Saint Louis: Institutions and Landmarks

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”). Also in the city are two museums of contemporary art, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and the Contemporary Art Museum, and the popular and eclectic City Museum, housed in a former shoe warehouse. St. Louis is also home to the National League's Cardinals and the National Hockey League's Blues.

The major attraction is Gateway Arch (completed 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. Gateway Arch National Park, established in 1935 as Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, also preserves such historical buildings as the old courthouse (1839–64), where the Dred Scott Case was tried. 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.

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