</td>
<td width="120px" align="left">Sport</td>
<td width="270px" align="left">League</td>
<td width="180px" align="left">Venue</td>
<tr bgcolor="#ffffff'>
<td width="150px">St. Louis Cardinals</td>
<td width="120px" align="left">Major League Baseball</td>
<td width="270px" align="left">National League</td>
<td width="180px" align="left">Busch Stadium</td>

<tr bgcolor="#ffffff">

<td width="150px">St. Louis Rams</td>
<td width="120px" align="left">Football</td>
<td width="270px" align="left">National Football League : NFC</td>
<td width="180px" align="left">Edward Jones Dome</td>

<tr bgcolor="#ffffff">

<td width="150px">St. Louis Blues</td>
<td width="120px" align="left">Ice Hockey</td>
<td width="270px" align="left">National Hockey League</td>
<td width="180px" align="left">Scottrade Center</td>
<tr bgcolor="#ffffff">
<td width="150px">St. Louis Steamers</td>
<td width="120px" align="left">Soccer</td>
<td width="270px" align="left">Major Indoor Soccer League</td> <td width="180px" align="left">Scottrade Center</td>


<tr bgcolor="#ffffff">
<td width="150px">St. Louis Stunners</td>
<td width="120px" align="left">Basketball</td>
<td width="270px" align="left">American Basketball Association</td> <td width="180px" align="left">TBA</td>


<tr bgcolor="#ffffff">
<td width="150px">River City Rage</td>
<td width="120px" align="left">Arena Football</td>
<td width="270px" align="left">National Indoor Football League</td>
<td width="180px" align="left">Scottrade Center</td>
<tr bgcolor="#ffffff">
<td width="150px">St. Louis Aces</td>
<td width="120px" align="left">Tennis</td>
<td width="270px" align="left">World TeamTennis Pro League</td>
<td width="180px" align="left">Dwight Davis Memorial Tennis Center</td>


Enthusiastic and knowledgeable fans give the city a reputation as "a top-notch sports town" and "Baseball City USA." The Sporting News rated St. Louis the nation's "Best Sports City." The St. Louis Cardinals, one of the oldest franchises in Major League Baseball, have won 10 World Championships, second only to the New York Yankees.

Image:Busch Stadium June2006 2.jpg
A view of the new Busch Stadium from the top of the Gateway Arch.

The city of St. Louis has earned 13 professional sports championships. As mentioned earlier, the St. Louis Cardinals have won 10 World Series Championships with one of the championships played against the old cross-city rival the St. Louis Browns in 1944. The St. Louis Rams have won one Super Bowl Championship (Super Bowl XXXIV in January 2000), and the St. Louis Hawks (who later moved to Atlanta) gave the city its lone NBA Championship (1958). On top of that, the St. Louis Blues hold the record for most consecutive playoff appearances in all of sports with 26 straight. The Blues have also made 3 trips to the Stanley Cup Finals but have never won the championship.

St. Louis was also home to two prominent twentieth-century boxers, brothers Leon and Michael Spinks. The two are the only brothers in boxing history to have both captured the Heavyweight boxing title. Leon's son Cory Spinks has also held a world title.

St. Louis is notable as arguably the biggest hotbed of Soccer in the United States. The Saint Louis University soccer team is amongst the elite of NCAA soccer, and several American soccer stars, such as Taylor Twellman, Mike Sorber, and Pat Noonan hail from St. Louis. Despite soccer's popularity in the area, St. Louis is yet to gain a Major League Soccer franchise, but plans are currently in the works. Currently, the highest ranking soccer club in St. Louis is the St. Louis Steamers.

Professional Wrestling also has firm roots in St. Louis. Essentially, three men combined to make the Mound City not only the "Gateway to the West," but the unofficial capital of professional wrestling. The three men were Tom Packs, Sam Muchnick, and Lou Thesz. Wrestling at the Chase was a popular weekly event for hundreds of thousands of fans for several decades, both live and on television. St. Louis is also home to former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) World Champion and currently one of the sport's top performers, Randy Orton.

While high school sports are not as big in St. Louis as they are in such places as Texas, there are a large amount of well-known local rivalries: SLUH and CBC have played each other for over 75 years in many sports, the annual "Turkey Day Game" between Webster and Kirkwood draws 15,000 supporters, and high school soccer games are often well attended, drawing upwards of 5,000 people to the bigger games. Recently, a boom in high school hockey has occurred, mostly among students drawn to the sport's freewheeling atmosphere.

In 2006, the College Cup will be played at Hermann Stadium on the campus of Saint Louis University.

The Scottrade Center will host the 2007 Frozen Four college ice hockey tournament on April 5 and April 7, 2007. The Scottrade Center also hosts the annual "Braggin' Rights" game, a men's college basketball rivalry game between the universities of Illinois and Missouri. St. Louis is roughly equidistant from the two campuses.

In March 2005, the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis hosted the final two rounds of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, also known as the Final Four. In April 2009, the Edward Jones Dome will host the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship Final Four.

Gateway International Raceway hosts NHRA Drag Racing and NASCAR racing events 5 miles east of the city in Madison, Illinois.

There are also several minor league teams in the area. The Gateway Grizzlies (Minor League Baseball) of the Frontier League, which plays at GCS Ballpark across the river in Sauget, Illinois. The River City Rascals (Minor League Baseball) also of the Frontier League, play at T.R. Hughes Stadium in nearby O'Fallon, Missouri. The Missouri River Otters (United Hockey League) play at Family Arena in St. Charles, Missouri. The River City Rage are an Arena Football team that play in the National Indoor Football League at Family Arena. The St. Louis Flight are a basketball team that play in the newly reincarnated American Basketball Association, also at Family Arena.

St. Louis is also one of the few cities in the country that plays host to local Corkball leagues. Corkball is a "mini-baseball" game featuring a 1.6 oz. ball and bat with a barrel that measures just 1.5". Corkball is St. Louis' classic baseball game. Originally played on the streets and alleys of St. Louis in the early 1900s, today the game has leagues formed around the country as a result of St. Louis servicemen introducing the game to their buddies during World War II and the Korean conflict. It has many of the features of baseball, yet can be played in a very small area because there is no base-running.

Nearby Town and Country is home to the Bellerive Country Club, which has hosted several golf major championships.

[edit] Media

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the region's major daily newspaper. Founded by Joseph Pulitzer in the 1800s, the paper was owned by Pulitzer Publishing until 2005, when the company was acquired by Lee Enterprises. The company also owns the Suburban Journals, a collection of local newspapers. The daily Belleville News Democrat, published in Belleville, Illinois, serves many Illinois communities in the St. Louis Metro Area.

The St. Louis Business Journal, published weekly on Fridays, covers the region's business news.

In 1900, St. Louis had at least five daily newspapers: the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and the St. Louis Republic in the morning, and the Post-Dispatch and Star-Chronicle in the afternoon, as well as the German-language Westlische Post. One by one, these papers folded or consolidated. The Post-Dispatch bought out its remaining afternoon competitor, the Star-Times, in 1951. Until the mid-1980s, the morning Globe-Democrat, which was editorially more conservative than the Post-Dispatch, served as the Post's main rival. Although the Post-Dispatch and the Globe-Democrat maintained a joint operating agreement for years, the Globe-Democrat folded shortly after the Post-Dispatch switched from afternoon to morning publication.

The city's main weekly newpspaper is the Suburban Journal and the primary alternative weekly publication is the Riverfront Times. A variety of glossy monthly and quarterly publications cover topics such as local history, cuisine, and lifestyles. St. Louis is also home to the nation's last remaining metropolitan journalism review, the St. Louis Journalism Review, based at Webster University in the suburb of Webster Groves.

The St. Louis metro area is served by a wide variety of local television stations, and is the fourteenth largest designated market area (DMA) in the U. S., with 1,522,380 homes (1.51% of the total U.S.). The major network television affiliates are KTVI 2 (FOX), KMOV 4 (CBS), KSDK 5 (NBC), KETC 9 (PBS), KPLR 11 (CW), KDNL 30 (ABC), and WRBU 46 (MNTV).

The region's radio airwaves offer a variety of locally produced programming. KMOX (1120 AM), which pioneered the call-in talk radio format in the 1960s, retains significant regional influence due to its 50,000-watt clear-channel signal and an unusually active newsroom operation. Public radio station KWMU (90.7 FM), an NPR affiliate, also provides extensive, locally produced programming treating social issues, politics, and the arts. St. Louis is one of only a handful of U. S. cities to have its own independent community radio station, KDHX (88.1 FM), which features a wide range of music and talk from local residents. Washington University in St. Louis' college radio station, KWUR (90.3 FM), also provides community broadcasting and an eclectic mix of underground music, although with an effective radiated power of only ten watts, it is only heard on the campus and in the immediately adjacent neighborhoods.

[edit] Economy

St. Louis punches above its weight as a center for corporate headquarters. Beer commercials have made the city well known as the home of Anheuser-Busch Breweries. Three local brokerages, A.G. Edwards, Stifel Nicolaus, and Edward Jones, as well as online brokerage firm Scottrade, have grown into dominant players on the national financial landscape. It is also the site for the headquarters of Energizer, the battery company. Neighboring suburbs host Monsanto, formerly a chemical company and now a leader in genetically modified crops, and Solutia, the former Monsanto chemical division that was spun off as a separate company in 1997. Express Scripts, a pharmaceutical benefits management firm, has its corporate headquarters in the suburbs of St. Louis and recently announced plans to construct its new headquarters near the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Hardee's corporate headquarters lies in the metro area. Enterprise Rent-A-Car is headquartered in Clayton. Emerson Electric is headquartered in the north side of St. Louis. Charter Communications, the nation's fourth largest broadband communications company, is headquartered in the St. Louis suburb of Town and Country.

In recent years, however, several longtime corporate pillars have left St. Louis. St. Louis was the corporate headquarters of McDonnell-Douglas prior to its 1997 merger with Boeing. Upon the merger, the area became the headquarters for Boeing's $27 billion-per-year Integrated Defense Systems division and its company-wide Phantom Works R&D operation. Locally, Boeing manufactures the F/A-18 Super Hornet and JDAM smart bombs, and has developed — at times secretly — several unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs). However, when Boeing relocated its corporate headquarters from Seattle, Washington in 2001, it moved to Chicago — St. Louis was not one of the final candidates.Mallinckrodt headquatered in the St. Louis region for over 130 years was pruchased by Tyco International in 2000. Many of the former Mallinckrodt facilities are still in operation by Tyco in the St. Louis suburb of Hazelwood, Missouri.

Southwestern Bell Company (SBC), now AT&T, relocated to San Antonio in 1993, and military contractor General Dynamics (moved to Washington, D.C.). All major St. Louis banks have been purchased by out-of-town banks. The city retains a Federal Reserve Bank. In the Retail industry The May Department Stores Company, which owned Famous-Barr as well the legendary Marshall Field's, was purchased Federated Department Stores in 2005.

St. Louis was the corporate headquarters for animal feed and human-food maker Ralston Purina. After divesting all of its businesses except the pet food division, Nestle S.A., the world's largest food company acquired it in 2001. Several of the divested business still remain in St. Louis including Energizer, Ralcorp and Protein Technologies, Inc. n/k/a Solae. Trans World Airlines (acquired by American Airlines, which then dismantled TWA's St. Louis hub), telecommunications

St. Louis remains home to railway car plants; two DaimlerChrysler plants in the nearby suburb of Fenton, where minivans and pickup trucks are built; a General Motors plant in suburban Wentzville; and a Ford Motor Company plant in Hazelwood, where SUVs are built.

The region has built up a formidable health care industry. This is dominated by BJC HealthCare, which operates Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital, plus eleven others. BJC benefits from a symbiotic relationship with Washington University in St. Louis' School of Medicine, which is a major center of medical research. Other major players include SSM Health Care, St. John's Mercy, and the Tenet Healthcare Corporation chain. In addition there is Saint Louis University School of Medicine which is a leader in several areas of medical research and works with hospitals including Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital and Saint Louis University Hospital. St. Louis is also home to two companies that produce radiation therapy planning software, CMS, Inc. and Multidata Systems International.

Although local housing costs have risen in recent years, they are still significantly below the national average, and are a revelation to new arrivals from the coasts. From the mid-1990s onward, the City of St. Louis itself has seen a major surge in housing rehabilitation as well as new construction on cleared sites. As a rule, other costs of living also are at or below the national average. Wages tend to reflect these facts, likewise being at or slightly below the average.

[edit] Demography

Social changes in the twentieth century influenced radically the sorts of people who live in St. Louis now. From 1810, the date of the first Federal census, to 1880, the population totals include with the city of St. Louis the population of St. Louis County, which in 1880 was separately enumerated at 31,888 people.

In 1910, 687,029 people lived in the city. 125,706 foreign-born people were residents in 1910. 47,765 of those persons were natives of the German Empire. In 1910, 11.3 per cent of the foreign-born people were of Irish nativity, 4.1 percent of English, 12.3 of Russian, 6 of Italian, and 8.8 of Austrian. 43,960 African Americans composed 6.4% of the total population.

Like other large American cities, St. Louis experienced a large population shift to the suburbs in the twentieth century; first because of increased demand for new housing following the Second World War, and later in response to demographic changes ("white flight"), whether real or perceived, in existing neighborhoods.

Populations of city and county: 1810, 5,667; 1820, 10,049; 1830, 14,145; 1840, 35,979; 1850, 104,978; 1860, 190,524; 1870, 351,189.

City Population [3]

1830 4,977
1840 16,469
1850 77,860
1860 160,773
1870 310,864
1880 350,518
1890 451,770
1900 575,238
1910 687,029
1920 772,897
1930 821,960
1940 816,048
1950 856,796
1960 750,026
1970 622,236
1980 453,085
1990 396,685
2000 348,189
2005 est. 352,572

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 348,189 people, 147,076 households, and 76,920 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,171.2/km² (5,622.9/mi²). There were 176,354 housing units at an average density of 1,099.7/km² (2,847.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city of St. Louis (as separate and distinct from St. Louis County and the rest of the MSA) was 51.20% African American, 43.85% White, 1.98% Asian, 0.27% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.80% from other ethnic groups, and 1.88% of two or more ethnicities. Hispanic or Latino of any ethnic group were 2.02% of the population. Historically, North St. Louis City has been primarily African American while South St. Louis City has been primarily White. Since the mid-1990s, an estimated 30,000 - 40,000 Bosnian immigrants have settled in the St. Louis metropolitan area, primarily concentrated in the Bevo neighborhood of south St. Louis and adjacent parts of St. Louis County.

There are 147,076 households, out of which 25.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.2% were married couples living together, 21.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.7% were non-families. 40.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,156, and the median income for a family was $32,585. Males had a median income of $31,106 versus $26,987 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,108.

[edit] Law and government

The City of St. Louis has a mayor-council type government, with the legislative authority vested in a Board of Aldermen and the mayor having primary executive authority. The Board of Aldermen is made up of 28 members (one elected from each of the city's wards) plus a board president who is elected city-wide. Unlike many other cities, the mayor shares some executive authority with 9 other independent citywide elected officials, including a treasurer, comptroller, and collector of revenue. These officials have significant influence. By custom and tradition the individual aldermen have a great deal of influence over decisions impacting the ward they represent on matters ranging from zoning changes, to street resurfacing.

Municipal elections in St. Louis city are held in odd numbered years, with the primary elections in March and the general election in April. The mayor is elected in odd numbered years following the United States Presidential Election, as are the aldermen representing odd-numbered wards. The President of the Board of Aldermen and the aldermen from even-numbered wards are elected in the off-years. The Democratic Party has dominated St. Louis city politics for decades. The city has not had a Republican mayor since the 1940s and the last time a Republican was elected to another city-wide office was in the 1970s. As of 2006, 27 of the city's 28 Aldermen are Democrats.

Although St. Louis City and County separated in 1876, some mechanisms have been put in place for joint funding management and funding of regional assets. The St. Louis Zoo-Museum district collects property taxes from residents of both St. Louis City and County and the funds are used to support cultural instituions including the St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis Art Museum and the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Similarly, the Metropolitan Sewer District provides sanitary and storm sewer service to the city and much of St. Louis County. The Bi-State Development Agency (now known as Metro) runs the region's Metrolink light rail system and bus system.

The City of St. Louis is split roughly in half north to south by Missouri's first and third U.S. Congressional districts. Each district also includes a significant portion of St. Louis County. The City of St. Louis includes all of 9 Missouri House of Representatives districts and a portion of two others. Two Missouri State Senate districts are entirely within the city's boundaries and a third district is split between St. Louis City and County.

[edit] Crime and social issues

Image:Old north saint louis stl 2006.jpg
Typical urban blight in the north side of the City of St. Louis

Statistical data for the city of St. Louis are often skewed because the city is an independent city, separate and autonomous from its suburbs in St. Louis County and beyond. Thus, rankings which compare metropolitan statistical areas are a more accurate indicator of the region's health and stability, and they better indicate the relative safety of the St. Louis MSA. [citation needed] In fact, indicative of St. Louis' stability and safety was the fact that there was not a single incident of looting reported during a July, 2006 power outage which left nearly a million residents without power for a week due to what was considered a "once in a century" severe thunderstorm, causing fallen trees and limbs throughout the MSA to down power lines.

For the past 25 years, St. Louis has a number of successful integrated neighborhoods in the "central corridor" stretching from Soulard, home of the nation's second largest annual Mardi Gras Festival and Parade, The National Historic District, Lafayette Square near the Mississippi River and the Central West End near Forest Park. Overall, however, the city's African-American population is concentrated in north St. Louis city. While some north St. Louis neighborhoods such as Baden and Penrose are stable and have a large number of middle-class residents, many isolated, northside neighborhoods suffer from poverty, unemployment, crime and dilapidated housing. More recently, a number of near southside neighborhoods, especially around Tower Grove Park, have also successfully integrated. These areas have seen an influx of residents of various ethnicities, including Vietnamese and other immigrant groups. Since the upheavals in the Balkans, many Bosnian refugees have been settled in south St. Louis City, particularly in the Bevo neighborhood. They have been responsible for an upturn in the economic situation there as they have opened stores and restaurants and other businesses. Many of the suburbs in north St. Louis County became more integrated during the 1990's; however, the suburbs of South St. Louis County and the wealthier suburbs of West St. Louis county are primarily European-American. Of the African-American residents in the City, about half live north of Delmar Boulevard, the traditional boundary for "North St. Louis."

The St. Louis area has made tremendous strides in remedying pollution compared to other MSAs. The state of Missouri requires gasoline stations in the metro area to sell special, reformulated gasoline. Most cars owned by residents of St. Louis and the counties of St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin must pass an automobile pollution test every other year.

As of July 1, 2005, the city of St. Louis extended healthcare benefits to the domestic partners of all city employees, including same-sex partners and others living in committed but unmarried relationships, as well as children of such families.

[edit] Education

[edit] Public education

Within the city proper, the 168-year-old St. Louis Public School District [4] controls the 92 schools in the public school system. With over 38,000 students, the district is the largest in the state of Missouri and the 108th largest in the nation. The district has recently come under fire for the firing of superintendent Dr. Creg E. Williams (July 2006). Dr. Diana Bourisaw was hired in July 2006 as his replacement. The district is currently aggressively pushing ahead with its 2011 initiative, which calls for improved graduation rates, higher test scores, and stronger student attendance. Many smaller public districts are defined throughout the wider St. Louis area. The MAP, or Missouri Assessment Program, is a system of standardized tests which students take yearly; not so much a measure of students' individual aptitude as an overall assessment of their schools and districts, scores are used as indicators of the institutions' efficiency, and many factors, especially distribution of public funds, are determined based on student performance.

[edit] Private education

St. Louis is known for its abundance of private Catholic high schools, the majority of which are in the County (see St. Louis County High Schools). However, there are a few in the bounds of the city proper, including St. Elizabeth Academy, Rosati Kain High School, Saint Louis University High School, and St. Mary's High School. The city also has a number of archdiocesan high schools as well.

[edit] Colleges and universities

For a complete list of colleges and universities in the St. Louis Metropolitan area, see Colleges and Universities of St. Louis, Missouri

Brookings Hall; the most recognized building on the Washington University campus
Image:Slu dubourg 1888.jpg
DuBourg Hall serves as the administration building for St. Louis University.

St. Louis also holds a unique place in the establishment of American colleges and universities. The city is home to the internationally recognized Washington University, a private research university ranked 12th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report well known for prestigious schools of Medicine, Architecture and Social work. The university's School of Law, founded in 1867, is the oldest continuously operating private law school west of the Mississippi River. The oldest university west of the Mississippi River, Saint Louis University, was founded in 1818. The St. Louis metropolitan area is also home to at least 26 other institutions of higher learning. The St. Louis metropolitan region contains a vibrant and energetic college student population. With almost 10% of its population enrolled in an institution of higher education, St. Louis has a plethora of institutions of higher learning.

[edit] Infrastructure

[edit] Medicine

Because of its colleges, hospitals, and companies like Monsanto, St. Louis is respected as a center of medicine and biotechnology. Barnes-Jewish Hospital, in conjunction with Washington University School of Medicine, is the fifth largest in the world, while the School of Medicine consistently ranks in the top 5 nationally. Washington University Medical School and Barnes-Jewish Health Care operate the new and well-respected Siteman Cancer Center. Saint Louis University Medical School awarded the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River; it operates the Saint Louis University Hospital and SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, as well as a cancer center and a bioethics institute.

[edit] Transportation

Like most American cities, the main method of transportation is the automobile. Use of the automobile is supported by the existence of many limited-access interstate highways (I-70, I-55, I-44, I-64, I-255, I-170, and I-270), as well as numerous state and county highways.

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is located in northwest St. Louis County, but is owned and operated by the city of St. Louis. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have the greatest number of flights serving the airport. MidAmerica St. Louis Airport is located well east of the city in Illinois adjacent to Scott Air Force Base. Contructed as a reliever airport to Lambert, it has failed to attract any major airlines, primarily due to its distance from downtown and low population in its immediate vicinity. Spirit of Saint Louis Airport, located in nearby Chesterfield, Missouri is the area's general aviation airport.

Mass transit is provided in two forms, both of which are controlled by Metro St. Louis (formerly known as the Bi-State Development Agency): the city bus system and Metrolink, a light-rail train system that connects the airport to downtown and the Metro East (extending as far east as Scott Air Force Base near Shiloh, Illinois) and in Mid-County into Clayton, the county seat for St. Louis County, and terminating in Shrewsbury.

Passenger train service is also available through a new Amtrak station that opened in December, 2004 ([5] and [6]). This station is a precursor of the upcoming Multi-Modal (transportation) Station, the ground-breaking for which is scheduled for March 30, 2006 (see [7] and [8]). Other permanent train stations exist in the suburb of Kirkwood and nearby Alton, Illinois.

St. Louis once had a moderately extensive streetcar system which ended in 1966. The Metrolink expansion mirrors the original pathways. A movement is afoot to reinstate limited trolley service. [9]

[edit] Sister cities

St. Louis has twelve sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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