Bill Reker

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The public is invited to a forum on the future plans for Grand Center.

Award winning architect Donald Stastny will present a diagram and meet with the public at 5:30 P.M. Thursday June 23 at Powell Hall, 718 North Grand Blvd.

Stastny, who’s team led the process for a new master plan for the Gateway Archgrounds, has been meeting with the Grand Center Planning Committee.

“We are going to show diagrams about how we expect Grand Center to be structured operationally, for example roadways and open space.” said Stastny.

They now want direct input from the community on the planning process.

We’re going to begin speaking to the public about what we’ve learned to date” Stastny told KMOX News.

 He said the public will be brought up to date on what the committee has heard and the direction in which it’s going with the overall plan. Stastny said they want to hear from the public whether they are going in the right direction.

“In working with cities all over North America and internationally, I’ve never seen a confluence of this many arts institutions in one area of a city.” said Stastny.  “If you map out the facilities, they really lack continuity or connections between them.”  “We are also interested in how we can bring life into the area, something more than just when the entertainment venues are going on.” said Stastny.  He’d like to see the area cater to workers during the day and visitors who come to town.

As to what might still be needed in Grand Center Stastny said “There might be room for a large outdoor performance area. There could be an art walk.  There could be a historic walk that addresses the history of the place.”

He also sees the need for more restaurants, everything from fine dining to fast food.  He thinks that would help develop an activity base that would inspire people to spend more time in Grand Center. “There might be more housing and basic services.” said Stastny.

“I think I’ve learned a lot.” said Stastny. “It’s been a little bit like drinking out of a fire hose the last two years.  I’ve really enjoyed working in St. Louis and getting to know it better.”

“My sense about St. Louis is that there is a lot of philanthropy in what they believe in.” said Stastny. “If its something that should be a part of their city they are very willing to come forward and support it both financially and politically.”

He said convenient parking is an issue at Grand Center.

“This is a tremendously historic city” said Stastny “both in the buildings and the background on where they came from.  In many ways I think St. Louis folks feel like a step child to other cities.  I don’t think they have to feel that way. I think it’s a great city and people who make it their home should think of it as a great American city it is.”

Copyright KMOX Radio


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