Admiring St. Louis' skyline from across the river has its charms, but there's a unique thrill to looking down on it. Few public places offer a better vantage point for this than the Eighth Circuit Library, on the 22nd floor of the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse. When you enter this hushed oasis, the Mississippi stretches before you in panorama through huge windows on the east wall. Only the U.S. Bank and Metropolitan Square buildings rise above your eye level. Citygarden is down and to the left, as is the Old Courthouse (though the Gateway Arch is partially obscured). To your right, you can almost see the infield of Busch Stadium. Keep moving along this wall, and soon south St. Louis unfurls before you, its canopy spiked by church spires. The west windows in the back of the library allow you to peer onto the roof of city hall. If all these vistas make you queasy, though, the library has plenty of desks in quiet nooks where you can sit and take a breather. And with a rack of national newspapers, magazines and some 300,000 volumes at your disposal, you might spend longer here than you planned.
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