Gateway Mall Master Plan: Sand Volleyball, Street Closures & A Future for Serra’s “Twain”

{image from the Gateway Mall Master Paln showing Serra’s “Twain” integrated into City Garden}

If you haven’t noticed, this little park called City Garden has been getting some attention lately and winning praise from, well…nearly everyone. However, the Gateway Mall is a big place and City Garden is just a start. The June revision of the Gateway Mall Master Plan is below. Beyond all the pretty pictures and fancy renderings there are some solid future development plans. But the thing that I notice, and greatly appreciate, is the plan showing the “Twain” sculpture incorporated into the new design.

Installed in 1982, “Twain” is largely unloved, but Jeff Daniel, former art critic at the Post-Dispatch understood well why that is, “The sculpture is quite static and lifeless if viewed from the street in a passing car. But “Twain,” with its series of small open spaces placed between slabs, depends on human activity within its walls, the open slots offering up varying views of the surrounding city scape. Like much of Serra’s art, it’s a tough piece both physically and conceptually, a combination not often conducive to wide appeal.”

I agree. City Garden is fantastic and has brought more people to the Gateway Mall, but is just one side of the animating-a-public-space chicken or egg. More people will animate surrounding blocks and help bring “Twain” to life. It’s good to see the recognition that not every block need be completely reinvented. To read the St. Louis Beacon coverage of the Gateway Mall Master Plan click here.

Gateway Mall Master Plan_June 2009