Saint Louis Missouri

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This article is about the city in Missouri. For other uses of Saint Louis, see Saint Louis.
St. Louis, Missouri
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File:Us-mo-sl.jpg File:Stl cityseal.jpg
City flag City seal
City nicknames: "Gateway City", "Gateway to the West", or "Mound City"
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Location in the State of Missouri
County Independent city
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

171.3 km² (66.2 mi²)
160.4 km² (61.9 mi²)
11.0 km² (4.2 mi²) 6.39%
Population
 - Total (2000)
 - Metropolitan
 - Density

348,189
2,698,687
2,171.1/km² (5,622.9/mi²)
Time zone Central: UTC–6
Location Template:Coor dms
Mayor Francis G. Slay
City website

Saint Louis (pronounced /seɪntˈluːɪs/ in English, File:Ltspkr.png/sɛ̃ lwi/ in French), frequently spelled St. Louis, encompasses an independent city in the American state of Missouri (the "City of Saint Louis") and its metropolitan area ("Greater Saint Louis"). The city, which is named after Louis IX of France, is adjacent to, but not a part of, Saint Louis County, Missouri. The Saint Louis metropolitan area, which includes counties in both Missouri and Illinois, is the 18th largest in the United States, with a total population of 2,698,672 as of the 2000 census. While the population of the metropolitan area has been increasing, the population of the City of Saint Louis (348,189) has been declining since the 1950s, as many have moved to the many suburbs in Saint Louis County, or to other parts of the metropolitan area. This exodus to the suburbs appears to have finally stopped at the beginning of this century thanks to recent attempts to revitalize the downtown area, and the city in general.

The city has several common nicknames, including the, "Gateway City", "Gateway to the West", and "Mound City." St. Louis is also sometimes called, "Saint Louie," "River City," and "Baseball City USA." Some residents refer to it as "The Lou", or "The STL" or "STLMO," using the city's IATA airport code.

History

File:Apotheosis-of-saint-louis.jpg
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.

Prior to the arrival of French explorers in 1763 the area that would become Saint 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".

European exploration of the area had begun nearly a century earlier. 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 Saint Louis, at Cahokia. Other early settlements were downriver at Kaskaskia, Illinois, 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 channelized drainage ditch near the southern boundary of the City of Saint 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 Saint Louis), Saint Ferdinand (now Florissant), and Portage des Sioux.

From 1766 to 1768, St. Louis was governed by the French lieutenant governor, Louis Saint Ange de Bellerive. After 1768, St. Louis was governed by a series of Spanish governors, 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.

Saint 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.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition left the Saint Louis area in May 1804, reached the Pacific Ocean in the summer of 1805, and returned on Sept. 23, 1806. Many other explorers, settlers, and trappers (such as Ashley's Hundred) would later take a similar route to the West.

The steamboat era began in Saint Louis on July 27, 1817, with the arrival of the Zebulon M. Pike. Rapids north of the city made Saint Louis the northernmost navigable port for many large boats, and Pike and her sisters soon transformed St. Louis into a bustling boomtown, commercial center, and inland port. By the 1850s, Saint 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.

Missouri became a state in 1820. Saint Louis was incorporated as a city on December 9, 1822. A U.S. arsenal was constructed at Saint Louis in 1827.

Immigrants flooded into Saint Louis after 1840, particularly from Germany, Bohemia and Ireland, the latter driven by an Old World potato famine. The population of Saint 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.

In the first half of the 19th century, a second channel developed in the Mississippi River at Saint Louis. An island ("Bloody Island") formed between the two channels, and a smaller island ("Duncan's Island") developed below Saint 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 Saint Louis was used during the war to construct ironclad ships for the Union.

On July 4, 1876 the City of Saint Louis voted to remove itself from Saint Louis County and become Saint Louis City and Saint Louis County. 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 infastructure and services for the inefficent county. This decision would gravely come back to haunt the City as white flight with suburban development and population migration outside the City limits would cost the City millions of lost tax dollars and contribute to the City's deterioration.

Saint 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).

In 1904, the city hosted the 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.

The uranium used in the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bomb was refined in Saint Louis by Mallinckrodt Chemical Co., starting in 1942.

The Pruitt-Igoe housing project, built in 1955 and demolished in 1972, is one of the most infamous failures of urban planning. (The buildings were the first major work by Minoru Yamasaki, who later designed the World Trade Center.)

Downtown Redevelopment

There is a lot of construction going on in downtown St. Louis. There is The Bottle District which is an entertainment district that will open in spring 2007 that will be located north of the Edward Jones Dome. Also the St. Louis Cardinals new ballpark will open next year with a Ballpark Village to follow where the ballpark once stood. Additionally, for several years the Washington Loft District has been gentrifying an expanding corridor along Washington Street from the Edwards Jones Dome extending westward almost two dozen blocks. Rehabilitation of other downtown areas is proposed.

Geography

File:St Louis Rivers.png
The Rivers around Saint Louis

St. Louis is located at Template:Coor dms (38.648056, -90.212222).Template:GR

The city lies along the western banks of the Mississippi River, just south of the Missouri-Mississippi confluence. Much of the area is a gently rolling prairie with low hills and broad, shallow valleys. Both the Mississippi River and the Missouri River have cut large valleys with wide flood plains. Limestone underlies much of the area and there are some sinkholes and caves, although most of the caves have been sealed shut.

The western and northern boundaries of Saint Louis County are defined by the Missouri River. Near the southern boundary of Saint Louis County is the Meramec River.

At the southern boundary of the city of Saint Louis (separating it from the 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 is an open channel with a sewer at the bottom. Because of poor water quality, the River des Peres has acquired some uncomplimentary local nicknames, such the "River de Pew" and "River Despair". 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 or, as it is commonly known, the Saint Louis World's Fair, and the 1904 Summer Olympics, the first Olympic Games held in North America. At the time, Saint Louis was the fourth most populous city in the United States.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city 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.

Metropolitan statistical area

The Saint Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area, the 18th largest in the United States, has a total population of 2,698,672). This area includes Saint Louis County (1,016,315), the independent City of Saint Louis (348,189), the Missouri counties of Saint Charles (283,883), Jefferson (198,099), Franklin (93,807), Lincoln (38,944) and Warren (24,525), and the Illinois counties of Madison (258,941), Saint Clair (256,082), Clinton (35,535), Monroe (27,619) and Jersey (21,668).

Cityscape

The city is divided into 81 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, hip loft districts, or areas hard-hit by social problems and unemployment. Many of them have retained - quite consciously and deliberately - a camaraderie that is missing from many American towns today.

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

People and culture

Social changes in the twentieth century influenced radically the sorts of people who exist in Saint Louis now. From 1810, the date of the first Federal census, to 1880, the population totals include with the city of Saint Louis the population of Saint 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 per cent of English, 12.3 of Russian, 6 of Italian, and 8.8 of Austrian. 43,960 African Americans composed 6.4 per cent of the total population.

Like other large American cities, St. Louis experienced a large population shift to the suburbs in the twentieth century, particularly in the years following the Second World War.

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.

Populations of the town itself: in 1799, 925; 1810, 1,400; 1820, 4,000; 1830, 4,977; 1840, 16,469; 1850, 77,860; 1860, 170,773; 1870, 310,864; 1880, 350,518; 1900, 575,238; 1910, 687,029; 1920, 772, 897; 1940, 816,048.

Demographics

Historical populations 1
Census
year
Population

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

As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 348,189 people, 147,076 households, and 76,920 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,171.1/km² (5,622.9/mi²). There are 176,354 housing units at an average density of 1,099.7/km² (2,847.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 51.20% African American, 43.85% White, 1.98% Asian, 0.27% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.80% from other races, and 1.88% from two or more races. 2.02% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. Historically, North Saint Louis City has been primarily African American while South Saint Louis City has been primarily White. This has changed in recent years as large portions of North Saint Louis City have been depopulated, with African-American residents moving either south or to surrounding counties.

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

In the city the population is 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 are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 84.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $27,156, and the median income for a family is $32,585. Males have a median income of $30,106 versus $24,987 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,108. 24.6% of the population and 20.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 36.4% of those under the age of 18 and 17.4% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Cuisine

Museums and other points of interest

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 Saint Louis' young arts scene. The Eugene Field House, located in downtown Saint Louis, is a museum dedicated to the distinguished children's author. The Missouri Historical Society 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 Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra plays at Powell Symphony Hall. Leonard Slatkin is one of the former conductors. 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 Saint Louis, 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 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 is also located by Busch Stadium in downtown Saint 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.

There are also several notable museums in surrounding cities. The Delmar Loop, located in University City, just west of the Saint 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 located in Kirkwood, a suburb in southwestern St. Louis County.

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

Saint Charles, is the seat of St. Charles County and first capital of the state of Missouri, and is the location from which the Lewis and Clark Expedition began. It also has a downtown historic district with many small craft shops.

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

Magic House, children's hands on exploration museum, located in Kirkwood. One of the top rated family attractions in the US. Worldways Children's museum, an international children's cultural museum. Located in Kirkwood off Kirkwood Road.

Media

The Saint 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 alternative weekly publications include the Evening Whirl, and the Riverfront Times. African-American weeklies include the St. Louis Argus (est. 1912), the Saint Louis American (est. 1928), and the St. Louis Sentinel (est. 1969). A variety of glossy monthly and quarterly publications cover topics such as local history, cuisine, and lifestyles. St. Louis is also home to the last remaining metropolitan journalism review, the St. Louis Journalism Review, based at Webster University in the suburb of Webster Groves, Missouri.

The St. Louis metro area is served by a wide variety of local television stations, and is the twenty-first largest designated market area (DMA) in the U.S., with 1,222,380 homes (1.11% of the total U.S.). The major network television affiliates are KMOV 4 (CBS), KDNL 30 (ABC), KSDK 5 (National Broadcasting Company), KTVI 2 (Fox Broadcasting Company), KPLR 11 (WB), and WRBU 46 (UPN). There is also a PBS station at KETC 9.

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, its sports lineup, 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 few 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's college radio station, KWUR (90.3 FM), also provides community broadcasting and an eclectic mix of underground music.

Music

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

In the 1990's, the metro area produced several prominent alt-country artists, including Uncle Tupelo, a Belleville, Illinois trio often considered the originators of the style, and The Bottle Rockets. More recently, the rise of Nelly, The Saint Lunatics, Murphy Lee, Chingy, J-Kwon 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, and Detroit.

Parks and outdoor attractions

File: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 Saint Louis' most popular attractions: the free Saint Louis Zoological Park, the Municipal Theatre (also known as, "The Muny," the largest and oldest outdoor musical theatre in the United States), the Saint Louis Science Center and Observatory (with its architecturally distinctive McDonnell Planetarium), the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, and, of course, plenty of 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 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 flowery plants, shrubs, and trees, and includes the Japanese Garden, which features a lake filled with koi and gravel designs, the woodsy English Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Home Gardening Center, a rose garden, the climate-controlled dome Climatron, as well as 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, better known as the Gateway Arch, is perhaps the most recognizable structure of the city. It is located near the riverfront in downtown Saint Louis, and was designed by noted architect Eero Saarinen. The Arch is the centerpiece of a national park that also includes the nearby Old Courthouse, where the famous Dred Scott case was tried. This area is also the location of the annual July 4th festival, Fair Saint Louis, widely regarded as America's largest birthday celebration.

Sports

Club Sport League Venue Logo St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball National League Busch Stadium St. Louis Cardinals Logo St. Louis Rams Football National Football League : NFC Edward Jones Dome St. Louis Rams Logo St. Louis Blues Ice Hockey National Hockey League Savvis Center St. Louis Blues Logo St. Louis Steamers Soccer Major Indoor Soccer League Savvis Center St. Louis Steamers Logo


Enthusiastic and knowledgeable fans give the city a reputation as, "a top-notch sports town" and being dubbed as, "Baseball City USA." The Sporting News rated St. Louis the nation's, "Best Sports City." Although the city has or had professional football, hockey, basketball teams, it is baseball that is undeniably the epicenter of the city's sporting life. The St. Louis Cardinals, one of the oldest franchises in Major League Baseball, have accumulated nine World Series titles since 1892, second only to the New York Yankees. (The 2005 baseball season will be the last played at historic Busch Stadium. A new stadium, which will have the same name, is currently under construction, with views of the Saint Louis skyline and the Gateway Arch.)

The city of St. Louis has earned 12 professional sports championships. As mentioned earlier the St. Louis Cardinals have won 9 World Series Championships with one of the championships played against the old cross-city rival the St. Louis Browns. The St. Louis Rams have won one Super Bowl Championship, and the St. Louis Hawks gave the city its lone NBA Championship. 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 winning none.

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

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

Gateway International Raceway hosts NASCAR events in nearby 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 GMC Stadium 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.

Economy

Saint 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. Two local brokerages, A.G. Edwards and Edward Jones, have grown into dominant players on America's 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. 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.

However, in recent years, many longtime corporate pillars have left St. Louis. Saint 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, Illinois — Saint Louis was not one of the final candidates.

From 1994 until its acquisition in 2000 by Tyco International, another chemical company, Mallinckrodt, was headquartered in Saint Louis County. Many of the former Mallinckrodt facilities are still in operation by Tyco in the Saint Louis suburb of Hazelwood, Missouri.

Saint 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 company SBC (moved to San Antonio), 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.

Saint 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's 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. 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.

Colleges and universities

Saint Louis and its surrounding area are the home of several major universities, colleges, and higher education facilities:

Medicine

Because of its colleges, hospitals, and companies like Monsanto, Saint Louis is respected as a center of medicine and biotechnology. Barnes-Jewish hospital, in junction with Washington University in St. Louis's School of Medicine, is the fifth largest in the world, while WashU's Medicial School consistently ranks in the top 5 nationally.

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. Also, located as an enclave in northern Saint Louis County, near the Missouri River, is the Lambert-Saint Louis International Airport, which is administered by the city of Saint Louis.

Mass transit is provided in two forms, both of which are controlled by one agency: the city bus system and Metrolink, a light-rail train system that mainly connects the airport to downtown and, recently, parts of the Metro East (extending as far east as Scott Air Force Base near Shiloh, Illinois). Metrolink is currently being expanded southward to Clayton, the county seat for Saint Louis County, and to south Saint Louis County. Passenger train service is also available through a "temporary" (since 1980) train station set up near downtown by Amtrak; smaller, yet permanent, train stations exist in the suburb of Kirkwood and nearby Alton, Illinois.

St. Louis once had a moderately extensive streetcar system, but service began to erode in the 1950s and ended for good in 1966. The Metrolink expansion mirrors the original pathways. A movement is afoot to reinstate limited trolley service.[1]

Saint Louis was also the largest city between Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California on famous U.S. Highway 66.

Social issues

Historically, Saint Louis has been a de facto segregated city. The City's African-American population has been concentrated in North St. Louis. While some North St. Louis neighborhoods such as Baden and Penrose are stable and have a large number of middle-class residents, many northside neighborhoods suffer from poverty, unemployment, crime and dilapidated housing. Most white Saint Louisans, especially white males, who tend to hold the better jobs in the region and enjoy higher pay scales than women and minorities, have moved their families into the better-off suburbs. In an attempt to counter this problem, Saint Louis has implemented a school desegregation program: some inner city African-American students are bused into Saint Louis County schools, and, in exchange, some County students are bused into City magnet schools.

These historic patterns of segregation are starting to break down. For the past 25 years, St. Louis has a number of successful integrated neighborhoods in the "central corridor" stretching from Soulard and Lafayette Square near the Mississippi River to the Central West End near Forest Park. More recently, a number of near southside neighborhoods, especially around Tower Grove Park, have also successfully integrated. These areas have seen an influx of African-American residents, as well as Vietnamese residents and other immigrant groups. There has been a recent growth in the Bosnian population in South St. Louis. Many of the suburbs in North St. Louis County became more integrated during the 1990's. Indeed, the 2000 Census revealed that more African-Americans live in St. Louis County than live in St. Louis City. Of the African-American residents in the City, less than half live north of Delmar Boulevard, the traditional boundary for "North St. Louis."

The city of Saint Louis has one of the highest per-capita crime rates in the United States, with 111 murders and 7,059 burglaries in 2002, reported by CityData. Statistical data for the city of Saint Louis is often skewed by its fixed boundary and status as an independent city.

The whole Saint Louis area has been trying to fix its pollution problem. Missouri requires gasoline stations in the metro area to serve a special, reformulated gasoline. Most cars owned by residents of Saint Louis and the counties of Saint Louis, Saint Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin must pass an automobile pollution test every other year.

Effective July 1, 2005, the city of St. Louis has quietly 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. One of the chief criticisms of this measure was the increased cost; however, the City has stated that there will be no increased cost, because the City continues to pay directly only for the coverage of the employee.

Sister cities

Saint Louis has eleven sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI): Bologna (Italy), Galway (Ireland), Bogor (Indonesia), Georgetown (Guyana), Lyon (France), Nanjing (People's Republic of China), Saint-Louis (Senegal), Samara (Russia), Stuttgart (Germany), Suwa (Japan), and Szczecin (Poland).

See also

External links

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