My meeting with the architects


aiastl_logoI had a special treat Wednesday night, when I spoke before an auditorium full of architects as one of two speakers at the continuing education workshop of the St. Louis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects on the topic, “The Gateway Arch – 50th Anniversary: Past, Present, Future.”

For the workshop, I developed a completely new and more technical 45-minute speech about the material in the book. I worked closely with members of the chapter’s Continuing Education Committee in association with the St. Louis chapters of the Construction Specifications Institute and Building Enclosure Council to make sure this was worthy of continuing education credit recognized by the AIA. The other speaker, Vern Remiger, of REMIGERDESIGN, gave a thorough update of the work of CityArchRiver 2015 to reconnect the river and Arch grounds to the city and prepare the monument for its 50th birthday on October 28. Architect Christopher Ching of Trivers Associates did a stellar job of helping me to prepare for the presentation at the headquarters of the Masonry Institute of St. Louis in Richmond Heights.

I never fail to meet people who love the Arch when I do signings and programs about my book, The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, The Schemers, and The Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch. But architects have a special appreciation of the monument, because they know exactly what Eero Saarinen had to go through to design the monument. It was a real honor to be part of this program.


Published by Jim Merkel

Reedy Press published four of my books, Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch: St. Louis's South Side, 2010; Beer, Brats, and Baseball: St. Louis Germans, 2012; The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, The Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch; and the Second Edition of Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch: St. Louis's South Side, 2014. They're available in bookstores and online. For an autographed copy, send a check for $21.50 made out to Jim Merkel, to Jim Merkel, 4216 Osceola St., St. Louis, MO 63116.

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