Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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                   Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve-Eve Sunset in St. Louis

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There was a slim chance for a decent sunset over the city on the evening of Tuesday the 23rd, thanks to a small area of cloud-free clearing to the west in central Missouri. If you are a local resident and keeping up with the Arch grounds renovations, you probably heard that all of the ash trees on the grounds have been cut down. These trees are mainly the ones lining the long main walkways on the north and south ends of the grounds. This has resulted in the most dramatic change in the landscape around the Arch since it was built. This along with the other construction projects has made the entire grounds look like a desolate wasteland, unrecognizable if it weren't for the Arch itself still standing in the middle. Aside from the central greens under the Arch, everything is a muddy mess, punctuated with bright orange construction fences and tall chain link fence barricades.

I had hoped to scout out a few brand-new, never-before-available photo angles of the Arch afforded by the removal of the trees. And there are indeed plenty of them. However, none of the new angles are accessible yet thanks to barricades that block off everything but the immediate area around the Arch. In fact, the only access to the grounds right now at all is either the riverfront stairway or the new pedestrian bridge at Walnut Street - a fact I discovered after a long walk across the Eads Bridge from the Casino Queen parking lot. Simply put, the Arch grounds is a total mess right now, and will likely stay that way until the majority of the renovations are complete. The good news is that the finished product should be worth the current troubles.

Despite the fact I wasn't able to shoot any of the new angles, I did salvage three images from Tuesday's "Christmas Eve-Eve" sunset:

Still good pictures nonetheless. Be careful going there in light of what's happened in the past month.
- Posted by Tim

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