Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

A quick stop in St. Louis


When I left you we were waiting at Regan National airport in Washington DC for our flight to St. Louis Missouri. It was Saturday morning and we had finished ‘working’ and were ready for the weekend.

Built in different centuries.

Our objective was a Sunday afternoon retirement party for a good friend. But since we were arriving on Saturday morning we had most of the day free to explore the city.

So of course we did.

What a beautiful day to explore!

We thought we’d go up in the arch, enjoy the view from way up there. But when we arrived early afternoon there were no tours scheduled.

We were disappointed, of course, but we looked around to see what else there might be to do, and noticed people coming and going from the Old Courthouse. At least that was open!

Built in 1828 and then added on and remodeled over the years.

I don’t know what I was expecting when we walked through the door. But all I could say was “wow.”

The colors in the afternoon light were beautiful.

A Federal style building, it was built in 1828, the dome added in 1861.

The inside of the dome.

In 1846 the slave Dred Scott sued for his and his wife’s freedom as they had been held as slaves in free states. All of the trials, including a Missouri Supreme Court hearing, were held in the Old Courthouse. The case was ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1857 Dred Scott v. Sandford, which ruled against the Scotts, saying they did not have grounds as citizens to sue.

The Scotts.

In 1872 Virginia Minor attempted to vote in a St. Louis election and was arrested. Her trials, including the deliberations before the Missouri Supreme Court, were held in this building. The United States Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett (1875) upheld the male-only voting rules, as the Constitution did not address voting rules, which were set by the states.

The Old Courthouse was the tallest building in St. Louis and in the state of Missouri until the Union Station was built in 1896. Of course we went to Union Station too.

Located many many many blocks away from the riverfront.

Walking through town, on our way to the Union Station we came across a park filled with sculpture. The first piece that caught our attention was a giant Pinocchio…

Welcome to St. Louis!

…but there were lots of other interesting pieces set back in the trees and ponds.

Open to interpretation.

A few blocks beyond the park we finally made it to Union Station. It’s now a hotel, with a large ballroom where the waiting room used to be…

Set for a wedding reception.

..and a big convention hall where trains once stopped.

A great place to run around.

Out back there is a small amusement park with a big wheel and a carousel. When night began to fall we took a ride on the wheel.

A fine night for a ride.

I wondered what the hotel guests at this old hotel thought about the lights shining in their windows all evening.

Maybe they’ve got blackout drapes over there.

But of course, when it was all said and done, the arch is the main feature in St. Louis. At least for me. There are so many ways to try to capture it’s image.

A different angle.

I tried to figure them all out.

Against the soft clouds of the late afternoon sky.

But my favorite was when the sun was almost down and the arch glowed with the last light of day. It looked like silver ribbon, as if someone had brushed it with silver leaf. There was a hint of pink near the top.

Just before night, when everything glows.

I couldn’t stop looking at it as it changed color in the dying light.

Last light.

And the next morning, on our way out of town, heading north to that retirement party, we stopped on the other side of the Mississippi River, in East St. Louis, Illinois, for one last look.

There’s a park over there, mostly funded by Malcolm Martin. A large ramp has been built so that you can get a clear view of the St. Louis skyline and it’s famous arch. And way up on the top of that ramp sits Mr. Martin himself.

Sitting into perpetuity.

A life size bronze statue of the generous man who, I thought, seemed a bit lonely. So I sat with him for awhile and just gazed out over the river.

Sometimes it’s good to have someone to sit with.

It was a peaceful way to say goodbye, for now, to St. Louis.

The bridge to Illinois.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

28 thoughts on “A quick stop in St. Louis

  1. Oh the ending was cute! To have someone to sit with and then your arm around him.

    And enjoyed this mini tour of St. Louis with you! I visited it in the 90s and it took my breath away! In 2016 – we drove a ways from it on our way to Kansas City and regretted we could not make a stop to my son could see it. He saw it from a distance but to get the awe of it- one must be closer- like you were!
    Hope the party was awesome and also – the Children running around in the old station now ballroom – well it showed the scale of that enormous space!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The light in the court house is amazing! Great photos!


  3. I’ve wanted to visit St. Louis but have never been there. You make it look delightful and inviting. Love the photo of the wedding reception venue.


  4. Thanks for the update on St Louis I was there one time for a wedding but we didn’t do tourist stuff:(


  5. Dawn–your photos are beautiful! Aw, the last photo with you and Mr Martin–that is such a great way to end our tour.


  6. Very powerful photos — especially of the sculptures. It’s been many years since I was last in St. Louis. You’ve made me want to go back again!


  7. Beautiful series of photos, Dawn. I love the one with you sitting with Mr. Martin.

    I think I told you we used to live in St. Louis. I am slightly claustrophobic so going up in the Arch was quite an experience for me. It’s very… close.


  8. Once again, great photos. Like Lois and Dawn, I especially love the one of you and Mr. Martin, but the ones of the arch as the sun set were stunning. I was in St. Louis as a child, but there was no arch then and I don’t remember anything about the city. Too young to care, I think.


  9. Oh my gosh, what stunning photos. That “arch” photo with the caption “A different angle” is absolutely stunning. I love traveling along with you Dawn, seeing things I would never see otherwise. 🙂 Thank you.


  10. Almost forgot … your header photo is amazing!


  11. love that last photo. Beautiful images and look like a day well spent!


  12. Love the shot of you and Mr. Martin — reminds me of a similar “pose” I took of Domer and a famous coach at Notre Dame back in the day! I do hope you’ll plan another trip back and this time, ride up in the Arch. ‘Tis a glorious view from that height!


  13. I’ve never been to St. Louis, what a rich cultural city. I NEVER knew! Thanks.


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