IMG_2113The man with me in front of the Coffee Cartel in the Central West End Tuesday afternoon is NPR’s All Things Considered Senior Host Robert Siegel. He and NPR Producer Art Silverman talked to me about Beer, Brats, and Baseball: St. Louis Germans, and our efforts to get recognition for the six German streets whose names were changed during World War I. They’re gathering information for programs airing in August or September, around the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, on the anti-German hysteria during the war.

And speaking of our campaign, 20th Ward St. Louis Alderman Craig Schmid, who represents the South Side’s Dutchtown neighborhood, will introduce a bill on Friday giving Providence Place the honorary designation of Knapstein Place. That was its name before it was changed in 1918, during the anti-German hysteria.

A Book About the Gateway Arch?!?

Merkel at Arch - CopyFound this great book about the Gateway Arch when we visited the Arch gift shop on Sunday. Oh, of course, it’s my own book, The Making of an Icon. You can buy at the same gift shop, on Amazon, at all kinds of local book stores and two places where I’ll appear on Saturday. I’ll sign books at the Fenton Barnes & Noble from 2-4:30 p.m. and from 5-10 p.m. at the German Cultural Society’s Sommerfest at 5020 West Four Ridge Road in House Springs.

Another Cost of the Arch

10384742_752037811525528_4378423360005903576_n[1]10313173_752037691525540_8261426913634715297_n[1]10312379_752037604858882_6064760651675537374_n[1]While almost everybody talks about the beauty of the Arch, preservationists also say something was lost. Between 1939 and 1942, 37 blocks of historic buildings were leveled to make way for what would become the Arch grounds. At the time, they were eyesores at the city’s front door. But the preservationists say that with some loving care, they might have turned into a tourist district. Personally, I’d trade it for the Gateway Arch. But there were many other proposals for the land. Any of them would not have justified the loss of these treasures from the steamboat era. Starting with this post, I’ll run several pieces with pictures of what was lost.

Out and About in St. Charles County Land


imagesCAASO71GSt. Charles Countians will have two chances this week to get an autographed copy of The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, The Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch. At 7 p.m. Thursday, I’ll give a program at the Corporate Parkway Branch of the St. Charles City-County Public Library, 1200 Corporate Parkway, Wentzville. Then from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, I’ll sign books at the Barnes & Noble at 320 Mid Rivers Center in St. Peters.