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Saint Louis, Missouri

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Saint Louis is the largest metropolitan area in the state of Missouri, with a total, bi-state (several Missouri and Illinois counties) population of 2,603,607 (eighteenth largest metropolitan area in the U.S.) as of 2000. The city of Saint Louis, a separate entity from Saint Louis County, contributes 348,189 people; its population has been declining since the 1950s as people continue to move to the multiplicity of suburbs in Saint Louis County (1,016,315), Saint Charles County (283,883), Franklin County (93,807) and Jefferson County (198,099) in Missouri and Madison (258,941), Saint Clair[?] (256,082), and Monroe (27,619) counties in Illinois.

Nicknames: the Gateway City and Mound City

Table of contents

History (Inserting dates and more information in this section would be especially helpful.)

Pierre Laclede[?] and his stepson, August Chouteau[?], founded Saint Louis as a trading post in 1763 (the city proper was established on February 15, 1764). After the French and Indian War, Saint Louis was controlled by Spain, but Saint Louis, along with the rest of the Louisiana Territory, was returned to France during the Napoleonic Wars. The city was acquired from France by the United States under President Thomas Jefferson in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Saint Louis later became the starting point for western explorers (such as the Lewis and Clark expedition), trappers (such as Ashley's Hundred), and settlers moving west.

Geography The city of Saint Louis itself extends along the western banks of the Mississippi River just south of the Missouri-Mississippi confluence. Near its southern frontier is the River Des Peres[?]; the River Des Peres is now used as a storm drainage channel and is usually reduced to mere puddles, which gives rise to the local name, the River Des Pew. Near the central, western boundary shared with Saint Louis County is the famous Forest Park, home of the 1904 World's fair, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 or, as it is commonly known, the Saint Louis World's Fair, and the 1904 Olympic Games[?].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 171.3 km² (66.2 mi²). 160.4 km² (61.9 mi²) of it is land and 11.0 km² (4.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 6.39% water.

Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 348,189 people, 147,076 households, and 76,920 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,171.1/km² (5,622.9/mi²). There are 176,354 housing units at an average density of 1,099.7/km² (2,847.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 43.85% White, 51.20% African American, 0.27% Native American, 1.98% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.80% from other races, and 1.88% from two or more races. 2.02% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 147,076 households out of which 25.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.2% are married couples living together, 21.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 47.7% are non-families. 40.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.30 and the average family size is 3.19.

In the city the population is spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 84.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $27,156, and the median income for a family is $32,585. Males have a median income of $30,106 versus $24,987 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,108. 24.6% of the population and 20.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 36.4% are under the age of 18 and 17.4% are 65 or older.

Economy Saint Louis is well known as being the center of operations for Anheiser-Busch Breweries. Saint Louis is also home to a Boeing plant (formerly McDonnell-Douglas), where many of the United States' and its allies' military aircraft are built, and two DaimlerChrysler plants, where minivans and pickup trucks are built. This facility is in fact where all the precision JDAM missiles which achieved notoriety in the recent Iraq war are manufactured.

Major Attractions

  • Forest Park, located in the Central West End neighborhood of the city of Saint Louis, offers many of Saint Louis's most popular attractions: the Saint Louis Zoological Park (free admission); the Muny, an open-air, Broadway-style theater; the Saint Louis Science Center and Observatory; the Saint Louis Art Museum; the Missouri History Museum; and, of course, plenty of lakes and scenic, open areas.
  • The MUNY Theater, in Forest Park, is the largest outdoor theater in the United States, and contains a free admission section.
  • The Missouri Botanical Gardens[?], also known as Shaw's Gardens, is a beautiful collection of flowery plants, shrubs, and trees: It comprises the Japanese Garden, which features a lake filled with koi and lovely gravel designs; the woodsy English Garden; the Chinese Garden; the Home Gardening Center; a rose garden; the climate-controlled dome Climatron; and other scenic gardens.
  • The Arch is located near the riverfront in downtown Saint Louis. The Arch is the centerpiece of a national park that also includes the nearby Old Courthouse, where the famous Dred Scott case was brought to court.
  • Cahokia Mounds[?], located near Collinsville, Illinois, is the ruins of a city of the ancient Mississippian[?] aboriginal culture.
  • The Saint Louis Cardinals are one of the teams of baseball's National League. They play at Busch Stadium.
  • The Saint Louis Blues are the local NHL hockey team; they play at the Savvis Center[?], formerly the Kiel Center.
  • The Saint Louis Rams are an NFL team best known for bringing Saint Louis its first Super Bowl victory. They play at the Edward Jones Dome[?] (formerly the Trans World Dome, after Trans World Airlines, who used St. Louis as a hub until its bankruptcy).
  • St. Charles, seat of St. Charles County and first capital of the state of Missouri, is the location from which the Lewis and Clark Expedition began. It also has a downtown historic district with many small craft shops.
  • Six Flags - Saint Louis is the local amusement park and can be found in Eureka, Missouri --in the far West of Saint Louis County.
  • The Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis[?] or the New Cathedral is a large Roman Catholic cathedral designed in the Byzantine[?] and Romanesque styles. On the inside, it is decorated with lovely mosaics, which were, at one point, the largest set of mosaics in the world.
  • The Fox Theater holds many performances during the year.
  • The Hill is a historically Italian neighborhood where many of the area's best Italian restaurants can be found.
  • Laclede's Landing, located directly north of Downtown and by the Mississippi River, is popular for its restaurants and clubs.
  • The Bowling Hall of Fame is located by Busch Stadium in downtown Saint Louis.
  • The Butterfly House is located in western Saint Louis County.
  • The City Museum (http://www.citymuseum.org/) offers a variety of fun exhibits. It serves as a meeting point for St. Louis' young arts scene.
  • The Museum of Transportation is located in Kirkwood, a suburb in southwestern Saint Louis County.
  • The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra plays at Powell Symphony Hall. Leonard Slatkin[?] is one of the former conductors.

Colleges and Universities Saint Louis is the home of many important universities:

Medicine Because of its colleges, hospitals, and companies like Monsanto (http://www.monsanto.com/) (and Solutia[?], the former chemical division of Monsanto that has recently been spun off into a separate firm, with significant operations across the river in East St. Louis), Saint Louis is respected as a center of medicine and biotechnology.

Journalism The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://home.post-dispatch.com/) is the only major local newspaper in the Saint Louis area; Pultizer Publishing[?] also owns the Suburban Journals, a collection of local newspapers. An alternative weekly called the St. Louis Riverfront Times (http://www.riverfronttimes.com/) exists, but its coverage is more social events and entertainment than news. A few neighborhood and suburban journals cover local news.

Transportation By far, most Saint Louisans' main method of transportation is the automobile. Use of the automobile is supported by the existence of many limited-access interstate highways (I-70, I-55, I-44, I-64, I-270, I-255, I-170, etc.) and many other roads. Also, located as an enclave in northern Saint Louis County, near the Missouri River, is the Lambert-Saint Louis International Airport[?], which is administered by the city of Saint Louis. Mass transit is provided in two forms, both of which are controlled by one agency: the city bus system and Metrolink, a raised light-rail train system that mainly connects the airport to downtown and, recently, parts of the Metro East (the Saint Louis region in Illinois). Passenger train service is also available through a "temporary" (since 1980) train station set up near downtown by Amtrak; smaller, yet permanent, train stations exist in the suburb of Kirkwood and nearby Alton, Illinois.

Social Issues Saint Louis is, for the most part, a segregated city. African-American Saint Louisans tend to live in the poorest, most crime-ridden areas whereas most white Saint Louisans have moved into the better-off suburbs. In an attempt to counter this problem, Saint Louis has implemented a school desegregation program: Some inner city African-American students are bused into Saint Louis County schools; and, in exchange, some County students are bussed into City magnet schools.

The whole Saint Louis area has been trying to fix its pollution problem. In Missouri, the state has required gasoline stations in the Saint Louis area to serve a special, reformulated gasoline; furthermore, the state has implemented an automobile pollution test which all cars (with some exceptions) owned by residents of Saint Louis and the counties of Saint Louis, Saint Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin must pass every other year.

See also: East St. Louis, Illinois

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