Published on Thursday, 13 December 2012 12:32
With $577 million dollars worth of improvements being proposed to the Arch grounds, here is a small, simple possibility.
Most of the time, the industrial castle of a Cargill grain elevator and the candied fluorescence of the Casino Queen hotel dominate the eastward view from the Arch across the river. But behind these obstructions is the mechanism for one of the tallest fountains in the world —the Gateway Geyser. It has been there, in East St. Louis, for the last seven years.
Few visitors to the Arch even know the geyser exists — nothing on the grounds directs them to look. Even an employee stationed behind the Arch’s information desk said she only heard about it from her father, who noticed it while he was driving. With the fountain’s sporadic schedule, erupting only on certain parts of the day during certain parts of the year, having a sign that electronically counts down to each blast could make the geyser an asset to the Arch Grounds. On a small scale, a countdown could cultivate a sense of intrigue.