St. Louis Then and Now: The Riverfront and the Gateway Arch



The Riverfront, 1928

Posted by Vintage St. Louis & Route 66 on Sunday, November 8, 2020

From the days of Lewis & Clark to the floating McDonald’s to the heyday of Mississippi Nights to the legendary visit from Barack Obama, St. Louis’ riverfront area along the Mississippi River has seen it all.

The set of vintage photos above were posted Sunday on the Vintage St. Louis & Route 66 Facebook page. They show how the area looked way back in 1928, a full 35 years before construction began on the Gateway Arch in 1963. The riverfront buildings were torn down to make way for the Arch project, but the curve and beauty of the river there has remained the same.

RELATED: 50 Stunning Photos from the Gateway Arch Construction

The first vintage photo above was taken from the area near the Eads bridge looking south toward the Poplar Street Bridge. If you look closely, you can see the tall stacks from the Watco building across the river in Sauget, IL, peeking above the Poplar Street Bridge. They look exactly the same in modern pictures, too.

Check it out:

The view from the Eads Bridge in June 2019 - SCREENGRAB VIA GOOGLE MAPS
  • screengrab via Google Maps
  • The view from the Eads Bridge in June 2019

The second vintage photo above shows the buildings along the river that were commandeered and torn down during the latter part of the 1930s. The foundation of the Arch was laid in 1961 and the construction of it was completed in October of 1965.

Here's a more modern comparison of that angle:

The view from S Leonor K Sullivan Boulevard in August 2019 - GOOGLE MAPS
  • Google Maps
  • The view from S Leonor K Sullivan Boulevard in August 2019

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