SAINT LOUIS , principal city in the state of Missouri, founded in 1764 as a French outpost in the Louisiana Territory. The area became part of the United States under the Louisiana Purchase in 1804. In 1876, the City of St. Louis formally split from St. Louis County, which itself contains numerous incorporated communities. The Jewish community of Greater St. Louis refers to the combined population of the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County. The professional Jewish Demographic Study, conducted in 1995 by Gary A. Tobin, found that the Jewish population in Greater St. Louis (City and County combined) was 59,400 Jews and related non-Jews living in 24,600 households. The American Jewish Year Book (2004) estimates the Jewish population of Greater St. Louis at 54,500. Through the years, formal surveys and American Jewish Year Book estimates have been remarkably stable, estimating the Jewish population as between 45,000 and 60,000, with most estimates closer to 55,000. The 2004 United States Census lists the population of the City of St. Louis at 343,279, down from its 1950 peak of 575,238. St. Louis County in 2004 had an overall population of 1,009,235. It is estimated that the Jewish population of Greater St. Louis is roughly 2.1 percent of the total.
Pierre Laclede, a French fur trader, founded St. Louis in 1764. In the 18th century, as in other French territories at the time, no non-Catholics were permitted to settle in St. Louis, a situation which would continue until after the Louisiana Purchase. Jews did make trips during this period in the 1760s from New Orleans and across into the English Illinois country.
According to research by St. Louis Jewish historian Donald I. Makovsky, and follow-up work by historian Dr. Walter Ehrlich, the first Jew definitively known to settle in the city was Joseph Philipson, a Jew of either Polish or German origins, who opened a store in St. Louis in 1807. He had immigrated to Philadelphia around 1800 at the age of 34, with his two brothers; they became involved in merchandising and the lead and fur businesses.
Philipson brought $10,000 worth of goods from Baltimore to St. Louis, where he gradually expanded his enterprises to include ownership of a brewery (later one of the major industries of St. Louis), a distillery, a sawmill, large stockholdings in the city's second bank and substantial real estate. Philipson was active in cultural and community affairs, but there is no hard evidence that he helped start the local Jewish community. Cincinnati, a rival city, had its first Jewish congregation within a few years after the arrival of its first Jew in 1817, while St. Louis had to wait 30 years after Philipson's arrival, for the founding of a fledgling congregation.
Early Jewish Activities
During the late 1830s and early 1840s, St. Louis was on its way to becoming the fourth largest city in the United States by 1900. From 1835 to 1840, the city population jumped from 8,316 to 16,349, including fewer than 100 Jews. This small Jewish community formed numerous institutions between 1837 and 1842. Starting in 1837, High Holy Day minyanim were held, starting with services on the Mississippi River front. In 1840, 33 Jews contributed funds to establish the first Jewish cemetery. United Hebrew Congregation, originally Orthodox, and now Reform, was started officially in 1841 by 12 men from Posen (Prussia), Bohemia, and England. In 1842, the Hebrew Benevolent Society was formed to care for needy Jews.
In 1843–44, various religious practices were initiated by the United Hebrew Congregation. Regular Ashkenazi services in the Polish tradition were conducted in a rented room.
By 1850, when the city's total population was 77,680, about 700 Jews comprised the community. Most were merchants; only two physicians and one lawyer are known to have been among the Jewish community during this period. Factors which limited the growth of the St. Louis Jewish community included the St. Louis Fire of May 17, 1849, a cholera epidemic, and the Gold Rush, which lured many to California.
Civil War Period
Nearly the entire Jewish community in St. Louis supported the North during the Civil War. Isidore Bush (1822–1898), a member of the City Council and Board of Education, and an early congregational leader, strongly supported emancipation. Only one St. Louis Jew was known to be a slaveholder. When General Ulysses S. Grant issued his infamous antisemitic Order ii in 1862, against Jews in Union-occupied territory, Mayer Friede (1821–1888), a jeweler and a B'nai El founder, serving as Missouri's first Jewish representative in the state legislature, denounced the order on the floor of the House. He was one of many influential Jews who persuaded President Lincoln to repudiate the order and the antisemitic sentiments it expressed.
A group of United Hebrew members desiring a less traditional ritual observance, founded Congregation Emanu El in 1847, made up largely of German Jews. In 1849, a similar group of Bohemian Jews formed Congregation B'nai B'rith. They merged in 1852 to form B'nai El Congregation. A proposed merger with United Hebrew fell through when B'nai El received a windfall gift of $3,000 for a building from the estate of Jewish philanthropist Judah Touro. Competed in 1855 at Sixth and Cerre Streets, the B'nai El building was the first synagogue structure west of the Mississippi.
reform movement takes root
The 1860s was a period of continued growth of Reform Jewish congregations and institutions in St. Louis. The St. Louis Temple Association was founded in 1865, made up of dissident members of B'nai El. By 1867–68, the group was functioning as a nascent congregation, which was formally chartered in 1869, as Congregation Shaare Emeth, the first Reform synagogue in St. Louis, founded as such and part of the national movement. Dr. Solomon Sonneschein (1839–1908) was Shaare Emeth's first rabbi, but in 1866, the congregation's board split over his radical religious views, which resulted in his termination. Rabbi Sonneschein's supporters went with him to found Temple Israel. B'nai El, Shaare Emeth, and United Hebrew, which became Reform, continue in the 21st century. Other Reform congregations include Temple Emanuel, Central Reform Congregation, Kol Am, and Kol Hanishama.
orthodox and conservative movements
In the 1870s, at least three Orthodox synagogues were formed, of which Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol (1879) survives. Other Orthodox congregations as of 2006 include Agudas Israel of St. Louis; Bais Abraham Congregation, Bais Menachem-Chabad, Nusach Ari B'nai Zion, Tpheris Israel, Traditional Congregation and Young Israel of St. Louis. B'nai Amoona was founded in 1881 as an Orthodox synagogue but later became Conservative. Shaare Zedek and Brith Sholom Kneseth Israel also serve the Conservative Jewish community of St. Louis.
reconstructionist and jewish renewal movements
St. Louis is served by two Reconstructionist congregations, the Reconstructionist Minyan of St. Louis and Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Community. There is one local congregation associated with the Jewish Renewal movement, Neve Shalom.
In the mid-to-late 19th century, various institutions were created to coordinate fund-raising to serve the entire Jewish community regardless of denomination. These included the Hebrew Benevolent Association (1842), B'nai B'rith Missouri Lodge 22 (1855), which continues to function; and Ebn Ezra Lodge 47, which later merged into the Missouri Lodge. The Hebrew Relief Association was formed in 1871 in the aftermath of the devastating Chicago Fire, which brought many Jewish refugees to St. Louis who were in desperate need of direct relief support. By 1898, various similar organizations merged into the United Jewish Educational and Charitable Associations, which evolved into the present-day Jewish Family and Children's Service. Other groups came together in 1901 to create the Jewish Educational and Charitable Union in order to better coordinate all Jewish philanthropic campaigns. The jecu later changed its name to the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, which continues to serve as the "central address" for all community-wide fund-raising, planning and budgeting for a family of local, national and overseas beneficiary agencies. The Jewish Federation's annual campaign typically raises in excess of $10 million in its annual campaigns, and has also developed a substantial group of major endowment funds.
Eastern European Immigration
The large waves of Jews from Eastern Europe who came to America's shores from the 1880s through the 1920s, included many who chose St. Louis as their new home. The still-famous 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, formally called the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, celebrated modernism and the status of St. Louis as the fourth largest city in the United States. There was considerable work available for the immigrants in building, maintaining, and later dismantling the elaborate infrastructure for the World's Fair, which took place in the city's Forest Park, a facility larger than New York City's Central Park.
In 1880, the St. Louis Jewish community numbered 10,000 in a city of 350,000. The community was solidly "German," part of the larger wave of German immigrants who came to St. Louis after the Revolution of 1848. These largely acculturated and Reform German Jews, often openly expressed distaste and discomfort over their East European co-religionists, but the very institutions the German Jews helped establish – the Jewish Federation, the Jewish Hospital, the Jewish Family Service, etc. helped the East European Jews adjust to life in the New World. Local Jewish historian Walter Ehrlich, author of the two-volume history of the community, Zion in the Valley: The Jewish Community of St. Louis, credits the public school experience of young second-generation Jews at high schools like Soldan and University City High School, for having broken down the barriers between the "German" and "Russian" communities through social contact, dating, and eventual marriage.
Another point of positive contact between the German and Russian communities, which had founded rival country clubs – Westwood for the Germans and Meadowbrook for the Russians – was the Young Men's Hebrew Association (ymha), founded locally in 1896. The ymha, which later evolved into the present-day Jewish Community Center (jcc), was initially alien to the East European Orthodox Jewish community. The 1902 ymha banquet featured an appetizer of Blue Point Oysters. Later, the jcc and other major Jewish organizations would accommodate the kashrut needs of the traditional Jewish community.
Other communal institutions were established during this period, which served both the "German" and "Russian" Jewish communities, including the Jewish Hospital (1902), now Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The needs of the elderly were served for many years by two separate institutions, the Jewish Orthodox Old Folks Home and the (Reform) Home for Aged and Infirm Israelites, which were later to merge into the Jewish Center for Aged, now the Cedars at the jca.
World War i Period
The St. Louis Jewish community strongly supported the American war effort during World War i. The local German population, both Jewish and non-Jewish was especially eager to be seen as being pro-American and not in sympathy with Germany and its war aims. Several prominent members of the Jewish community had leadership roles during this period. Louis Aloe, a member of the Board of Freeholders and later of the Board of Aldermen, became acting mayor of St. Louis, when Mayor Henry Kiel fell ill in 1917. Rachel Stix Michael chaired the instruction committee of the Missouri Women's Committee of National Defense, which trained women to fill jobs vacated by men called to military service. Edwin B. Meissner, Sr. (1884–1956), vice president and later president for 19 years of Congregation Shaare Emeth, and president of the St. Louis Car Company, was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the Ordinance Reserve in 1918. In addition to railroad and streetcar equipment and cars, his plant produced aircraft, artillery carts and munitions vital to the war effort.
Residential and Occupational Patterns
In 1900, the Jewish population of St. Louis was about 40,000, among the total city population of 575,288. The German segment, now a minority, was English-speaking, upwardly mobile, middle class, Reform in its orientation, and moving west from the city into new suburbs, including University City and Clayton, and in later decades, Ladue, Olivette, Creve Coeur, Chesterfield and throughout the metropolitan region, including St. Charles County, which is served by B'nai Torah, an interdenominational synagogue. Initially, the Eastern Europeans, Orthodox, and largely Yiddish speaking in the first generation, remained in the immigrant sections of the city.
In 1920, when the total city population was 772,897, some 20,000 Jews had moved into the Central West End of the City and into St. Louis County suburbs in increasing numbers. The 30,000 Eastern Europeans were now moving west into the suburbs. Congregations which had been located in the city, which split from St. Louis County in 1876, began to move to suburban locations, starting with Temple Israel. By the 1970s, beginning with the formation of Central Reform Congregation and its Rabbi Susan Talve, the Jewish community in the city has made a dramatic comeback, although the overwhelming majority of St. Louis Jewry continues to reside in St. Louis County.
Other Local Institutions
The Orthodox and Conservative communities in 1924 established the Vaad Hoeir to oversee kashrut and personal status issues. The Vaad Hoeir was one of the few North American communities to employ a chief rabbi of the Orthodox Jewish Community, starting with Rabbi Hayim Fischel Epstein (1874–1942). He was succeeded by Rabbi Menachem Zvi Eichenstein (1911–1981), who in turn was succeeded by Rabbi Sholom Rivkin (b. 1926), who served from 1981 until his retirement as chief rabbi emeritus in 2005.
The Rabbi H.F. Epstein Hebrew Academy, formed in 1945, was the first Jewish day school in St. Louis. In addition, the community is also served by the Block Yeshiva High School and Torah Prep (Orthodox), the Solomon Schechter Day School (Conservative) and the Saul Mirowitz–Reform Jewish Day School (Reform). There is also a Central Agency for Jewish Education, formed in 1969, which works with the various congregational schools and day schools, and which sponsors a number of adult educational programs as well as the Jewish Community High School among others.
In 1938, following the infamous Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany, the local Jewish Community Relations Council was formed, bringing together under one umbrella a current total of 19 Jewish community relations, defense, and communal groups. Among its founding members were the Jewish Federation, B'nai B'rith, and the local chapters of the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League and Hadassah, among others.
Chronicled in detail in the book The Struggle for Zion's Rebirth by Zionist leader Moses Joshua Slonim, organized Zionism took root in St. Louis by 1898. The first time the Zionist flag flew over an official building was at the Palace of Nations at the 1904 World's Fair. In 1911, several local Jews, led by Simon Goldman, sponsored a settlement in Palestine near Lake Kinneret, called Poriah. The project fell victim by 1916 to a series of misfortunes, but the village *Poriyyah took form on the site of the ruins of the original St. Louis Zionist enclave.
Over the years, a thriving chapter of the Zionist Organization of America, along with Hadassah and other Zionist groups, including the Pioneer Women (now Na'amat), took root and flourished over the decades. Jewish Federation-sponsored "Missions to Israel" and events sponsored by the local chapters of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and other groups have also contributed to strong local Jewish support of the Jewish community in Israel. During the 1940s, there was an active chapter of the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism, but the overwhelming majority of the local Jewish community is strongly pro-Israel.
Writers and Chroniclers
St. Louis Jewry has produced locally and nationally noted writers, novelists and poets through the decades, including Howard Schwartz, author of numerous books of poetry, stories, fables and a major work on Jewish mythology published in 2005. Schwartz and Barbara Raznick, director of the Saul Brodsky Jewish Community Library, have also co-edited several editions of The Sagarin Review, First Harvest, and New Harvest, collections of literary contributions, short stories, poems and life stories by St. Louis Jewish writers. Other writers of note include Louis Daniel Brodsky, a noted poet; historian Max I. Dimont (Jews, God and History), Fannie *Hurst, Stanley *Elkin, Harold Brodkey, Howard *Nemerov, poet Michael Castro, Stephen Schwarzchild, A.E. Hotchner, and Glenn Savan. Mystery writer Michael Kahn has also developed a national following, and Ellen Harris has published two acclaimed "true crime" books, including Guarding the Secrets, about a local cell of the Abu Nidal Palestinian terrorist organization.
Local Jewish historians include, notably, Dr. Walter Ehrlich, author of the definitive two-volume Zion in the Valley: The Jewish Community of St. Louis; Burton I. Boxerman; Murray Darrish, a leading expert on Jewish genealogy and local Jewish history; and Donald I. Makovsky, author of the definitive monograph on Joseph Philipson and his family, the first known Jews from St. Louis.
The back files of the St. Louis Jewish Light (first published in 1947; reorganized in 1963), the local Jewish community weekly newspaper, is also an excellent repository of information about St. Louis Jewry, as is the St. Louis Jewish Archives, located in the Saul Brodsky Jewish Community Library.
W. Ehrlich, The Struggle for Zion's Rebirth: the Jewish Community of St. Louis, vol. i, 1807–1907; vol. ii, The Twentieth Century (1997 and 2002); D.I. Makovsky, The Philipsons: The First Known Jewish Settlers in St. Louis, 1807–1858 (1958); idem, "Origin and Early History of the United Hebrew Congregation of St. Louis, 1841–1859" (unpub. master's degree thesis, Washington University, 1958); M.J. Slonim, The Struggle for Zion's Rebirth: A History of Zionism in St. Louis, serialized in the St. Louis Jewish Light (1972); A. Bondi, Autobiography (1910); B.A. Boxerman, "Reactions of the St. Louis Jewish Community to Anti-Semitism, 1933–45" (unpub. master's degree thesis, St. Louis University, Washington University 1954); idem, "A History of the Jewish Hospital of St. Louis," in: Missouri Historical Society Review (2004); R. Fischlowitz (Marget), The Y Story (history of the Jewish Community Center; 1964); G.A. Tobin, "Jewish Population Movements in St. Louis," in Gateway Heritage Magazine (Spring 1986); Jewish Demographic Study for St. Louis, 1981 and 1995; Guide to Jewish Life, published annually by the St. Louis Jewish Light, since 1988, an annual profile of the local Jewish community; St. Louis Jewish Light back files and issues, 1947–2006.
[Robert A. Cohn (2nd ed.)]
St. Louis: Economy
St. Louis: Economy
Major Industries and Commercial Activity
St. Louis is the world headquarters of 19 Fortune 1000 companies, including Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., Emerson Electric, May Department Stores, Graybor Electric, and Monsanto Company. Greater St. Louis ranks thirteenth in the United States as a headquarters location for Fortune 500 companies. The city boasts three of the nation's 100 fastest-growing companies; Talx, Panera Bread, and Engineered Support Systems. St. Louis supports a strong manufacturing sector; the three major American automakers—General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford—operate assembly plants in the area. St. Louis is also the base for the Eighth Federal Reserve District Bank and several national insurance and brokerage firms.
In March 2002 Fortune magazine recognized St. Louis as "among the regional hubs in the United States for both agricultural and health care biotechnology"; the city is emerging as a center for major new economy industries. World class research and development in plant and life sciences is conducted by industry giants such as Pfizer and Centocor; St. Louis is becoming known as the heart of the bio-belt for progress in this arena. The city boasts of a high concentration of information technology jobs. With an already-strong manufacturing base, St. Louis is a center for advanced manufacturing; the area boasts of 190,000 jobs and 4,000 establishments applying advanced technology innovations.
Items and goods produced: meat, bread, beer, flour, granary products, malt, liquors, chemicals, drugs, paints and varnish, machinery, refrigerators, clothing, iron and steel, street and railroad cars, shoes, paper products, hardware, millinery, trucks, automotive parts, petroleum and coal, non-ferrous metals, stone, clay and glass, furniture, aircraft, aerospace equipment
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
The St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA) is the economic development organization for the Greater St. Louis region. Developers may receive assistance with renovations and new construction projects through the St. Louis Real Estate Tax Abatement program.
The State of Missouri offers a variety of incentives to assist new and existing businesses. Financing, taxation, and incentive programs available through the state of Missouri include the Missouri Build-Incentive Program, by which the state provides state income-tax credits to businesses locating to Missouri or expanding their business. Eligible businesses include manufacturing-type companies that invest a minimum of $15 million and create at least 100 new jobs within 3 years, and office projects that invest a minimum of $10 million and create at least 500 new jobs within 3 years. The Missouri Small Business Development Center and the University of Missouri provide business counseling, new and ongoing employee training, and online resources for small businesses. Missouri offers a variety of programs that grant tax credits based upon factors such as job creation and/or capital investment. Examples include enterprise zones, and Missouri New and Expanding Business Facility Tax Credits. Tax increment financing is also available.
Job training programs
Several programs are designed to improve worker productivity, such as grants to businesses that provide training to employees. Comprehensive training and employment services are offered by the Missouri Career Centers. Federal programs such as the Job Training Partnership Act are also available. The Missouri Customized Job Training Program is designed to assist new and expanding businesses in recruiting, screening, testing and training workers, and to help existing employers retain their current workforce when faced with needed upgrading and retraining. On-the-job-training is also available, with up to 50 percent of trainee wages being reimbursable. The Ozarks Technical College New Jobs Training Program provides training funding for new and expanding companies that create new jobs. Services include customized training, adult basic education, on-the-job training, and general occupational skill training. Funding is based on the number of new jobs created and the average annual salary of the new jobs.
St. Louis has a variety of development projects underway or recently completed to restore the city's history and revitalize it for the future. In 2005, ongoing and proposed development investments totaled more than $4.5 billion dollars. Rehabilitation and new development projects include construction of commercial and office buildings, hotels and entertainment centers, residential facilities, education centers, industrial manufacturing sites, institutional and health care centers, parks and recreation, and community and government facilities.
The massive Forest Park, site of the 1904 World's Fair and the home to St. Louis' main cultural institutions, has undergone a $100 million transformation. Once stagnant ponds and lakes are now connected by a river that greatly improves park aesthetics. More than 7,500 new trees were planted, historic areas and buildings were preserved, and recreational facilities and park facilities were upgraded.
The St. Louis Commerce Center was recently completed. GPX, Inc is the main tenant of the $15 million center, occupying 180,000 of the center's 486,000 square feet.
The home of the Cardinals will be destroyed and completely rebuilt. The new Busch Stadium will offer seating for 46,000 fans when the facility opens for the 2006 baseball season. Adjacent to the new Busch Stadium and in the footprint of the old stadium will be BallPark Village, a $300 million mixed use development that will include residential and office space, an aquarium, and a Cardinals museum.
The Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is expanding. The first of three phases in the expansion plan includes a new 9,000 foot taxiway. The $10 million project is expected to be complete in November 2005 and will allow the airport to manage simultaneous landings even in inclement weather.
Economic Development Information: St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association, One Metropolitan Square, Suite 1300, St. Louis, MO 63102; telephone (314)231-5555; fax (314)206-3277; email [email protected]
St. Louis is a primary national center for air, land, and water transportation networks. Among the commodities shipped through the city are coal, grain, cement, petroleum products, and chemicals. One of the nation's leading rail centers, St. Louis is served by six Class I, two regional, and three switching railroad lines. Four interstate highways converge in St. Louis, affording trucking companies overnight to third-morning access to markets throughout the country. Many of these firms maintain terminals within the Commercial Truck Zone, which covers all or portions of a seven-county area. St. Louis is the nation's third-largest inland port, as well as the country's northernmost port with ice-free access year round; the port connects St. Louis via the Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri river system with New Orleans and international waterways. St. Louis waterways offer more than 100 docks and terminal facilities; 32 million tons of freight are handled annually.
Air freight service is available at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. MidAmerica Airport in St. Clair County in Illinois provides state-of-the-art facilities for cargo.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
Experienced workers are available in St. Louis. During the 1990s thousands of jobs were lost as major employers downsized, moved out, or merged. In response to the state and nation-wide economic downturn of the early 2000s, the Missouri state legislature has passed several legislative bills to stimulate economic growth and decrease unemployment. The state as a whole continues to experience stability and growth, recognizing four times the national growth rate in the manufacturing sector. In the northern metro St. Louis region, several areas show strong momentum with St. Charles, Warren, and Franklin counties ranked as top performers. According to a Missouri Department of Economic Development news release in April 2005, St. Louis also continues to experience decreasing unemployment and increasing employment growth. In November 2004, it was reported that the city experienced the second fastest job growth year-to-year for the nation. Main industries in the St. Louis area include: aviation, biotechnology, chemicals, electrical utilities, food and beverage manufacturing, refining, research, telecommunications, and transportation.
The following is a summary of data regarding the St. Louis metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.
Size of non-agricultural labor force: 1,322,800
Number of workers employed in . . .
natural resources and mining: 80,500
trade, transportation and public utilities: 253,200
financial accounting: 77,600
professional and business services: 179,800
educational and health services: 195,700
leisure and hospitality services: 136,900
other services: 58,000
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $21.90
Unemployment rate: 6.3% (February 2005)
|Largest employers||Number of employees|
|BJC Health Systems||21,468|
|Boeing International Defense Systems||15,500|
|Scott Air Force Base||12,600|
|Washington University in St. Louis||12,324|
|SSM Health Care||11,951|
|Largest employers||Number of employees|
|U.S. Postal Service||11,447|
|Schnuck Markets, Inc.||10,800|
Cost of Living
Among the nation's top 20 metro areas, St. Louis boasts the second most affordable housing market and one of the lowest costs of living in the country. A typical management transferee home—a 2,200 sq. ft. home with four bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a family room, and two-car garage—could be purchased at an average price of $229,325.
The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the St. Louis area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $241,522
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 100.7 (U.S. average = 100.0)
State income tax rate: graduated from 1.5% to 6.0%
State sales tax rate: 4.225%
Local income tax rate: 1.0%
Local sales tax rate: 1.375%
Property tax rate: personal property is assessed at 33-1/3%. Rates vary by tax jurisdiction
Economic Information: St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association, One Metropolitan Square, Suite 1300, St. Louis, MO 63102; telephone (314)231-5555; fax (314)206-3277. State of Missouri, Department of Economic Development, P.O. Box 1157, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0118. Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, 3315 W. Truman Blvd., PO Box 504, Jefferson City, MO 65102; telephone (573)751-4091; fax (573) 751-4135
St. Louis: Recreation
St. Louis: Recreation
The Gateway Arch, which rises 630 feet above the banks of the Mississippi River, is the starting point of a tour of St. Louis. Designed by Eero Saarinen and commemorating the nineteenth-century westward movement and St. Louis's role in settling the frontier, the Gateway Arch is the nation's tallest memorial. Beneath the Arch is the Old Courthouse, where the Dred Scott case was heard. A proud Greek revival structure, its dome was a forerunner of the style in public architecture that would sweep the country. The building holds displays relating to the Scott case and is home to the Museum of Westward Expansion, which documents the westward movement and life in St. Louis in the 1800s.
An attraction popular with kids of all ages, Six Flags St. Louis is an amusement park offering thrilling rides and attractions. The St. Louis Zoo in Forest Park houses more than 11,400 animals in naturalistic settings. New in 2005 is the Fragile Forest, which features chimpanzees, orangutans and lowland gorillas in an outdoor habitat. The zoo also features an insectarium, Children's Zoo, and Big Cat Country, a habitat for feline predators. Opposite from the zoo is the newly expanded Missouri History Museum. The Museum's featured exhibit celebrates St. Louis' history-making 1904 World's Fair with documents, sights and sounds that bring the century-old event alive. Also featured are exhibits on slave trade and the American presidency.
A Digistar computerized planetarium projector, OMNIMAX Theater, hands-on science and computer exhibits, and outdoor science exhibits are featured at the St. Louis Science Center in Forest Park. The center's Discovery Room is currently under renovation; when complete, children will enjoy dressing as a surgeon, exploring fossils, and playing with robots as well as other participative activities. The 79-acre Missouri Botanical Garden, founded in 1859, is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the country and is considered one of the most beautiful; unique features include a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden and the Climatron conservatory, a domed greenhouse featuring tropical plants and birds. Sight-seers can view one of the nation's few contemporary sculpture parks at the Laumeier Sculpture Park. The St. Louis Carousel provides a rare opportunity to ride an authentic carousel at its Faust County Park location. Operated by Anheuser-Busch and ranked seventh best family attraction in the nation by U.S. Family Travel Guide, Grant's Farm features a cabin built by General Grant in 1856; the farm's miniature zoo features a Clydesdale stallion barn and bird and elephant shows. Jefferson Barracks Historical Park combines military history and recreation with two museums and a number of sports fields; Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant are two of the many famous American military leaders whose service included a stay at Jefferson Barracks.
St. Louis museums include the National Museum of Transport, which highlights rail, road, air, and water modes of transportation; the AKC Museum of the Dog, which presents exhibits on the dog through history; the recently expanded Magic House—St. Louis Children's Museum; and the Soldiers' Memorial Military Museum.
The Missouri Chapter of the American Institute of Architects is located in St. Louis and provides complete information about this architecturally rich city. Among some of the significant structures are the Cathedral of St. Louis (New Cathedral), which houses 41.5 million pieces of glass tessarae, one of the largest collections of mosaic art in the West; Christ Church Cathedral, the first Episcopal church west of the Mississippi; and Old Cathedral, the city's first church.
Arts and Culture
St. Louis is a major cultural center for the Midwest. The award-winning St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, winner of six Grammies and 36 nominations, presents a season of classical music concerts with internationally known guest artists at Powell Symphony Hall. In the summer the orchestra plays a series of pops concerts at Greensfelder Recreation Center. Theater is presented year round in St. Louis by a diverse range of organizations. The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis performs a season of plays on two stages, including modern drama, musicals, and comedies at the recently-expanded Loretto Hilton Center. The Opera Theatre of St. Louis performs its four dramatic productions of classical and new opera in English during a month-long season beginning in late May. The Fox Theatre was restored in 1982 and now sponsors a Broadway series, ballet, and pop music concerts as well pre-event buffet dining. The Muny in Forest Park is a 12,000-seat outdoor amphitheater that stages Broadway musical theater during the summer. History is re-lived in words and music in four shows per year by the Historyonics Theatre Company.
The Black Repertory Company performs at the 450-seat Grandel Square Theater, a handsome 1883 structure that was once a church and has undergone extensive renovation. Other theater companies and organizations in St. Louis include the TheatrGROUP and Stages St. Louis, a musical theater group.
Dance St. Louis sponsors performances with local, national, and international companies, and offers a dance education program. The First Street Forum is a multipurpose arts center that sponsors exhibitions, performances, lectures, and symposia.
The St. Louis Art Museum in Forest Park was the Fine Arts Palace of the 1904 World's Fair and today offers contemporary and audio/video art in additional to traditional pieces. Washington University's Gallery of Art was the first museum west of the Mississippi River. At the Missouri Historical Society Museum, the major events and individuals in St. Louis history from the first settlers to Charles Lindbergh are recaptured. The Concordia Historical Institute maintains an authentic collection of American Lutheran historical documents as well as Protestant Reformation artifacts. Among St. Louis's other museums are the newly restored Campbell House Museum, which features a Victorian era home and furnishings; the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center, which is dedicated to educating and preserving the Holocaust's history and consequences; and the Eugene Field House and Toy Museum, which presents an extensive collection of antique toys and dolls.
Festivals and Holidays
Major venues for celebrations in St. Louis are the Missouri Botanical Gardens and Jefferson Barracks Historical Park. At the Botanical Gardens, an orchid show in January features more than 800 plants. The Spring Floral Display begins in March. November brings the St. Louis International Film Festival, the African Arts Festival, and a Festival of Trees. The city rings in the new year with a community celebration called First Night Saint Louis & Riverfront Fireworks festival.
Jefferson Barracks Historical Park presents a World War II Reenactment in April and American Indian Days in May. May is also the month for arts and crafts displays at Laumeier Sculpture Park and Tilles County Park. Parades and other events at various locales mark St. Patrick's Day, Independence Day, Veterans' Day, and Christmas.
Sports for the Spectator
The St. Louis Cardinals compete in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League and play their home games in Busch Stadium; a new Busch Stadium is scheduled to open in 2006. The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame, which is located inside the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, houses displays and movies on baseball, football, basketball, hockey, golf, bowling, and soccer. The St. Louis Rams play home games at the Dome at America's Center downtown. The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame recently received a $50,000 grant from the Reichert Foundation which allows underprivileged kids to take advantage of the museum's programs.
The St. Louis Blues compete in the National Hockey League and play home games in Savvis Center, also home to the professional roller-hockey team, the St. Louis Vipers. The St. Louis Aces play professional tennis at the Dwight Davis Tennis Center. The River City Rage of the National Indoor Professional Football League, the St. Louis Streamers of the World Indoor Soccer League; and the River Otters minor league hockey team play at the Family Arena.
Balloonists compete in the Great Forest Park Balloon Race scheduled in September; the balloon race is one of the largest sporting events in Missouri with 70 balloons and 130,000 spectators. For two weeks in September horse owners and trainers from around the country participate in the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show at Queen County Park.
Sports for the Participant
A city of parks and sports enthusiasts, St. Louis offers attractive outdoor facilities and a selection of major and minor sports for the individual, including golf, tennis, bicycling, and softball, and water sports such as swimming, water skiing, and boating. Forest Park, the recipient of a recent $100 million facelift, offers recreational opportunities, including skating, jogging, and tennis, on nearly 1,300 acres; the park is 500 acres larger than New York City's Central Park. Michelob Ultra sponsors a St. Patrick's Day Parade costumed run in St. Louis.
Riverboat gambling on the Mississippi River is a popular activity, with boats departing from East St. Louis and St. Charles.
Shopping and Dining
Downtown St. Louis offers boutique shopping in the Union Station complex, the city's major train terminal and inspiration for the classic "Meet Me in St. Louis." Featuring vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows, Union Station is an historical, architectural, shopping, and dining landmark. St. Louis Centre is anchored by Famous-Barr department store and is located near Metro Link, the Arch, and the Edward Jones Dome. Plaza Frontenac is anchored by Missouri's only Neiman-Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Crestwood Plaza offers more than 100 upscale stores and restaurants. Cherokee Street Antique Row offers restaurants, cafes, antiques, collectibles, and specialty shops in a six-block historic area.
The Saint Louis Galleria in Richmond Heights consists of three levels, 165 stores, an Italian marble interior, and a 100-foot-high atrium; Lord & Taylor, Mark Shale, Dillard's and famous Barr anchor the Galleria.
Diners in St. Louis can choose from among hundreds of fine restaurants, including Cafe de France, Giovanni's, and Tony's. The city boasts an Italian district, known as "the Hill," which offers a number of fine moderately priced Italian eateries; a popular appetizer is fried ravioli. Chinese, German, and other ethnic restaurants are located throughout the city. Regional specialties available in St. Louis include barbecued lamb, ribs, pork, ham, and sausage; pecan pie; and sweet potato pie.
Visitor Information: St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, One Metropolitan Square, Suite 1100, St. Louis, MO 63102; telephone (314)421-1023; toll-free (800)916-8938; fax (314)421-0394; email [email protected]
St. Louis: History
St. Louis: History
Fur Trade Establishes St. Louis Townsite
The first known attempted settlement near present-day St. Louis was the Jesuit Mission of St. Francis Xavier, established in 1700 at the mouth of the Riviere des Peres (River of the Fathers). Two Native American bands settled at the site with the Jesuit party, but within three years the mission was abandoned and no permanent settlement was attempted again in that area for more than 60 years.
Around 1760 the New Orleans firm of Maxent, Laclede & Company secured exclusive rights from France to trade with Native Americans in the Missouri River Valley and the territory west of the Mississippi River as far north as the St. Peter River. Pierre Laclede Liguest selected the present site of St. Louis for a trading post in December 1763. Laclede said his intent was to establish "one of the finest cities in America." The village was named for the patron saint of France's King Louis XV. North of the village were Native American ceremonial mounds; these mounds stood outside the original village boundary but were eventually leveled as the city expanded. The largest, known as Big Mound, was located at the present-day St. Louis intersection of Mound and Broadway streets.
In its early years St. Louis was nicknamed Pain Court (short of bread) because of the absence of local agriculture to supply such staples as bread flour. Laclede's fur business prospered but in time France lost control of the territory and the ruling Hispanic government withdrew Laclede's exclusive fur-trading rights. This opened the city to new settlers and new businesses. During the American Revolutionary War, the Mississippi-Ohio River route was protected when soldiers and townsmen successfully rebuffed an attack by British General Haldimand's troops; this victory secured the strategic importance of St. Louis. After the Revolution Mississippi River pirates disrupted trade on the river but in 1788 boats carrying fighting crews from New Orleans defeated the pirates. St. Louis quickly emerged as a trading center as the village grew into an oasis of wealth, culture, and privilege.
American Influence Brings Westward Expeditions
This early period of splendor ended in 1803 when France, which had regained control of the surrounding territory, sold the vast tract of land to the new government of the United States in a land deal known as the Louisiana Purchase. American migrants soon brought gambling, violence, and mayhem into the community. Nearby Bloody Island gained a national reputation as a place of infamous duels, such as the one in 1817 when Thomas Hart Benton shot and killed a man. The rough-and-tumble village life eventually stabilized itself; the Missouri Gazette, St. Louis's first newspaper, and the opening of the first English school helped to improve the local environs.
St. Louis-based fur trappers and traders were the source of great local wealth; the Missouri Fur Company was founded in 1809 and dominated the Missouri Valley for the next 40 years. The city became a logical point of departure for explorers setting off on westward journeys. The most famous of these undertakings is the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804 to 1806. Eventually as many as 50 wagons a day crossed the Mississippi River at St. Louis on the trek westward, and the arrival of the first steamboat from New Orleans in 1817 was the first sign of the city's importance as a river trading center.
St. Louis was incorporated as a village in 1808 and as a city in 1822. The city asserted its political dominance early in Missouri's public life, but tension between businessmen and farmers in outlying areas resulted in the election of Alexander McNair as the state's first governor and the eventual establishment of the state government in Jefferson City.
Industry and Immigration Prompt Development
St. Louis's first manufacturing enterprises were operated by craftsmen in small shops, but by mid-century the city was an industrial center as the development of flour mills, iron-works, and factories for the production of foodstuffs and manufactured goods fueled the economy. Between 1832 and 1850 more than 30,000 German immigrants started new lives in St. Louis. As industry brought another wave of new wealth, many of the city's existing civic, educational, and cultural institutions were established. During this period, credit for introduction of the highball, Southern Comfort, and Planter's Punch was attributed to local bartenders.
Serious damage to the city's downtown resulted when a fire on the steamboat White Cloud in 1849 spread to the wharf district and destroyed 15 blocks in the commercial district; estimates of property damage ran as high as $6 million. St. Louis rebuilt by replacing log and wood buildings with masonry; public health issues such as sewage disposal and contaminated water were also addressed.
At the outset of the Civil War St. Louis was divided in its sympathies. The city's role was decided when General Nathaniel Lyon led the Union Army action, surrounding Missouri state troops at Camp Jackson. St. Louis became a base of Federal operations, and the city benefited from the purchase of manufactured goods by the Chief Quartermaster that totaled $180 million. St. Louis's industrial capability increased by almost 300 percent in the decade between 1860 and 1870.
Prosperity, Culture Draw World Notice
In the post-Civil War period railroads replaced steamboats as the primary transportation mode, and a new route to the east was opened. The Eads Bridge, the world's first arched steel truss bridge, was completed in 1874 and the city's first Union Station was built in 1878. The new prosperity was diverted in part to cultural enrichments such as the Missouri Botanical Gardens and Tower Grove Park. The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the nation's second oldest, was founded in 1880. The Mercantile Library Association, which opened in 1846, began purchasing and commissioning original art works. Joseph Pulitzer's Globe-Democrat and Carl Schurz's Westliche Post were two of many newspapers that reported on the political and social issues of the day. St. Louis was, in 1876, the first city west of the Mississippi River to host a national political convention. In 1877 St. Louis's city charter separated it from the county and freed the city from state government control except for general laws.
By the turn of the century St. Louis had a population of 575,000 residents. In 1904 the city hosted the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, which focused national and world attention on St. Louis. Many European nations were represented in yearlong festivities that were considered a success. The first Olympiad to be held in the United States took place in St. Louis in 1904. The ice cream cone, the hot dog, and iced tea mark their beginnings at this world's fair. In 1926 an $87 million bond issue improved the city's infrastructure and financed the construction of new public buildings. A second bond issue in 1934 continued the improvements. New industrial initiatives in the late 1930s helped St. Louis pull out of the Great Depression.
In 1965 the Gateway Arch became a part of the St. Louis skyline, marking the spot where Laclede first established St. Louis. After failing to solve public housing problems in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, the city emerged in the 1980s as a model for urban housing renewal, with stable neighborhoods of rehabilitated structures. A renovated warehouse district near the Gateway Arch called Laclede's Landing attracts tourists to the historic roots of modern St. Louis.
St. Louis Approaches the Millennium
In the summer of 1993 St. Louis suffered extensive damage from flooding when the Missouri and Mississippi rivers joined forces just north of the city and swept down over its protective levees in some of the worst flooding in the country's history. Damage in the flood region was estimated at more than $10 billion.
Also in 1993, Democrat Freeman Bosley, Jr. was elected St. Louis's first African American mayor. Four years later African American police chief Clarence Harmon became mayor after an acrimonious campaign in which the vast majority of white voters preferred Mr. Harmon, while Mr. Bosley claimed the support of African American ministers and civil-rights activists. Race relations remain a thorny issue in St. Louis, but city leaders continue to address the problem.
St. Louis in the New Millennium
St. Louis entered the twenty-first century recognizing itself as a big city without some of the major big city problems. Looking past a downturn in population and instead focusing on a vibrant future, St. Louis has attracted major companies, revitalized the downtown area, and improved the educational system. Renovations, remodels, and additions to St. Louis arts and history establishments, parks, buildings, infrastructure, and athletic venues have modernized the city, while traditional values continue to reign supreme in this mid-America city. Mayor Francis Slay, in one of his Neighborhood Newsletters, stated it well, ". . . the people of St. Louis embody the values that make America a great country. We applaud hard work, dedication and effort. We judge players by their performance on the field—not where they came from. We demand integrity, selflessness, and team-work. We never give up, no matter how hard the task."
Historical Information: Missouri Historical Society, PO Box 11940, St. Louis, MO 63112-0040; telephone (314)454-3150; fax (314) 454-3162; email [email protected] City of St. Louis, 1200 Market St., St. Louis, MO 63103; telephone (314)622-4000
SAINT LOUIS. The city of Saint Louis, the heart of a large metropolitan area, lies on the western bank of the Mississippi River in east-central Missouri. Saint Louis's regional identification as a southern, western, and midwestern town has impacted its history since its origins as a French colonial fur trading post in 1764.
When New Orleans–based Pierre Laclède Liquest and René Auguste Chouteau founded Saint Louis on an elevated spot above the Mississippi and named it for the patron saint of King Louis XV of France, the area was home to the Missouri, Osage, Kansas, Otoe, Iowa, and Omaha peoples. Across the river in Illinois, a cluster of giant temple and burial mounds was all that was left of the long-dispersed Mississippians of Cahokia, once the largest settlement of indigenous peoples north of Mexico.
Although Saint Louis was part of the land France secretly ceded to Spain in 1762, colonial Saint Louis remained predominantly French, a legacy still visible in many Saint Louis street names. In 1770, the village population included 339 Creole families (American-born people of French or Spanish descent), along with 33 free blacks and 274 Native American and African slaves.
After Napoleon sold the Louisiana territory to the United States in 1803, Saint Louis's site as the gateway to the newly opened American West drew land speculators and other fortune seekers from the East. The city served as the territorial capital from 1804 until 1821. The introduction of steamboats on the Mississippi River in the early 1800s catapulted Saint Louis into the center of a national inland water system. By 1821, the city was a thriving commercial steamboat center of approximately four thousand people.
As in other midwestern cities, Saint Louis's population swelled from a wave of Irish and German immigrants in the 1840s. By the eve of the Civil War in 1861, Germans made up the city's largest ethnic group, evident by the publication of nine German language newspapers. Among these immigrants was Eberhard Anheuser, who, with son-in-law Adolphus Busch, founded the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company in 1860 and built it into a major Saint Louis industry.
Missouri was a slave state, but the number of slaves in Saint Louis declined by the beginning of the Civil War.
|Saint Louis Population, 1880–2000|
|SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.|
Although many transplanted New Englanders and German immigrants in Missouri actively opposed slavery, Confederate-leaning Saint Louisans had banned antislavery publisher Elijah Lovejoy, who was later murdered by a mob in nearby Alton, Illinois. The 1857 U.S. Supreme Court decision rejecting Saint Louis slaves Harriet and Dred Scott's suit for freedom (Dred Scott v. Sandford) further cast the city's image as a racially divided city.
Before railroads replaced steamboats and Chicago overshadowed Saint Louis, Saint Louis ranked as the fourth largest city in the United States. Its population climbed to more than 350,000 in 1880 and to 575,000 by 1900. That same year, Saint Louis had the largest percentage of African Americans outside Baltimore.
In segregated Saint Louis, a group of African American parents started Sumner High School in 1875, the first African American high school west of the Mississippi River. The 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (World's Fair) may have boosted civic pride for white Saint Louisans, but the fair barred African American visitors. Ironically, Scott Joplin's "ragged time music" (ragtime), composed by one of the city's most famous African American migrants, was first introduced to mainstream Americans at the Saint Louis World's Fair.
By the mid-twentieth century, Saint Louis had evolved into a manufacturing hub—a leader in producing shoes, beer, steel, electronics, pet food and cereal, pesticides, and airplanes. After surviving Prohibition, Anheuser-Busch became the world's largest brewery; the Ralston Purina Company, which started as a horse feed company in 1894, manufactured its popular Chex cereals; and in 1939 James S. McDonnell established the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, a major supplier of World War II jet fighters and later commercial jets.
By the early twentieth century, the once bustling riverfront was a neglected warehouse and industrial district. In 1939 the city cleared thirty-seven square blocks of the riverfront for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Plans were delayed by World War II, but the 630-foot steel Gateway Arch (designed by architect Eero Saarinen) was finally completed in 1965. The following year, the new Busch Stadium opened with promises to revitalize downtown. But the urban renewal projects did little to stem the outflow of businesses and residents to the outlying suburbs. In 1950, 60 percent of the population in the greater Saint Louis area lived in Saint Louis. After 1950, that proportion plummeted to just 15 percent.
After the late 1960s, urban homesteaders rehabilitated many of Saint Louis's older neighborhoods, which, along with the revitalized riverfront and Union Station, improved the city's face. Nevertheless, the population continued to shrink. From a peak of 856,796 in 1950, the population dropped to 348,189 in 2000. The impact of the loss of major corporate headquarters, including Southwestern Bell, McDonnell Douglas, TWA, and Ralston Purina, remained to be seen.
Corbett, Katharine T. In Her Place: A Guide to St. Louis Women's History. St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society Press, 1999.
Fox, Tim, ed. Where We Live: A Guide to St. Louis Communities. St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society Press, 1995.
Hurley, Andrew. Common Fields: An Environmental History of St. Louis. St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society Press, 1997.
Lipsitz, George. The Sidewalks of St. Louis: Places, People, and Politics in an American City. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1991
Sandweiss, Eric. St. Louis: The Evolution of an American Urban Landscape. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001
St. Louis: Education and Research
St. Louis: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
Education in the St. Louis area was ranked fourth by Forbes magazine in its list of 'Best Places With the Best Education' in February 2003. The St. Louis Public Schools are administered by a seven-member, nonpartisan, elected board of education that appoints a superintendent and serves a six-year term without compensation. The district received an $8.4 million federal grant for elementary school programs. The Clyde C. Miller Academy, which teaches technical and career training to 800 students, opened in 2003.
The following is a summary of data regarding St. Louis public schools as of the 2003–2004 school year.
Total enrollment: 37,563
Number of facilities
elementary schools: 59
middle schools: 21
senior high schools: 10
Student/teacher ratio: elementary, 23:1; middle school 27:1; high school 33:1
Teacher salaries average: $41,388
Funding per pupil: $9,995
The St. Louis area has 115 public school districts offering everything from innovative urban magnet to excellent suburban school programs. More than 300 private schools are available in the St. Louis area.
Colleges and Universities
St. Louis is home to 12 universities, 8 professional schools, 9 graduate schools, 8 two-year colleges and 89 vocational schools. Washington University, a private independent institution, offers 90 programs and 1,500 courses in such fields as business, architecture, engineering, social work, and teacher education; the university operates schools of medicine, dentistry, and law. More than 6,500 undergraduates and 5,000 graduates attend this research university. Saint Louis University, established in 1818 and affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, also operates schools of medicine and law and offers 50 graduate and 86 undergraduate programs in its 13 colleges/schools. Sixteen NCAA Division I athletics teams including baseball, basketball, swimming, and cross country compete for the University. Webster University, located in suburban Webster Groves, awards baccalaureate and master's degrees in 13 bachelors and 9 graduate programs. The University of Missouri at Saint Louis is both a graduate and undergraduate institution and part of the state university system. More than 16,000 students attend classes on the 300-acre campus; The University of Missouri at St. Louis is the third largest university in Missouri. Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, also a state university, is in neighboring Edwardsville, Illinois.
Fontbonne College, Harris-Stowe State College, Maryville University, Missouri Baptist University, and Saint Louis Christian College are four-year institutions located in the St. Louis area; the St. Louis Conservatory of Music offers both graduate and undergraduate programs. Theological schools in the city include Covenant Theological Seminary, Concordia Seminary and Eden Theological Seminary. St. Louis Community College is the largest community college in Missouri and one of the largest in the United States; the college's three campuses offer college transfers, career and developmental programs, and non-credit courses. There are several large technical and vocational schools in the region.
Libraries and Research Centers
A variety of public and private libraries are maintained in St. Louis by various organizations and institutions. The Saint Louis Public Library operates a main facility, a bookmobile, and 15 branches with holdings of 2.8 million book volumes and bound periodicals, periodical titles, and CDs, micro-fiches, films, audio- and videotapes, slides, maps, and art reproductions. Special collections include African American history, genealogy, architecture, and federal and state documents. The Saint Louis County Library, with 19 branches and 9 bookmobiles, maintains a primary facility housing more than 2.3 million books and federal, state, and county documents; the library also offers a special collection in genealogy. The Missouri Historical Society holds a reference collection on topics pertaining to regional and state history.
Most area colleges and universities maintain substantial campus libraries; among the most extensive is the Washington University Libraries system.
The city is fast becoming a center for the bio-tech industry; the industry is supported by several research facilities in this area. Monsanto's multimillion-dollar agricultural headquarters and Life Science Research Center are both based in St. Louis, comprising one of the world's largest and most sophisticated facilities searching for ways to improve agriculture through biotechnology and genetic engineering. The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is another major component in the area's biotech development, along with the 40,000 square foot plant and life sciences incubator, the Nidus Center.
The Sigma-Aldrich Corp Life Science Technology Center is a $57 million, four-story research and technology center near its headquarters in mid-town St. Louis. The center is home to 220 life science chemists and also serves as a corporate learning center. The 150,000-square-foot building makes possible continuing technical discovery that builds on Sigma-Aldrich's half-century of success in advancing life through science through development of life science and high-tech products.
Public Library Information: Saint Louis Public Library, 1301 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103; telephone (314)241-2288; fax (314)539-0393. Saint Louis County Library, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131; telephone (314)994-3300; fax (314)997-7602
Saint Louis (lōō´Ĭs), city (1990 pop. 396,685), independent and in no county, E Mo., on the Mississippi River below the mouth of the Missouri; inc. as a city 1822. St. Louis has long been a major industrial and transportation hub. It is a leading rail and trucking center, and its airport and river port are among the country's busiest. Its industries produce a variety of manufactures, including chemicals; consumer goods; motor vehicles and parts; electronic components; foods and beverages; textiles; shoes; paper, plastic, and metal products; paints; soap and detergents; hardware; and pharmaceuticals. St. Louis is also a wholesale, banking, and financial center.
Institutions and Landmarks
The city has a noted symphony orchestra, a municipal opera, a large botanical garden, and over 30 educational institutions, including Saint Louis Univ., Washington Univ., three theological seminaries, and a branch of the Univ. of Missouri. The city's large Forest Park has an open-air theater, an art museum, a zoo, a planetarium, and the Jefferson memorial building, which recalls the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 (the "St. Louis Fair" ). Located in the city are two museums of contemporary art, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and the Contemporary Art Museum. St. Louis is also home to the National League's Cardinals, the National Football League's Rams, and the National Hockey League's Blues.
The major attraction is Gateway Arch (erected in 1965), a stainless steel arch, 630 ft (192 m) high, designed by Eero Saarinen. Standing on the banks of the Mississippi, it symbolizes St. Louis as the gateway to the West. The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, of which the arch is a part, was established in 1935 to preserve such historical buildings as the old courthouse (1839–64), where the Dred Scott Case was tried (see National Parks and Monuments, table). The poet Eugene Field was born in St. Louis; his house is a museum. New Cathedral is one of the country's largest Roman Catholic cathedrals. The massive Union Station, once the country's largest railroad terminal, now houses shops and a hotel.
Saint Louis was once the site of significant Native American mounds built during the Mississippian period (see Mound Builders), but they were nearly all leveled as the city grew. In 1763 the location was chosen (1763) by Pierre LaClede for a fur-trading post. To honor Louis XV of France, it was named for his "name" saint, Louis IX of France. Transferred to the Spanish in 1770, it was retroceded to France in the time of Napoleon I and then sold to the United States along with the other lands of the Louisiana Purchase.
St. Louis, the gateway to the Missouri valley and the West, was the market and supply point for fur traders, mountain men, and explorers (including Lewis and Clark). The town grew rapidly after the War of 1812, when immigrants came in numbers to settle the West. St. Louis grew to be one of the greatest U.S. river ports; even after the railroads arrived in the 1850s, the river steamers remained extremely important.
The city was at the height of its population immediately following World War II. Between 1950 and 1990 the central city population decreased by half, and industry declined significantly in the same period. While many of the outlying suburbs grew steadily and developed industries, some, such as East Saint Louis, have been marked by high unemployment and poverty.
See E. M. Coyle, Saint Louis (2d ed. 1970) and St. Louis Treasures (1986).
St. Louis: Communications
St. Louis: Communications
Newspapers and Magazines
The city's major daily newspaper is the morning St. Louis Post Dispatch. The St. Louis Business Journal is a business weekly. A variety of other newspapers, including the St Louis Small Business Monthly and Call neighborhood newspapers circulate in the area. The Associated Press and United Press International operate offices in St. Louis.
Several specialized magazines and journals are based in St. Louis; the majority are journals published for medical professionals by the Elsevier Health Sciences Publishing Company and other firms. In addition to health care, subjects include religion, agriculture, engineering, environmental issues, business, insurance, and construction trades.
Television and Radio
Television viewers in metropolitan St. Louis tune in broadcasts from six stations, and cable is available. A complete range of radio programming—including classical, jazz, classic rock, "oldies," Christian, and gospel music, as well as news and public interest features—is offered by 23 AM and FM radio stations.
Media Information: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 900 North Tucker Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63101-9990; telephone (314)340-8000; toll-free (800)365-0820.
St. Louis Online
City of St. Louis home page. Available www.stlouis.missouri.org
Missouri Department of Economic Development home page. Available www.ecodev.state.mo.us
St. Louis Commerce magazine home page. Available www.stlcommercemagazine.com
St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission home page. Available www.explorestlouis.com
St. Louis Front Page (development news) home page. Available www.slfp.com
St. Louis Post-Dispatch home page. Available www.stltoday.com
St. Louis Public Library home page. Available www.slpl.lib.mo.us
St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association home page. Available www.stlrcga.org
Clamorgan, Cyprian, The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis (University of Missouri Press, 1999)
Peters, Frank, et al., A Guide to the Architecture of St. Louis (University of Missouri Press, 1990)
Twain, Mark, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Hartford, Conn.: The American Publishing Co., 1876)
St. Louis: Population Profile
St. Louis: Population Profile
Metropolitan Area Residents
Percent change, 1990–2000: 4.6%
U.S. rank in 1980: 14th
U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported
U.S. rank in 2000: 18th
2003 estimate: 332,223
Percent change, 1990–2000: 12.2%
U.S. rank in 1980: 26th
U.S. rank in 1990: 34th (State rank: 2nd)
U.S. rank in 2000: 53rd (State rank: 2nd)
Density: 5,622.9 people per square mile (2000)
Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)
Black or African American: 178,266
American Indian and Alaska Native: 950
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 94
Hispanic (may be of any race): 7,022
Percent of residents born in state: 70.3% (2000)
Age characteristics (2000)
Population under 5 years old: 23,477
Population 5 to 9 years old: 26,709
Population 10 to 14 years old: 25,014
Population 15 to 19 years old: 24,729
Population 20 to 24 years old: 26,541
Population 25 to 34 years old: 54,395
Population 35 to 44 years old: 53,144
Population 45 to 54 years old: 41,260
Population 55 to 59 years old: 13,466
Population 60 to 64 years old: 11,612
Population 65 to 74 years old: 23,047
Population 75 to 84 years old: 17,482
Population 85 years and over: 7,313
Median age: 33.7 years
Births (2002) Total number: 5,145
Deaths (2002) Total number: 4,104 (of which, 71 were infants under the age of 1 year)
Money income (1999)
Per capita income: $16,108 (1999)
Median household income: $27,156
Total households: 147,076
Number of households with income of . . .
less than $10,000: 28,384
$10,000 to $14,999: 13,927
$15,000 to $24,999: 26,238
$25,000 to $34,999: 21,352
$35,000 to $49,999: 22,803
$50,000 to $74,999: 19,692
$75,000 to $99,999: 8,130
$100,000 to $149,999: 4,406
$150,000 to $199,999: 1,120
$200,000 or more: 1,234
Percent of families below poverty level: 9.2% (56.2% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: Not reported
St. LouisSt. Louis: Introduction
St. Louis: Geography and Climate
St. Louis: History
St. Louis: Population Profile
St. Louis: Municipal Government
St. Louis: Economy
St. Louis: Education and Research
St. Louis: Health Care
St. Louis: Recreation
St. Louis: Convention Facilities
St. Louis: Transportation
St. Louis: Communications
The City in Brief
Founded: 1763 (incorporated 1822)
Head Official: Mayor Francis G. Slay (D) (since 2001)
2003 estimate: 332,223
Percent change, 1990–2000: -12.2%
U.S. rank in 1980: 26th
U.S. rank in 1990: 34th
U.S. rank in 2000: 53rd
Metropolitan Area Population
Percent change, 1990–2000: 4.6%
U.S. rank in 1980: 14th
U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported
U.S. rank in 2000: 18th
Area: 62 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 535 feet above sea level
Average Annual Temperature: 55.4° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 46.06 inches of rain; 23.5 inches snow
Major Economic Sectors: Services, wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, government
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (February 2005)
Per Capita Income: $16,108 (1999)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: Not reported
Major Colleges and Universities: Washington University; Saint Louis University
Daily Newspaper: St. Louis Post-Dispatch