Several weeks ago I went with my brother’s family to St. Louis Union Station and his sorrow at seeing its decline was rather pronounced. I had seen it several times in the past few years and so was not as shocked. The glory that we recalled was not its old, old glory, which must have been even more amazing, when the huge, amazing roof could have ensconced whole trains it seems. I imagine it must have been a steamy, noisy, exciting place to be when St. Louis was a world class city.
No, we were remembering the ’80s and ’90s when the coolest thing for us to do for our guests visiting us in the small, truly dingy village of East Alton was to bring them over to St. Louis, take them to and up to the top of the Arch, then maybe to the McDonalds which was on a riverboat, and then perhaps over to Union Station to take in all the shops, listen to the singing of the workers at the Fudgery, and perhaps get a sample.
In truth, in more ways than not, I believe downtown St. Louis is thriving far more than it did in the 80′s and I share no real sorrow in seeing another casualty in the slow retreat of American mall culture. It just makes one wistful and a little sad, especially when this building has such grand architecture and potential. I would love to see an indoor ice rink in the winter under that roof, though I don’t know where the koi would go to live. Perhaps at the botanical gardens!
Even given the state of the mall, I bet the Marriott at the station would still warrant a stay. I always plan on going to the restaurant there or to just go and sit for a while in the grand hall, but never seem to manage to make it. There are so many other places to go!