CityArchRiver Unveils New Project Fly-Through

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CityArchRiver 07-13As groundbreaking nears for the Arch project, CityArchRiver has released a new fly-through of its design. Most of the imagery (east slope paths, north gateway) is unchanged from previous plans, but there are a couple new things to view. Most significant may be the treatment of the new city-facing entrance to the underground Museum of Westward Expansion. Through iterations of convex, then concave class entryways, several design challenges had remained unresolved. Here, the museum entrance avoid added an intrusive rail atop the new berm and instead appears to introduce a trench to serve as a barrier that won't extend into the existing sightline.

Second, the raised Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard design has been refined. Gone are the various large barriers once intended to separate uses on the riverfront. The apparently more open, flat design is a smart way to encourage visitors to approach the riverfront, while also accomodating bikes, strollers and cars. As noted several times previously, the winding paths connecting the Arch grounds to the riverfront may be the most impactful, well-designed change offered. What else do you see that may be new?

CityArchRiver 07-13

CityArchRiver 07-13

CityArchRiver 07-13

CityArchRiver 7-13

CityArchRiver 07-13

Old rendering of central riverfront:
CAR old riverfront design

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  • Andy
  • JustFlushIt

    the computer generated skyline is missing AT&T tower… is that foreshadowing?

  • Chris R

    Wasn’t part of the deal with the revamping of the Arch Grounds supposed to be some work done on the East side, around the Casino Queen? Did that get cut, or is there another video showing those changes that I haven’t seen?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Postponed for a later date when more funding can be found.

  • PhilS

    So when they mention the “Park over the highway” are they implying that they are going to remove Memorial Drive? That’s more crazy than getting rid of the highway and keeping Memorial like a revitalized Embarcadero.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Uh, yep. The closing/removal of Memorial has been part of the plan for a couple years now – though not really publicized (except here 🙂 ).

      • PhilS

        Yes, and thank you so much for all the effort you put into making this blog. I do remember reading it is some early discussion, but I guess I never really thought it would get this far especially since very few other sources (eh hem, Post) haven’t really mention it and since MODot loves roads. Of course they’re eliminating all of the other cross streets leading into the Arch grounds. I guess they love corralling pedestrians more.

  • Imran

    Removing the tree line from the east side of LKS opens up the river view but would make it more uncomfortable for bikers/walkers in the summer sun. Maybe those light poles could incorporate some sort of shade solution. ?retractable

  • PhilS

    Apart from the usual concerns about closing Wash Ave and the band-aid solution to the Depressed Lanes, the highlight for me is the museum expansion and western entrance. That, in all of its iterations, is still a wonderful idea. It is still depicted blandly here (Foster & Partners depiction of the space I thought was thrilling.) Having it as a space of other traveling exhibitions would be great and give people ever changing reasons to at least consider coming to the Arch grounds. The revisions to LKS Blvd are very welcome.

    What is the thinking behind the East Slope serpentine paths leading up from LKS with the sunken walkways bordered by high concrete walls? I think my experience of walking those might trigger a flash-back to a previous life lost in the trenches of France. I’m afraid they will also act like a moat cutting off the way for anyone wishing (or needing) to cross the path perpendicularly. Sure the topography is steep there, but funneling people can’t contribute positively to the feel of that area of the Arch grounds, can it? Are they really to be paved with asphalt?

    I liked the idea of a NPS education “area” in that northeast section, but I guess that’s gone? I’m also not a fan of long elevated walkways especially when the view is … another walkway? So the one at the North Gateway confuses me. What does it connect to to be elevated? Eads Bridge? That could be good, useful, practical and a more uplifting experience.

    • “What is the thinking behind the East Slope serpentine paths leading up from LKS with the sunken walkways bordered by high concrete walls?”

      It’s primarily an accessibility issue. Currently, there’s no way for the disabled or those pushing strollers to access the riverfront from the Archgrounds without going all the way over to Washington or Poplar…or, you know, clod-hopping down the steps.

      The two components of City+Arch+River that have consistently been exceptional throughout the process (and, not coincidentally, the most transformative) were the elevated/improved Wharf Street and the museum entrance and rehab. Glad to see these are coming together so well.

      With that said, I still can’t get behind removing Washington Avenue in favor of even more passive space. And the Kiener redesign is entirely unnecessary. Just do some simple additions (topiary, sculpture, etc.) to Kiener East and expand the Kiener West bowl out to the sidewalks, making it more inviting since people passing on foot/car can see in more easily.

      • John R

        The slopes rather remind me of the new paths in Forest Park’s World’s Fair Pavillion, which I believe turned out rather nicely.

        • PhilS

          I really like the new paths in front of the WF Pavilion too. The main front stairs to the east of the Arch are part of the original plan, but I think it would have been fine, even fantastic, to incorporate similar slope paths into the stairs. If the gradient made it possible, of course.

          • PhilS

            I should have added “meandering, segregated asphalt slashes, not so much.” I hope I’m not just being too critical. But I do think incorporating the ramps into the stairs like at the WFP would be ideal.

          • Alex Ihnen

            The staircase is rather untouchable, as it is considered elemental to the site, much in the same way as the ponds – they won’t be touched or altered. (caveat: at one point the staircase was going to be rebuilt in an arcing shape in the middle as was originally drawn)

      • PhilS

        That is an excellent point about the new slope paths being more accessible. That is also likely the great benefit of the elevated path too. I just don’t understand the sunken, narrow trench-like nature of them. Do they need something like handrails on both sides because of the steep slope in sections?

  • John R

    To me the most interesting thing was what was not shown. I still have no firm grasp of the new Wash Ave/Memorial/new ramps tangle as there have been no solid design renderings yet to my knowledge. Weird that they showed the revamped Keiner Plaza for instance (which is not part of the Arch Grounds or NPS) but not the vital Arch grounds connection from Washington.

    I do think the new entrance/museum lobby is shaping up to be pretty stunning and should gain a lot of positive accolades.

    • dylanized

      I don’t understand why they are redoing Keiner Plaza. It’s pretty cool just the way it is!

      • PhilS

        The one improvement I would really love to see at Keiner would be to have the Running Man turned into a big electric football piece – he would move around inside the fountain banging off the walls and caroming here and there. Maybe without the constant “errrrrrgggggg” sound of the board though.