City Arch River Competition – results are in!

Today it was announced that MVVA was selected in the City Arch River Competition. As you may have gathered by now, a certain level of cynicism about the competition inspired my project. Of the entries, and as a student and only occasional visitor to St Louis, this entry was probably my favorite–mainly because of its simplicity and feasibility. I’ll be interested to see how it is reviewed by media in coming days, particularly with regard to those qualities, and will continue to update this entry.

STLtoday.com: New York firm MVVA wins Arch design competition information provided similar to that in press release

Urban STL: MVVA Team Wins Arch Design Competition Generally positive; summarizes Urban STL review of MVVA proposal – criticizes treatment (enlarging sidewalks) of Eads Bridge. However, comments are almost all negative, describing the proposal as “mediocre”, “lacking vision” and generally failing to accomplish the goal of enlivening downtown Saint Louis.

Urban STL: More on MVVA Winning the Arch Design Competition and What’s Next Describes the MVVA plan as unpopular among Urban STL readers,

“The design proposal submitted by MVVA has failed to capture the admiration of those who visit this site. In fact, with 1,000 votes counted, MVVA garnered just 23 votes, or 2.3% to finish fifth of the five finalists. My review of the MVVA proposal ended on a down note, the proposal simply didn’t come across as exciting as several others. However, the competition wasn’t designed to pick the most exciting design and I think that those who simply went with their gut reaction, or were hoping for more than the competition sought, are now disappointed.”

Reiterates tight timeline for design and construction and emphasizes that MVVA plan may be most feasible and realistic of any presented.

STLToday.com: Arch plan aims for safe crossing across Memorial Drive, I-70 describes MVVA proposal for I-70 and Memorial Drive. Somewhat neutral, but includes,

Arch park superintendent Tom Bradley warned that MVVA’s proposal probably will be modified over the next three months. That’s when the National Park Service, city government and others will work with MVVA and Donald G. Stastny, design-competition manager, to refine the plan, produce a budget and begin seeking private donations and government funding.

“Don’t put too much stock in any one thing. This can evolve,” said Bradley, who did not offer an opinion on the Memorial Drive plan.

Jeff Rainford, chief of staff to Mayor Francis Slay, said the city will examine Memorial Drive traffic flows during the three-month refinement.

Rainford said it was too early to determine whether limiting or closing Memorial “would better meet the goal of connecting the Arch with downtown.”

The National Park Service estimated last year that reshaping the Arch grounds and expanding them across the Mississippi River would cost about $305 million but acknowledged the figure could rise. MVVA was the only one of the five competing teams to price its plan, and said it could happen for slightly more than that amount.

STLToday.com: Arch grounds plan gives park a new spin summarizes reasoning behind jury’s selection of MVVA and work to be done in next 90 days,

But over the next 90 days, the team will work with the city of St. Louis, the National Park Service and civic leaders to refine the plan, including assessing “the feasibility and practicality of proposed solutions,” according to a release from the organizers of the competition.

The groups will also come up with a construction budget and a fundraising plan. Competition organizers have estimated the cost at $300 million but stressed it could go higher. And they have so far not offered ideas for how to pay for the redesign, saying they are confident funding sources can be found.

Several area members of Congress have pledged their support but have not detailed where money could come from.

Officials have also said they are not worried about the redesign clashing with another potential big-ticket project: fixing corrosion and rust that have appeared on the Arch in the last several years.

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