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St. Louis () is the second-largest city in
Missouri Missouri is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. With more than six million residents, it is the 18th-most populous state of the country. The largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia; the capita ...
,
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, 326 India ...
. It sits near the
confluence In geography, a confluence (also: ''conflux'') occurs where two or more flowing bodies of water join together to form a single channel. A confluence can occur in several configurations: at the point where a tributary joins a larger river (main ...

confluence
of the
Mississippi Mississippi () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; and to the northwest by Arkansas. Mississi ...
and the
Missouri River The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri. The river drains a sparsely po ...
s, on the western bank of the latter. As of 2019, the
city proper A city proper is the geographical area contained within city limits. The term, ''proper'', is not exclusive to cities; it can describe the geographical area within the boundaries of any given locality. The United Nations defines the term as "the si ...
had an estimated population of around 300,000, while the bi-state metropolitan area, which extends into Illinois, had an estimated population of over 2.8 million, making it the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, the second-largest in Illinois, the seventh-largest in the
Great Lakes Megalopolis The Great Lakes Megalopolis consists of the group of metropolitan areas in North America largely in the Great Lakes region and along the Saint Lawrence River. It extends from the Midwestern United States in the south and west to western Pennsylvani ...
, and the 22nd-largest in the United States. Before European settlement, the area was a regional center of Native American
Mississippian culture The Mississippian culture was a Native American civilization that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1600 CE, varying regionally. It was known for building large, earthen ...
. St. Louis was founded on February 14, 1764 by French fur traders Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxent,
Pierre Laclède Pierre Laclède Liguest or Pierre Laclède (22 November 1729 – 20 June 1778) was a French fur trader who, with his young assistant and stepson Auguste Chouteau, founded St. Louis in 1764, in what was then Spanish Upper Louisiana, in present-day Mi ...
and
Auguste Chouteau René-Auguste Chouteau, Jr. (September 7, 1749, or September 26, 1750 – February 24, 1829Beckwith, 8.), also known as Auguste Chouteau, was the founder of St. Louis, Missouri, a successful fur trader and a politician. He and his partner had a mono ...
, who named it for
Louis IX of France Louis IX (25 April 1214 – 25 August 1270), commonly known as Saint Louis or Louis the Saint, is the only king of France to be canonized in the Catholic Church. Louis was crowned in Reims at the age of 12, following the death of his fathe ...
. In 1764, following France's defeat in the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) was a global conflict, "a struggle for global primacy between Britain and France", which also had a major impact on the Spanish Empire. In Europe, the conflict arose from issues left unresolved by the War of ...
, the area was ceded to
Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 = , ...
. In 1800, it was retroceded to France, which sold it three years later to the United States as part of the
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane 'Sale of Louisiana') was the acquisition of the territory of Louisiana by the United States from France in 1803. In return for fifteen million dollars, or approximately eighteen dollars per s ...

Louisiana Purchase
; the city was then the point of embarkation for the
Corps of Discovery The Corps of Discovery was a specially-established unit of the United States Army which formed the nucleus of the Lewis and Clark Expedition that took place between May 1804 and September 1806. The Corps was led jointly by Captain Meriwether Lewis ...
on the
Lewis and Clark Expedition The Lewis and Clark Expedition from August 31, 1803, to September 25, 1806, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the United States expedition to cross the newly acquired western portion of the country after the Louisiana Purcha ...
. In the 19th century, St. Louis became a major port on the Mississippi River; from
1870 Events January–March * January 1 ** The first edition of ''The Northern Echo'' newspaper is published in Priestgate, Darlington, England. ** Plans for the Brooklyn Bridge are completed. * January 3 – Construction of the Brooklyn ...
until the 1920 census, it was the fourth-largest city in the country. It separated from St. Louis County in 1877, becoming an
independent city#REDIRECT Independent city#REDIRECT Independent city {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
and limiting its own political boundaries. St. Louis had a brief run as a world-class city in the early 20th century. In 1904, it hosted the
Louisiana Purchase Exposition The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, informally known as the St. Louis World's Fair, was an international exposition held in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, from April 30 to December 1, 1904. Local, state, and federal funds totaling $15 millio ...
and the
Summer Olympics The Summer Olympic Games (french: Jeux olympiques d'été) also known as the Games of the Olympiad, are a major international multi-sport event normally held once every four years. The Games were first held in 1896 in Athens, Greece, and were m ...
. A "
Gamma Gamma (uppercase , lowercase ; ''gámma'') is the third letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 3. In Ancient Greek, the letter gamma represented a voiced velar stop . In Modern Greek, this letter repr ...
"
global city A global city, also called a power city, world city, alpha city or world center, is a city which is a primary node in the global economic network. The concept comes from geography and urban studies, and the idea that globalization is created and ...
with a metropolitan GDP of more than $160 billion in 2017, metropolitan St. Louis has a diverse economy with strengths in the service, manufacturing, trade, transportation, and tourism industries. It is home to nine of the ten
Fortune 500 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and published by ''Fortune'' magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States corporations by total revenue for their respective fiscal years. The list includes publicly held companies, along wit ...
companies based in Missouri. Major companies headquartered or with significant operations in the city include Ameren Corporation,
Peabody Energy Peabody Energy, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is the largest private sector coal company in the world. Its primary business consists of the mining, sale, and distribution of coal, which is purchased for use in electricity generation and ...
,
Nestlé Purina PetCare Nestlé Purina Petcare (), or simply Purina, is an American subsidiary of Nestlé, based in St. Louis, Missouri. It produces and markets pet food, treats and cat litter. Some of its pet food brands include Purina Pro Plan, Purina Dog Chow, Friskie ...
,
Anheuser-Busch Anheuser-Busch Companies, LLC is an American brewing company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Since 2008, it has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) which also has its North American regional management head ...
,
Wells Fargo Advisors Wells Fargo Advisors is a subsidiary of Wells Fargo, located in St Louis, Missouri. It is the third largest brokerage firm in the United States as of June 30, 2020 with $1.5 trillion retail client assets under management. The subsidiary was former ...
, Stifel Financial, Spire, Inc., MilliporeSigma,
FleishmanHillard FleishmanHillard Inc. (formerly, Fleishman–Hillard) is a public relations and marketing agency founded and based in St. Louis, Missouri. It was acquired by Omnicom Group in 1997, becoming part of the Diversified Agency Services (DAS) division. The ...
, Square, Inc., U.S. Bank, Anthem BlueCross and Blue Shield, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis,
U.S. Department of Agriculture The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), also known as the Agriculture Department, is the federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming, forestry, rural economic development, and ...
,
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is a combat support agency under the United States Department of Defense and a member of the United States Intelligence Community, with the primary mission of collecting, analyzing, and distributin ...

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
,
Centene Corporation Centene Corporation is a large publicly traded company and a multi-line managed care enterprise that serves as a major intermediary for both government-sponsored and privately insured health care programs. It is a healthcare insurer that focuses ...
, and
Express Scripts Express Scripts Holding Company is a pharmacy benefit management (PBM) organization. In 2017 it was the 22nd-largest company in the United States by total revenue as well as the largest pharmacy benefit management (PBM) organization in the United S ...
. Major research universities include
Saint Louis University Saint Louis University (SLU) is a private Jesuit research university with campuses in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, and Madrid, Spain. Founded in 1818 by Louis William Valentine DuBourg, it is the oldest university west of the Mississippi ...
and
Washington University in St. Louis Washington University in St. Louis (WashU, or WUSTL) is a private research university in Greater St. Louis with its main campus (Danforth) mostly in unincorporated St. Louis County, Missouri, and Clayton, Missouri. It also has a West Campus in C ...
. The
Washington University Medical Center The Washington University Medical Center (WUMC), located in St. Louis, Missouri, is a large scale health-care focused commercial development located in St. Louis' Central West End neighborhood. The Washington University Medical Center Redevelopmen ...
in the
Central West End The Central West End is a neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri, stretching from Midtown's western edge to Union Boulevard and bordering on Forest Park with its outstanding array of free cultural institutions. It includes the Cathedral Basilica of Sa ...
neighborhood hosts an agglomeration of medical and pharmaceutical institutions, including
Barnes-Jewish Hospital Barnes-Jewish Hospital is the largest hospital in the U.S. state of Missouri. Located in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis, it is the adult teaching hospital for the Washington University School of Medicine and a major component of ...
. St. Louis has three professional sports teams: the
St. Louis Cardinals The St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball team based in St. Louis. The Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. Since the 2006 season, the Cardinals have ...
of
Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is an American professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in Major League Baseball: 15 teams in the National L ...
, the
St. Louis Blues The St. Louis Blues are a professional ice hockey team based in St. Louis. The Blues compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the West Division. The franchise was founded in 1967 as one of the six teams from the 1967 NHL expansi ...
of the
National Hockey League The National Hockey League (NHL; french: Ligue nationale de hockey—LNH) is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL is considered to be the premier pro ...
, and the St. Louis BattleHawks of the newly formed XFL. In 2019, the city was awarded a
Major League Soccer Major League Soccer (MLS) is a men's professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation, which represents the sport's highest level in the United States and Canada. The league comprises 27 teams – 24 in the U.S. and ...
franchise, St. Louis City SC, which is expected to begin play upon the completion of a 22,500-seat stadium in the city's Downtown West neighborhood in 2023. Among the city's notable sights is the
Gateway Arch The Gateway Arch is a monument in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Clad in stainless steel and built in the form of a weighted catenary arch, it is the world's tallest arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and Missour ...

Gateway Arch
in the downtown area. St. Louis is also home to the St. Louis Zoo and the
Missouri Botanical Garden greenhouse at the Missouri Botanical Garden simulates the climate of a rainforest for conservational and educational purposes. The Missouri Botanical Garden is a botanical garden located at 4344 Shaw Boulevard in St. Louis, Missouri. It is als ...
, which has the second-largest herbarium in North America.


History


Mississippian culture and European exploration

The area that would become St. Louis was a center of the Native American
Mississippian culture The Mississippian culture was a Native American civilization that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1600 CE, varying regionally. It was known for building large, earthen ...
, which built numerous temple and residential earthwork
mounds A mound is an artificial heap or pile, especially of earth, rocks, or sand. Mound and Mounds may also refer to: Places * Mound, Louisiana, United States * Mound, Minnesota, United States * Mound, Texas, United States * Mound, West Virginia * Mound ...
on both sides of the Mississippi River. Their major regional center was at
Cahokia Mounds The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (11 MS 2) is the site of a pre-Columbian Native American city (which existed 1050–1350 CE) directly across the Mississippi River from modern St. Louis, Missouri. This historic park lies in south-west ...
, active from 900 to 1500. Due to numerous major earthworks within St. Louis boundaries, the city was nicknamed as the "Mound City". These mounds were mostly demolished during the city's development. Historic Native American tribes in the area included the
Siouan Siouan or Siouan–Catawban is a language family of North America that is located primarily in the Great Plains, Ohio and Mississippi valleys and southeastern North America with a few other languages in the east. Name Authors who call the entire ...
-speaking
Osage people#REDIRECT Osage Nation {{R for alternate capitalisation ...
, whose territory extended west, and the
Illiniwek The Illinois Confederation, also referred to as the Illiniwek or Illini, were made up of 12 to 13 tribes who lived in the Mississippi River Valley. Eventually member tribes occupied an area reaching from Lake Michicigao (Michigan) to Iowa, Illinoi ...
. European exploration of the area was first recorded in 1673, when French explorers
Louis Jolliet Louis Jolliet (September 21, 1645after May 1700) was a French-Canadian explorer known for his discoveries in North America. In 1673, Jolliet and Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette, a Catholic priest and missionary, were the first non-Natives to explo ...

Louis Jolliet
and
Jacques Marquette Jacques Marquette S.J. (June 1, 1637 – May 18, 1675), sometimes known as Père Marquette or James Marquette, was a French-Canadian Jesuit missionary who founded Michigan's first European settlement, Sault Sainte Marie, and later founded Saint I ...
traveled through the Mississippi River valley. Five years later, La Salle claimed the region for France as part of
Louisiana Louisiana (, ); Standard French: ' ; es, Luisiana is a state in the Deep South and South Central regions of the United States. It is the 19th-smallest by area and the 25th most populous of the 50 U.S. states. Louisiana is bordered by the s ...
. The earliest European settlements in the area were built in the
Illinois Country The Illinois Country (french: Pays des Ilinois ; , i.e. the Illinois people) — sometimes referred to as Upper Louisiana (french: Haute-Louisiane ; es, Alta Luisiana) — was a vast region of New France claimed in the 1600s in what is n ...
(also known as Upper Louisiana) on the east side of the Mississippi River during the 1690s and early 1700s at
Cahokia The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (11 MS 2) is the site of a pre-Columbian Native American city (which existed 1050–1350 CE) directly across the Mississippi River from modern St. Louis, Missouri. This historic park lies in south-west ...
,
Kaskaskia The Kaskaskia were one of the indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands. They were one of about a dozen cognate tribes that made up the Illiniwek Confederation, also called the Illinois Confederation. Their longstanding homeland was in the G ...
, and
Fort de Chartres Fort de Chartres was a French fortification first built in 1720 on the east bank of the Mississippi River in present-day Illinois. It was used as an administrative center for the province. Due generally to river floods, the fort was rebuilt twice, ...
. Migrants from the French villages on the opposite side of the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. From its traditional source of Lake Itasca in northern Minne ...
(e.g. Kaskaskia) founded Ste. Genevieve in the 1730s. In 1764, after France lost the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) was a global conflict, "a struggle for global primacy between Britain and France", which also had a major impact on the Spanish Empire. In Europe, the conflict arose from issues left unresolved by the War of ...
,
Pierre Laclède Pierre Laclède Liguest or Pierre Laclède (22 November 1729 – 20 June 1778) was a French fur trader who, with his young assistant and stepson Auguste Chouteau, founded St. Louis in 1764, in what was then Spanish Upper Louisiana, in present-day Mi ...
and his stepson
Auguste Chouteau René-Auguste Chouteau, Jr. (September 7, 1749, or September 26, 1750 – February 24, 1829Beckwith, 8.), also known as Auguste Chouteau, was the founder of St. Louis, Missouri, a successful fur trader and a politician. He and his partner had a mono ...
founded what was to become the city of St. Louis. (French lands east of the Mississippi had been ceded to
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. The isl ...
and the lands west of the Mississippi to Spain; France and Spain were 18th-century allies.
Louis XV of France Louis XV (15 February 1710 – 10 May 1774), known as Louis the Beloved (french: le Bien-Aimé), was King of France from 1 September 1715 until his death in 1774. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five. Until he reached ...
and
Charles III of Spain it, Carlo Sebastiano di Borbone e Farnese , house = Bourbon , father = Philip V of Spain , mother = Elisabeth Farnese , birth_date = 20 January 1716 , birth_place = Royal Alcazar of Madrid, Spain , death_date = , death ...

Charles III of Spain
were cousins, both from the House of Bourbon.) The French families built the city's economy on the
fur trade The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of a world fur market in the early modern period, furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most val ...
with the Osage, as well as with more distant tribes along the
Missouri River The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri. The river drains a sparsely po ...
. The Chouteau brothers gained a monopoly from Spain on the fur trade with Santa Fe. French colonists used
African slaves Slavery has historically been widespread in Africa. Systems of servitude and slavery were common in parts of Africa in ancient times, as they were in much of the rest of the ancient world. When the trans-Saharan slave trade, Indian Ocean sla ...
as domestic servants and workers in the city. France, alarmed that Britain would demand French possessions west of the Mississippi and the Missouri River basin after losing New France to them in 1759–1760, transferred these to Spain as part of the Viceroyalty of
New Spain New Spain, officially the Viceroyalty of New Spain ( es, Virreinato de Nueva España ), was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire, established by Habsburg Spain during the Spanish colonization of the Americas. It covered a huge area ...
. These areas remained in Spanish possession until 1803. In 1780 during the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from thirteen American colonies of British America in Congress against Great Britain over thei ...
, St. Louis was attacked by British forces, mostly Native American allies, in the Battle of St. Louis.


City founding

The founding of St. Louis was preceded by a trading business between Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxent and Pierre Laclède (Liguest) in the fall of 1763. St. Maxent invested in a Mississippi River expedition led by Laclède, who searched for a location to base the company's fur trading operations. Though Ste. Genevieve was already established as a trading center, he sought a place less prone to flooding. He found an elevated area overlooking the flood plain of the Mississippi River, not far south from its confluence with the Missouri and Illinois rivers. In addition to having an advantageous natural drainage system, there were nearby forested areas to supply timber and grasslands which could easily be converted for agricultural purposes. This place, declared Laclède, “might become, hereafter, one of the finest cities in America.” He dispatched his 14-year-old stepson,
Auguste Chouteau René-Auguste Chouteau, Jr. (September 7, 1749, or September 26, 1750 – February 24, 1829Beckwith, 8.), also known as Auguste Chouteau, was the founder of St. Louis, Missouri, a successful fur trader and a politician. He and his partner had a mono ...
, to the site, with the support of 30 settlers in February 1764. Laclède arrived at the future town site two months later and produced a plan for St. Louis based on the New Orleans street plan. The default block size was 240 by 300 feet, with just three long avenues running parallel to the west bank of the Mississippi. He established a public corridor of 300 feet fronting the river, but later this area was released for private development. For the first few years of St. Louis's existence, the city was not recognized by any of the governments. Although the settlement was thought to be under the control of the Spanish government, no one asserted any authority over it, and thus St. Louis had no local government. This vacuum led Laclède to assume civil control, and all problems were disposed in public settings, such as communal meetings. In addition, Laclède granted new settlers lots in town and the surrounding countryside. In hindsight, many of these original settlers thought of these first few years as "the golden age of St. Louis". By 1765, the city began receiving visits from representatives of the English, French, and Spanish governments. The Indians in the area expressed dissatisfaction at being under the control of British forces. One of the great Ottawa chieftains, Pontiac, was angered by the change of power and the potential for the British to come into their lands. He desired to fight against them but many of the St. Louis inhabitants refused. St. Louis was transferred to the
French First Republic In the history of France, the First Republic (French: ''Première République''), officially the French Republic (''République française''), was founded on 22 September 1792 during the French Revolution. The First Republic lasted until the decl ...
in 1800 (although all of the colonial lands continued to be administered by Spanish officials), then sold by the French to the U.S. in 1803 as part of the
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane 'Sale of Louisiana') was the acquisition of the territory of Louisiana by the United States from France in 1803. In return for fifteen million dollars, or approximately eighteen dollars per s ...

Louisiana Purchase
. St. Louis became the capital of, and gateway to, the new territory. Shortly after the official transfer of authority was made, the
Lewis and Clark Expedition The Lewis and Clark Expedition from August 31, 1803, to September 25, 1806, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the United States expedition to cross the newly acquired western portion of the country after the Louisiana Purcha ...
was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson. The expedition departed from St. Louis in May 1804 along the Missouri River to explore the vast territory. There were hopes of finding a water route to the Pacific Ocean, but the party had to go overland in the Upper West. They reached the Pacific Ocean via the Columbia River in summer 1805. They returned, reaching St. Louis on September 23, 1806. Both Lewis and Clark lived in St. Louis after the expedition. Many other explorers, settlers, and trappers (such as Ashley's Hundred) would later take a similar route to the West.


19th-century

The city elected its first municipal legislators (called trustees) in 1808.
Steamboat upright=1.35, Dutch river steam-tugboat ''Mascotte II'' A steamboat is a boat that is propelled primarily by steam power, typically driving propellers or paddlewheels. Steamboats sometimes use the prefix designation SS, S.S. or S/S (for 'Screw St ...
s first arrived in St. Louis in 1817, improving connections with
New Orleans New Orleans (,New Orleans
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and trade connections.
Immigrants from Ireland and Germany arrived in St. Louis in significant numbers starting in the 1840s, and the population of St. Louis grew from less than 20,000 inhabitants in 1840, to 77,860 in 1850, to more than 160,000 by 1860. By the mid-1800s, St. Louis had a greater population than New Orleans. Settled by many Southerners in a
slave state In the United States before 1865, a slave state was a state in which slavery and the slave trade were legal, while a free state was one in which they were not. Between 1812 and 1850, it was considered by the slave states to be politically impe ...
, the city was split in political sympathies and became polarized during the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names) was a civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865, fought between northern states loyal to the Union and southern states that had seceded to form the Confederate States of America. Th ...
. In 1861, 28 civilians were killed in a clash with Union troops. The war hurt St. Louis economically, due to the
Union blockade The Union blockade in the American Civil War was a naval strategy by the United States to prevent the Confederacy from trading. The blockade was proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln in April 1861, and required the monitoring of of Atlantic a ...
of river traffic to the south on the Mississippi River. The St. Louis Arsenal constructed
ironclad An ironclad is a steam-propelled warship protected by iron or steel armor plates, which were predominantly constructed from 1859 to the early 1890s. The ironclad was developed as a result of the vulnerability of wooden warships to explosive or ...
s for the
Union Navy ), (official) , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = , mascot = , equipment = , equipment_label = , ...
.
Slaves Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), while treated as property. Slavery typically involves the enslaved person being made ...
worked in many jobs on the waterfront as well as on the riverboats. Given the city's location close to the
free state The Free State ( af, Vrystaat; st, Freistata; xh, iFreyistata; tn, Foreistata; zu, iFuleyisitata; before 1995, the Orange Free State) is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Bloemfontein, which is also South Africa's judicial capital. Its hi ...
of Illinois and others, some slaves escaped to freedom. Others, especially women with children, sued in court in
freedom suits Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy and religion, it is associated with having free will and being w ...
, and several prominent local attorneys aided slaves in these suits. About half the slaves achieved freedom in hundreds of suits before the American Civil War. The printing press of abolitionist
Elijah Parish Lovejoy Elijah Parish Lovejoy (November 9, 1802 – November 7, 1837) was an American Presbyterian minister, journalist, newspaper editor, and abolitionist. He was shot and killed by a pro-slavery mob in Alton, Illinois, during their attack on the warehou ...
was destroyed for the third time by townsfolk. He was murdered the next year in nearby
Alton, Illinois Alton ( ) is a city on the Mississippi River in Madison County, Illinois, United States, about north of St. Louis, Missouri. The population was 27,865 at the 2010 census. It is a part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolita ...
. After the war, St. Louis profited via trade with the West, aided by the 1874 completion of the
Eads Bridge Eads Bridge is a combined road and railway bridge over the Mississippi River connecting the cities of St. Louis, Missouri and East St. Louis, Illinois. It is located on the St. Louis riverfront between Laclede's Landing, to the north, and the gr ...
, named for its design engineer. Industrial developments on both banks of the river were linked by the bridge, the second in the Midwest over the Mississippi River after the Hennepin Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis. The bridge connects St. Louis, Missouri to
East St. Louis, Illinois East St. Louis is a city in St. Clair County, Illinois, United States. It is directly across the Mississippi River from Downtown St. Louis and the Gateway Arch National Park. East St. Louis is in the Metro-East region of Southern Illinois. Once a ...
. The Eads Bridge became a symbolic image of the city of St. Louis, from the time of its erection until 1965 when the
Gateway Arch The Gateway Arch is a monument in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Clad in stainless steel and built in the form of a weighted catenary arch, it is the world's tallest arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and Missour ...

Gateway Arch
Bridge was constructed. The bridge crosses the St. Louis riverfront between Laclede's Landing, to the north, and the grounds of the Gateway Arch, to the south. Today the road deck has been restored, allowing vehicular and pedestrian traffic to cross the river. The St. Louis MetroLink light rail system has used the rail deck since 1993. An estimated 8,500 vehicles pass through it daily. On August 22, 1876, the city of St. Louis voted to
secede Secession is the withdrawal of a group from a larger entity, especially a political entity, but also from any organization, union or military alliance. Some of the most famous and significant secessions have been: the former Soviet republics leavi ...
from St. Louis County and become an independent city, and, following a recount of the votes in November, officially did so in March of 1877. Industrial production continued to increase during the late 19th century. Major corporations such as the
Anheuser-Busch Anheuser-Busch Companies, LLC is an American brewing company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Since 2008, it has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) which also has its North American regional management head ...
brewery and
Ralston-Purina Ralston Purina Company was a St. Louis, Missouri–based American animal feed, food and pet food company. On December 12, 2001, it merged with Swiss food-giant Nestlé's Friskies division to form Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. History Ralston Pu ...
company were established. St. Louis also was home to
Desloge Consolidated Lead Company Desloge Consolidated Lead Company was a lead mining company in the Southeast Missouri Lead District that was operated by the Desloge family in the 19th and early 20th century. The Desloge lead operations in the "Old Lead Belt", in the eastern Ozark ...
and several
brass era A 1911 K-R-I-T advertisement The Brass Era is an American term for the early period of automotive manufacturing, named for the prominent brass fittings used during this time for such things as lights and radiators. It is generally considered to en ...
automobile companies, including the
Success Automobile Manufacturing Company The Success Automobile Manufacturing Company was a brass era United States automobile manufacturer, located at 532 De Ballviere Avenue,Clymer, Floyd. ''Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925'' (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950), p.32. St. L ...
; St. Louis is the site of the
Wainwright Building The Wainwright Building (also known as the Wainwright State Office Building) is a 10-story, terra cotta office building at 709 Chestnut Street in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. The Wainwright Building is considered to be one of the first aesthetica ...
, a skyscraper designed in 1892 by architect
Louis Sullivan Louis Henry Sullivan (September 3, 1856 – April 14, 1924) was an American architect, and has been called a "father of skyscrapers" and "father of modernism". He was an influential architect of the Chicago School, a mentor to Frank Lloyd ...
.


20th-century

In 1904, the city hosted the
World's Fair#REDIRECT World's fair#REDIRECT World's fair {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
and the
Olympics The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competit ...
, becoming the first non-European city to host the games. Permanent facilities and structures remaining from the fair are located in Forest Park, and other notable structures within the park's boundaries include the St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Zoo and the
Missouri History Museum The Missouri History Museum in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri, showcases Missouri history. It is operated by the Missouri Historical Society, which was founded in 1866. The main galleries of the museum are free through a public subsidy by the ...
, as well as Tower Grove Park and the Botanical Gardens. After the Civil War, social and racial discrimination in housing and employment were common in St. Louis. In 1916, during the
Jim Crow Era Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States. These laws were enacted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by white Southern Democrat-dominated state legislatures to disenfranchis ...

Jim Crow Era
, St. Louis passed a residential segregation ordinance saying that if 75% of the residents of a neighborhood were of a certain race, no one from a different race was allowed to move in. That ordinance was struck down in a court challenge by the NAACP, so racists invented racial covenants, which prevented the sale of houses in certain neighborhoods to "persons not of Caucasian race". Again, St. Louisans offered a lawsuit in challenge, and such covenants were ruled unconstitutional by the
U.S. Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America. It has ultimate (and largely discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all federal and state court cases that invo ...
in 1948 in '' Shelley v. Kraemer''. In the first half of the 20th century, St. Louis was a destination in the Great Migration of African Americans from the rural South seeking better opportunities. During
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—forming two opposing milit ...
, the
NAACP The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is a civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909 as an interracial endeavor to advance justice for African Americans by a group including W. E. B. Du B ...
campaigned to integrate war factories. In 1964,
civil rights activists Civil may refer to: *Civic virtue, or civility *Civil action, or lawsuit *Civil affairs *Civil and political rights *Civil disobedience *Civil engineering *Civil (journalism), a platform for independent journalism *Civilian, someone not a member ...
protested at the construction of the Gateway Arch to publicize their effort to gain entry for African Americans into the skilled trade unions, where they were underrepresented. The Department of Justice filed the first suit against the unions under the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 Civil may refer to: *Civic virtue, or civility *Civil action, or lawsuit *Civil affairs *Civil and political rights *Civil disobedience *Civil engineering *Civil (journalism), a platform for independent journalism *Civilian, someone not a member ...
. In the first part of the century, St. Louis had some of the worst
air pollution in the United States370px, Looking down from the Hollywood Hills, with Griffith Observatory on the hill in the foreground, air pollution is visible in downtown Los Angeles">Griffith Observatory">Hollywood Hills, with Griffith Observatory on the hill in the foregrou ...
. In April 1940, the city banned the use of soft coal mined in nearby states. The city hired inspectors to ensure that only
anthracite Anthracite, also known as hard coal, is a hard, compact variety of coal that has a submetallic luster. It has the highest carbon content, the fewest impurities, and the highest energy density of all types of coal and is the highest ranking of coa ...

anthracite
was burned. By 1946, the city had reduced air pollution by about 75%. ''
De jure In law and government, ''de jure'' ( ; , "by law") describes practices that are legally recognized, regardless of whether the practice exists in reality. In contrast, ("in fact") describes situations that exist in reality, even if not legally ...
'' educational segregation continued into the 1950s, and ''
de facto In law and government, ''de facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with ''de jure'' ("by law ...
'' segregation continued into the 1970s, leading to a court challenge and interdistrict desegregation agreement. Students have been bused mostly from the city to county school districts to have opportunities for integrated classes, although the city has created magnet schools to attract students. St. Louis, like many
Midwestern The midwestern United States, often referred to simply as the Midwest, is one of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau (also known as "Region 2"). It occupies the northern central part of the United States.
cities, expanded in the early 20th century due to industrialization, which provided jobs to new generations of immigrants and migrants from the South. It reached its peak population of 856,796 at the 1950 census.
Suburbanization pattern in the US Suburbanization is a population shift from central urban areas into suburbs, resulting in the formation of (sub)urban sprawl. As a consequence of the movement of households and businesses out of the city centers, low-density, ...
from the 1950s through the 1990s dramatically reduced the city's population, as did restructuring of industry and loss of jobs. The effects of suburbanization were exacerbated by the small geographical size of St. Louis due to its earlier decision to become an independent city, and it lost much of its tax base. During the 19th and 20th century, most major cities aggressively annexed surrounding areas as residential development occurred away from the central city; however, St. Louis was unable to do so. Several
urban renewal upright=1.35, 1999 photograph looking northeast on Cabrini–Green housingproject,_one_of_many_urban_renewal_efforts.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Public housing">housingproject, one of many urban renewal efforts">P ...
projects were built in the 1950s, as the city worked to replace old and substandard housing. Some of these were poorly designed and resulted in problems. One prominent example,
Pruitt–Igoe The Wendell O. Pruitt Homes and William Igoe Apartments, known together as Pruitt–Igoe (), were joint urban housing projects first occupied in 1954 in the US city of St. Louis, Missouri. Living conditions in Pruitt–Igoe began to decline soon ...
, became a symbol of failure in public housing, and was torn down less than two decades after it was built. Since the 1980s, several revitalization efforts have focused on
downtown St. Louis Downtown St. Louis is the central business district of St. Louis, Missouri, the hub of tourism and entertainment, and the anchor of the St. Louis metropolitan area. The downtown is bounded by Cole Street to the north, the river front to the east, C ...
.


21st-century

Urban revitalization continued in the new century.
Gentrification Gentrification is a process of changing the character of a neighborhood through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses. It is a common and controversial topic in politics and in urban planning. Gentrification often increases the e ...
has taken place in the Washington Avenue Historic District,
Central West End The Central West End is a neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri, stretching from Midtown's western edge to Union Boulevard and bordering on Forest Park with its outstanding array of free cultural institutions. It includes the Cathedral Basilica of Sa ...
and Forest Park Southeast neighborhoods. This helped St. Louis win the World Leadership Award for urban renewal in 2006. In 2017 the US Census Bureau estimated that St. Louis had a population of 308,826 which is down from a population of 319,371 in 2010. In the 21st century, the city of St. Louis contains 11% of the total metropolitan population. (The top 20 U.S. metro areas have an average of 24% of their populations in their central cities.) St. Louis grew slightly during the early 2000s, but lost population from 2000 to 2010. Immigration has continued, with the city attracting Vietnamese, Latin Americans predominantly from Mexico, and
Bosnians Bosnians (Serbo-Croatian: / ; / , / ) are people identified with the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina or with the region of Bosnia. As a common demonym, the term ''Bosnians'' refers to all inhabitants/citizens of the country, regardless of ...
, who make up the largest Bosnian community outside of
Bosnia Bosnia ( bs, Bosna / , ) is the northern region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, encompassing roughly 81% of the country; the other region, the southern part, is Herzegovina. The two regions have formed a geopolitical entity since medieval times, and th ...
.


Geography


Cityscape


Landmarks


Architecture

are built with a blending of Greek Revival, Federal and Italianate styles The architecture of St. Louis exhibits a variety of commercial, residential, and monumental
architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architecture (Latin ''architect ...
. St. Louis is known for the
Gateway Arch The Gateway Arch is a monument in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Clad in stainless steel and built in the form of a weighted catenary arch, it is the world's tallest arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and Missour ...

Gateway Arch
, the tallest
monument is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, the Athenian democracy, as well as the symbol of Western Civilization. File:Cristo Rei (36211699613).jpg, The Christ the King, in Almada, Portugal, has become one of the most visited natio ...

monument
constructed in the United States at . The Arch pays homage to
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He had previously served a ...

Thomas Jefferson
and St. Louis's position as the gateway to the West. Architectural influences reflected in the area include
French Colonial French Colonial describes several styles of architecture used by the French during colonization. Many former French colonies, especially those in Southeast Asia, have previously been reluctant to promote their colonial architecture as an asset for ...
,
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language * Germanic peoples * Ger ...
, early American, and modern architectural styles. Some notable post-modern commercial skyscrapers were built downtown in the 1970s and 1980s, including the
One US Bank Plaza
One US Bank Plaza
(1976), the
AT&T Center The AT&T Center is a multi-purpose indoor arena on the east side of San Antonio, Texas, United States. It is the home of the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association. The arena seats 18,418 for basketball, 16,151 for ice hockey, a ...
(1986), and One Metropolitan Square (1989), which is the tallest building in St. Louis. One US Bank Plaza, the local headquarters for US Bancorp, was constructed for the Mercantile Bancorporation in the Structural expressionist style, emphasizing the steel structure of the building. During the 1990s, St. Louis saw the construction of the largest United States courthouse by area, the Thomas F. Eagleton United States Courthouse (completed in 2000). The Eagleton Courthouse is home to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The most recent high-rise buildings in St. Louis include two residential towers: the Park East Tower in the Central West End and the Roberts Tower located downtown. Several examples of religious structures are extant from the pre-Civil War period, and most reflect the common residential styles of the time. Among the earliest is the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France ( referred to as the ''Old Cathedral''). The Basilica was built between 1831 and 1834 in the Federal style. Other religious buildings from the period include SS. Cyril and Methodius Church (1857) in the Romanesque Revival style and Christ Church Cathedral (St. Louis, Missouri), Christ Church Cathedral (completed in 1867, designed in 1859) in the Gothic Revival style. A few civic buildings were constructed during the early 19th century. The original St. Louis courthouse was built in 1826 and featured a Federal style stone facade with a rounded portico. However, this courthouse was replaced during renovation and expansion of the building in the 1850s. The Old Courthouse (St. Louis, Missouri), Old St. Louis County Courthouse (known as the ''Old Courthouse'') was completed in 1864 and was notable for having a cast iron dome and for being the tallest structure in Missouri until 1894. Finally, a customs house was constructed in the Greek Revival style in 1852, but was demolished and replaced in 1873 by the United States Customhouse and Post Office (St. Louis, Missouri), U.S. Customhouse and Post Office. Because much of the city's commercial and industrial development was centered along the riverfront, many pre-Civil War buildings were demolished during construction of the Gateway Arch. The city's remaining architectural heritage of the era includes a multi-block district of cobblestone streets and brick and cast-iron warehouses called Laclede's Landing. Now popular for its restaurants and nightclubs, the district is located north of Gateway Arch along the riverfront. Other industrial buildings from the era include some portions of the Anheuser–Busch#St. Louis headquarters and brewery, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, which date to the 1860s. St. Louis saw a vast expansion in variety and number of religious buildings during the late 19th century and early 20th century. The largest and most ornate of these is the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, designed by Thomas P. Barnett and constructed between 1907 and 1914 in the Neo-Byzantine style. The St. Louis Cathedral, as it is known, has one of the largest mosaic collections in the world. Another landmark in religious architecture of St. Louis is the St. Stanislaus Kostka Church (St. Louis, Missouri), St. Stanislaus Kostka, which is an example of the Polish Cathedral style. Among the other major designs of the period were St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, St. Louis, St. Alphonsus Liguori (known as ''The Rock Church'') (1867) in the Gothic Revival and Second Presbyterian Church (St. Louis, Missouri), Second Presbyterian Church of St. Louis (1900) in Richardsonian Romanesque. By the United States Census, 1900, 1900 census, St. Louis was the fourth largest city in the country. In 1904, the city hosted a world's fair at Forest Park (St. Louis, Missouri), Forest Park called the
Louisiana Purchase Exposition The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, informally known as the St. Louis World's Fair, was an international exposition held in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, from April 30 to December 1, 1904. Local, state, and federal funds totaling $15 millio ...
. Its architectural legacy is somewhat scattered. Among the fair-related cultural institutions in the park are the St. Louis Art Museum designed by Cass Gilbert, part of the remaining lagoon at the foot of Art Hill, and the Flight Cage at the St. Louis Zoo. The
Missouri History Museum The Missouri History Museum in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri, showcases Missouri history. It is operated by the Missouri Historical Society, which was founded in 1866. The main galleries of the museum are free through a public subsidy by the ...
was built afterward, with the profit from the fair. But 1904 left other assets to the city, like Theodore Link's 1894 St. Louis Union Station, and an improved Forest Park.


Neighborhoods

The city is divided into 79 government-designated neighborhoods. The neighborhood divisions have no legal standing, although some neighborhood associations administer grants or hold veto power over historic-district development. Several neighborhoods are lumped together in categories such as "North City", "South City", and "The Central West End".


Topography

According to the United States Census Bureau, St. Louis has a total area of , of which is land and (6.2%) is water. The city is built on Hill, bluffs and terraces that rise 100–200 feet above the western banks of the Mississippi River, in the Midwestern United States just south of the Missouri River, Missouri-Mississippi
confluence In geography, a confluence (also: ''conflux'') occurs where two or more flowing bodies of water join together to form a single channel. A confluence can occur in several configurations: at the point where a tributary joins a larger river (main ...

confluence
. Much of the area is a fertile and gently rolling prairie that features low hills and broad, shallow valleys. Both the Mississippi River and the Missouri River have cut large valleys with wide flood plains. Limestone and Dolomite (rock), dolomite of the Mississippian age, Mississippian geologic time scale, epoch underlie the area, and parts of the city are karst in nature. This is particularly true of the area south of downtown, which has numerous sinkholes and caves. Most of the caves in the city have been sealed, but many springs are visible along the riverfront. Coal, brick clay, and millerite ore were once mined in the city. The predominant surface rock, known as ''St. Louis limestone'', is used as dimension stone and rubble for construction. Near the southern boundary of the city of St. Louis (separating it from St. Louis County) is the River des Peres, practically the only river or stream within the city limits that is not entirely underground. Most of River des Peres was confined to a channel or put underground in the 1920s and early 1930s. The lower section of the river was the site of some of the worst flooding of the Great Flood of 1993. The city's eastern boundary is the Mississippi River, which separates Missouri from Illinois. The Missouri River forms the northern line of St. Louis County, except for a few areas where the river has changed its course. The Meramec River forms most of its southern line.


Climate

The urban area of St. Louis has a damp Subtropics, subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification, Köppen: ''Cfa''); however, its Greater St. Louis, metropolitan region even to the south may present a hot-summer humid continental climate (''Dfa''), which shows the effect of the urban heat island in the city. The city experiences hot, humid summers and chilly to cold winters. It is subject to both cold Arctic air and hot, humid tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico. The average annual temperature recorded at nearby Lambert–St. Louis International Airport, is . Both temperatures can be seen on an average 2 or 3 days per year. Average annual precipitation is about , but annual precipitation has ranged from in 1953 to in 2015. The highest recorded temperature in St. Louis was on July 14, 1954 and the lowest was on January 5, 1884. St. Louis experiences thunderstorms 48 days a year on average. Especially in the spring, these storms can often be severe, with high winds, large hail and tornadoes. Lying within the hotbed of Tornado Alley, St. Louis is one of the most frequently tornado-struck metropolitan areas in the U.S. and has an extensive history of St. Louis tornado history, damaging tornadoes. Severe flooding, such as the Great Flood of 1993, may occur in spring and summer; the (often rapid) melting of thick snow cover upstream on the Missouri or Mississippi Rivers can contribute to springtime flooding.


Flora and fauna

Before the founding of the city, the area was mostly prairie and open forest. Native Americans maintained this environment, good for hunting, by burning underbrush. Trees are mainly oak, maple, and hickory, similar to the forests of the nearby The Ozarks, Ozarks; common understory trees include eastern redbud, serviceberry, and flowering dogwood. Riparian areas are forested with mainly American sycamore. Most of the residential areas of the city are planted with large native shade trees. The largest native forest area is found in Forest Park. In autumn, the changing color of the trees is notable. Most species here are typical of the eastern woodland, although numerous decorative non-native species are found. The most notable invasive species is Japanese honeysuckle, which officials are trying to manage because of its damage to native trees. It is removed from some parks. Large mammals found in the city include urbanized coyotes and white-tailed deer. Eastern gray squirrel, cottontail rabbit, and other rodents are abundant, as well as the nocturnal Virginia opossum. Large bird species are abundant in parks and include Canada goose, mallard duck, as well as shorebirds, including the great egret and great blue heron. Gulls are common along the Mississippi River; these species follow barge traffic. Winter populations of bald eagles are found along the Mississippi River around the Chain of Rocks Bridge. The city is on the Mississippi Flyway, used by migrating birds, and has a large variety of small bird species, common to the eastern US. The Eurasian tree sparrow, an introduced species, is limited in North America to the counties surrounding St. Louis. The city has special sites for birdwatching of migratory species, including Tower Grove Park. Frogs are found in the springtime, especially after extensive wet periods. Common species include the American toad and species of chorus frogs called spring peepers, which are found in nearly every pond. Some years have outbreaks of cicadas or ladybugs. Mosquitoes, no-see-ums, and houseflies are common insect nuisances, especially in July and August; because of this, windows are almost always fitted with screens. Invasive populations of Western honey bee, honeybees have declined in recent years. Numerous native species of pollinator insects have recovered to fill their ecological niche, and armadillos are seen throughout the St. Louis area.


Demographics

File:Pruitt-Igoe-overview.jpg, alt=, left,
Pruitt–Igoe The Wendell O. Pruitt Homes and William Igoe Apartments, known together as Pruitt–Igoe (), were joint urban housing projects first occupied in 1954 in the US city of St. Louis, Missouri. Living conditions in Pruitt–Igoe began to decline soon ...
was a large housing project constructed in 1954, which became infamous for poverty, crime and segregation. It was demolished in 1972. St. Louis grew slowly until the American Civil War, when industrialization and immigration sparked a boom. Mid-19th century immigrants included many Irish and Germans; later there were immigrants from southern and eastern Europe. In the early 20th century, African American and white migrants came from the South; the former as part of the Great Migration out of rural areas of the Deep South. Many came from Mississippi and Arkansas. After years of immigration, migration, and expansion, the city reached its peak population in 1950. That year, the Census Bureau reported St. Louis's population as 82% Race and ethnicity in the United States, White and 17.9% Race and ethnicity in the United States, African American. After World War II, St. Louis began losing population to the suburbs, first because of increased demand for new housing, unhappiness with city services, ease of commuting by highways, and later, white flight. St. Louis's population decline has resulted in a significant increase of abandoned residential housing units and vacant lots throughout the city proper; this blight has attracted much wildlife (such as deer and coyotes) to the many abandoned overgrown lots. St. Louis has lost 64.0% of its population since the 1950 United States Census, the highest percent of any city that had a population of 100,000 or more at the time of the 1950 Census. Detroit, Michigan, and Youngstown, Ohio, are the only other cities that have had population declines of at least 60% in the same time frame. The population of the city of St. Louis has been in decline since the 1950 census; during this period the population of the St. Louis Metropolitan Area, which includes more than one county, has grown every year and continues to do so. A big factor in the decline has been the rapid increase in suburbanization. According to the 2010 United States Census, St. Louis had 319,294 people living in 142,057 households, of which 67,488 households were families. The population density was 5,158.2 people per square mile (1,990.6/km). About 24% of the population was 19 or younger, 9% were 20 to 24, 31% were 25 to 44, 25% were 45 to 64, and 11% were 65 or older. The median age was about 34 years. The population was about 49.2% Black, 43.9% White (42.2% Non-Hispanic Whites, Non-Hispanic White), 2.9% Asian, 0.3% Native American/Alaska Native, and 2.4% reporting two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.5% of the population. The African-American population is concentrated in the north side of the city (the area north of Delmar Boulevard is 94.0% black, compared with 35.0% in the central corridor and 26.0% in the south side of St. Louis). Among the Asian-American population in the city, the largest ethnic group is Vietnamese American, Vietnamese (0.9%), followed by Chinese American, Chinese (0.6%) and Indian American, Indians (0.5%). The Vietnamese community has concentrated in the Dutchtown, St. Louis, Dutchtown neighborhood of south St. Louis; Chinese are concentrated in the
Central West End The Central West End is a neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri, stretching from Midtown's western edge to Union Boulevard and bordering on Forest Park with its outstanding array of free cultural institutions. It includes the Cathedral Basilica of Sa ...
. People of Mexican American, Mexican descent are the largest Latino group, and make up 2.2% of St. Louis's population. They have the highest concentration in the Dutchtown, Benton Park West, St. Louis, Benton Park West (Cherokee Street), and Gravois Park, St. Louis, Gravois Park neighborhoods. People of Italian American, Italian descent are concentrated in The Hill, St. Louis, The Hill. In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $29,156, and the median income for a family was $32,585. Males had a median income of $31,106; females, $26,987. Per capita income was $18,108. Some 19% of the city's housing units were vacant, and slightly less than half of these were vacant structures not for sale or rent. In 2010, St. Louis's per-capita rates of online charitable donations and volunteerism were among the highest among major U.S. cities. , 91.05% (270,934) of St. Louis city residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, while 2.86% (8,516) spoke Spanish, 0.91% (2,713) Serbo-Croat, 0.74% (2,200) Vietnamese, 0.50% (1,495) African languages, 0.50% (1,481) Chinese, and French was spoken as a main language by 0.45% (1,341) of the population over the age of five. In total, 8.95% (26,628) of St. Louis's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.


Bosnian population

About fifteen families from Bosnia settled in St. Louis between 1960 and 1970. After the Bosnian War started in 1992, more Bosnian refugees began arriving and by 2000, tens of thousands of Bosnian refugees settled in St. Louis with the help of Catholic aid societies. Many of them were professionals and skilled workers who had to take any job opportunity to be able to support their families. Most Bosnian refugees are Muslim, ethnically Bosniaks (87%); they have settled primarily in south St. Louis and South County. Bosnian-Americans are well integrated into the city, developing many businesses and ethnic/cultural organizations. An estimated 70,000 Bosnian American, Bosnians live in the metro area, the largest population of Bosnians in the United States and the largest Bosnian population outside their homeland. The highest concentration of Bosnians is in the neighborhood of Bevo Mill and in Affton, Missouri, Affton, Mehlville, and Oakville, Missouri, Oakville of south St. Louis County.


Economy

The gross domestic product of the St. Louis metro area was $160 billion in 2016, up from $155 billion the previous year. The gross metropolitan product of Greater St. Louis was $146 billion in 2014, the 21st-highest in the country, up from $144 billion in 2013, $138.4 billion in 2012, and $133.1 billion in 2011. The St. Louis metropolitan area had a per-capita GDP of $48,738 in 2014, up 1.6% from the previous year. In 2007, manufacturing in the city conducted nearly $11 billion in business, followed by the health care and social service industry with $3.5 billion; professional or technical services with $3.1 billion; and the retail trade with $2.5 billion. The health care sector was the area's biggest employer with 34,000 workers, followed by administrative and support jobs, 24,000; manufacturing, 21,000, and food service, 20,000.2007 Economic Census.


Major companies and institutions

, the St. Louis Metropolitan Area is home to ten
Fortune 500 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and published by ''Fortune'' magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States corporations by total revenue for their respective fiscal years. The list includes publicly held companies, along wit ...
companies, the 7th-most among U.S. cities. They include
Express Scripts Express Scripts Holding Company is a pharmacy benefit management (PBM) organization. In 2017 it was the 22nd-largest company in the United States by total revenue as well as the largest pharmacy benefit management (PBM) organization in the United S ...
, Emerson Electric, Monsanto, Reinsurance Group of America, Centene, Graybar Electric, and Edward Jones Investments. Other notable corporations headquartered in the region include Arch Coal, Bunge Limited,
Wells Fargo Advisors Wells Fargo Advisors is a subsidiary of Wells Fargo, located in St Louis, Missouri. It is the third largest brokerage firm in the United States as of June 30, 2020 with $1.5 trillion retail client assets under management. The subsidiary was former ...
(formerly A.G. Edwards), Energizer Holdings, Patriot Coal, Post Foods, United Van Lines, and Mayflower Transit, Post Holdings, Olin Corporation, Olin, and Enterprise Holdings (a parent company of several car rental companies). Notable corporations with operations in St. Louis include Cassidy Turley, Kerry Group, Mastercard, TD Ameritrade, and BMO Harris Bank. Health care and biotechnology institutions with operations in St. Louis include Pfizer, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the Solae Company, Sigma-Aldrich, and Multidata Systems International. General Motors manufactures automobiles in Wentzville, Missouri, Wentzville, while an earlier plant, known as the St. Louis Truck Assembly, built GMC (automobile), GMC automobiles from 1920 until 1987. Chrysler closed its Saint Louis Assembly, St. Louis Assembly production facility in nearby Fenton, Missouri and Ford closed the St. Louis Assembly Plant in Hazelwood. Several once-independent pillars of the local economy have been purchased by other corporations. Among them are
Anheuser-Busch Anheuser-Busch Companies, LLC is an American brewing company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Since 2008, it has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) which also has its North American regional management head ...
, purchased by Belgium-based InBev; Missouri Pacific Railroad, which was headquartered in St. Louis, merged with the Omaha, Nebraska-based Union Pacific Railroad in 1982; McDonnell Douglas, whose operations are now part of Boeing Defense, Space & Security; Trans World Airlines, which was headquartered in the city for its last decade of existence, prior to being acquired by American Airlines; Mallinckrodt, purchased by Tyco International; and Ralston Purina, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestlé. The May Department Stores Company (which owned Famous-Barr and Marshall Field's stores) was purchased by Federated Department Stores, which has its regional headquarters in the area. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in downtown is one of two federal reserve banks in
Missouri Missouri is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. With more than six million residents, it is the 18th-most populous state of the country. The largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia; the capita ...
. Most of the assets of Furniture Brands International were sold to Heritage Home Group in 2013, which moved to North Carolina. St. Louis is a center of medicine and biotechnology. The Washington University School of Medicine is affiliated with
Barnes-Jewish Hospital Barnes-Jewish Hospital is the largest hospital in the U.S. state of Missouri. Located in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis, it is the adult teaching hospital for the Washington University School of Medicine and a major component of ...
, the fifth largest hospital in the world. Both institutions operate the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center. The School of Medicine also is affiliated with St. Louis Children's Hospital, one of the country's top pediatric hospitals. Both hospitals are owned by BJC HealthCare. The McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University in St. Louis, Washington University played a major role in the Human Genome Project.
Saint Louis University Saint Louis University (SLU) is a private Jesuit research university with campuses in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, and Madrid, Spain. Founded in 1818 by Louis William Valentine DuBourg, it is the oldest university west of the Mississippi ...
Medical School is affiliated with SSM Health's Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital and Saint Louis University Hospital. It also has a cancer center, vaccine research center, geriatric center, and a bioethics institute. Several different organizations operate hospitals in the area, including BJC HealthCare, Mercy (healthcare organization), Mercy, SSM Health Care, and Tenet. Cortex Innovation Community in Midtown St. Louis, Midtown neighborhood is the largest innovation hub in the Midwestern United States, midwest. Cortex is home to offices of Square, Inc., Square, Microsoft, Aon (company), Aon, Boeing, and Centene. Cortex has generated 3,800 tech jobs in 14 years. Once built out, projections are for it to make $2 billion in development and create 13,000 jobs for the region. Boeing employs nearly 15,000 people in its north St. Louis campus, headquarters to its defense unit. In 2013, the company said it would move about 600 jobs from Seattle, where labor costs have risen, to a new information technology, IT center in St. Louis. Other companies, such as LaunchCode and LockerDome, think the city could become the next major tech hub. Programs such as Arch Grants are attracting new startups to the region. According to the ''St. Louis Business Journal'', the top employers in the St. Louis metropolitan area , are: According to St. Louis's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (June 30), the top employers in the city only, are:


Education


Colleges and universities

The city is home to three national research universities, University of Missouri-St. Louis,
Washington University in St. Louis Washington University in St. Louis (WashU, or WUSTL) is a private research university in Greater St. Louis with its main campus (Danforth) mostly in unincorporated St. Louis County, Missouri, and Clayton, Missouri. It also has a West Campus in C ...
and
Saint Louis University Saint Louis University (SLU) is a private Jesuit research university with campuses in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, and Madrid, Spain. Founded in 1818 by Louis William Valentine DuBourg, it is the oldest university west of the Mississippi ...
, as classified under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has been ranked among the top 10 medical schools in the country by US News & World Report for as long as the list has been published, and as high as second, in 2003 and 2004. US News & World Report also ranks the undergraduate school and other graduate schools, such as the Washington University School of Law, in the top 20 in the nation. St. Louis Metropolitan Region is also home to several other 4-year colleges & universities, including Harris–Stowe State University, a Historically black colleges and universities, historically black public university, Fontbonne University, Webster University, Missouri Baptist University, University of Health Sciences & Pharmacy (the former Saint Louis College of Pharmacy), Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE), and Lindenwood University. In addition to Catholic theological institutions such as Kenrick-Glennon Seminary and Aquinas Institute of Theology sponsored by the Dominican Order, Order of Preachers, St. Louis is home to three Protestant seminaries: Eden Theological Seminary of the United Church of Christ, Covenant Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church in America, and Concordia Seminary of the St. Louis-based Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.


Primary and secondary schools

The St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) operate more than 75 schools, attended by more than 25,000 students, including several magnet schools. SLPS operates under provisional accreditation from the state of Missouri and is under the governance of a state-appointed school board called the Special Administrative Board, although a local board continues to exist without legal authority over the district. Since 2000, charter schools have operated in the city of St. Louis using authorization from Missouri state law. These schools are sponsored by local institutions or corporations and take in students from kindergarten through high school. In addition, several private schools exist in the city, and the Archdiocese of St. Louis operates dozens of parochial schools in the city, including parochial high schools. The city also has several private high schools, including secular, The Fulton School, Montessori, Catholic school, Catholic and Lutheran schools. St. Louis University High School – a Jesuit preparatory high school founded in 1818 – is the oldest secondary educational institution in the U.S. west of the Mississippi River.


Culture

With its French past and waves of Catholic immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries, from Ireland, Germany and Italy, St. Louis is a major center of Roman Catholicism in the United States. St. Louis also boasts the largest Ethical Society, Ethical Culture Society in the United States and is one of the most generous cities in the United States, ranking ninth in 2013. Several places of worship in the city are noteworthy, such as the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, home of the world's largest mosaic installation. Other notable churches include the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France, the oldest Roman Catholic cathedral west of the Mississippi River and the oldest church in St. Louis; the Saint Louis Abbey, St. Louis Abbey, whose distinctive architectural style garnered multiple awards at the time of its completion in 1962; and St. Francis de Sales Church (St. Louis), St. Francis de Sales Oratory, a neo-Gothic church completed in 1908 in South St. Louis and the second largest church in the city. The city is identified with music and the performing arts, especially its association with blues, jazz, and ragtime. St. Louis is home to the Saint Louis Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, the second oldest symphony orchestra in the United States. Until 2010, it was also home to KFUO-FM, one of the oldest classical music FM radio stations west of the Mississippi River. Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Opera Theatre of St. Louis has been called "one of America's best summer festivals" by the ''Washington Post''. Former general director Timothy O'Leary was known for drawing the community into discussions of challenging operas. John Adams's "The Death of Klinghoffer", which touched off protests and controversy when performed by the Metropolitan Opera in 2014, had no such problems in St. Louis three years before, because the company fostered a citywide discussion, with interfaith dialogues addressing the tough issues of terrorism, religion and the nature of evil that the opera brings up. St. Louis's Jewish Community Relations Council gave O'Leary an award. Under O'Leary, the company — always known for innovative work — gave second chances to other major American operas, such as John Corigliano's "The Ghosts of Versailles", presented in 2009 in a smaller-scale version. The
Gateway Arch The Gateway Arch is a monument in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Clad in stainless steel and built in the form of a weighted catenary arch, it is the world's tallest arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and Missour ...

Gateway Arch
anchors downtown St. Louis and a historic center that includes: the Federal courthouse where the Dred Scott v. Sandford, Dred Scott case was first argued, an expanded public library, major churches and businesses, and retail. An increasing downtown residential population has taken to adapted office buildings and other historic structures. In nearby University City, Missouri, University City is the Delmar Loop, ranked by the American Planning Association as a "great American street" for its variety of shops and restaurants, and the Tivoli Theater, all within walking distance. Unique city and regional cuisine reflecting various immigrant groups include toasted ravioli, gooey butter cake, provel cheese, the Slinger (dish), slinger, the Gerber sandwich, and the St. Paul sandwich. Some St. Louis chefs have begun emphasizing use of local produce, meats and fish, and neighborhood farmers' markets have become more popular. Artisan bakeries, salumeria, and chocolatiers also operate in the city. St. Louis-style pizza has thin crust, provel cheese, and is cut in small squares. Frozen-custard purveyor Ted Drewes offers its "Concrete": frozen custard blended with any combination of dozens of ingredients into a mixture so thick that a spoon inserted into the custard does not fall if the cup is inverted.


Sports

St. Louis is home to the
St. Louis Cardinals The St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball team based in St. Louis. The Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. Since the 2006 season, the Cardinals have ...
of
Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is an American professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in Major League Baseball: 15 teams in the National L ...
and the
St. Louis Blues The St. Louis Blues are a professional ice hockey team based in St. Louis. The Blues compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the West Division. The franchise was founded in 1967 as one of the six teams from the 1967 NHL expansi ...
of the
National Hockey League The National Hockey League (NHL; french: Ligue nationale de hockey—LNH) is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL is considered to be the premier pro ...
. In 2019, it became the ninth North American city to have won titles in all four major leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL) when the Blues won the Stanley Cup championship. It also has notable and collegiate-level soccer teams and is one of three American cities to have hosted an 1904 Summer Olympics, Olympic Games. A third major team, the St. Louis City SC of
Major League Soccer Major League Soccer (MLS) is a men's professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation, which represents the sport's highest level in the United States and Canada. The league comprises 27 teams – 24 in the U.S. and ...
, is slated to begin play in 2023.


Professional sports

Pro teams in the St. Louis area include: The
St. Louis Cardinals The St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball team based in St. Louis. The Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. Since the 2006 season, the Cardinals have ...
are one of the most successful franchises in
Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is an American professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in Major League Baseball: 15 teams in the National L ...
. The Cardinals have won 19 National League (NL) titles (the List of National League pennant winners, most pennants for the league franchise in one city) and 11 World Series titles (second to the New York Yankees and the most by any NL franchise), recently in 2011 World Series, 2011. They play at Busch Stadium. Previously, the History of the St. Louis Browns, St. Louis Browns played in the American League (AL) from 1902 to 1953, before moving to Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland to become the current incarnation of the Baltimore Orioles, Orioles. The 1944 World Series was an all-St. Louis World Series, matching up the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Browns at Sportsman's Park, won by the Cardinals in six games. It was the third and final time that the teams shared a home field. St. Louis also was home to the St. Louis Stars (baseball), also known as the St. Louis Giants from 1906 to 1921, who played in the Negro league baseball from 1920 to 1931 and won championships in 1928, 1930, and 1931, and the St. Louis Maroons/Indianapolis Hoosiers, St. Louis Maroons who played in both the Union Association in 1884 and the National League from 1885 to 1889. In 1884, The St. Louis Maroons won the Union Association pennant and started the season with 20 straight wins, a feat that wasn't surpassed by any major professional sports team in America until the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors season when they started their NBA season with 24 straight wins. The
St. Louis Blues The St. Louis Blues are a professional ice hockey team based in St. Louis. The Blues compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the West Division. The franchise was founded in 1967 as one of the six teams from the 1967 NHL expansi ...
of the
National Hockey League The National Hockey League (NHL; french: Ligue nationale de hockey—LNH) is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL is considered to be the premier pro ...
(NHL) play at the Enterprise Center. They were one of the six teams added to the NHL in the 1967 NHL expansion, 1967 expansion. The Blues went to the Stanley Cup finals in their first three years, but got swept every time. Although they were the first 1967 expansion team to make the Stanley Cup Finals, they were also the last of the 1967 expansion teams to win the Stanley Cup. They finally won their first Stanley Cup in 2019 Stanley Cup Finals, 2019 after beating the Boston Bruins in the final. This championship made St. Louis the eighth city to win a championship in each of the four major U.S. sports. Prior to the Blues, the city was home to the St. Louis Eagles. The team played in the 1934–35 season.
Major League Soccer Major League Soccer (MLS) is a men's professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation, which represents the sport's highest level in the United States and Canada. The league comprises 27 teams – 24 in the U.S. and ...
's St. Louis City SC are planned to begin play in 2023 at a St. Louis MLS stadium, proposed soccer-specific stadium. The St. Louis BattleHawks of the XFL began play in 2020, using The Dome at America's Center as their home field. St. Louis has been home to four National Football League (NFL) teams. The St. Louis All-Stars played in the city in 1923, the St. Louis Gunners in 1934, the History of the St. Louis Cardinals (NFL), St. Louis Cardinals from 1960 to 1987, and the History of the St. Louis Rams, St. Louis Rams from 1995 to 2015. The football Arizona Cardinals, Cardinals advanced to the National Football League playoffs, NFL playoffs three times (1974, 1975 and 1982), never hosting or winning in any appearance. The Cardinals moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1988. The Los Angeles Rams, Rams played at the The Dome at America's Center, Edward Jones Dome from 1995 to 2015 and won Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000. They also went to Super Bowl XXXVI but lost to the New England Patriots. The Rams then returned to Los Angeles in 2016. The Atlanta Hawks, St. Louis Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) played at Kiel Auditorium from 1955 to 1968. They won the List of NBA champions, NBA championship in 1958 NBA Finals, 1958 and played in three other NBA Finals: 1957 NBA Finals, 1957, 1960 NBA Finals, 1960, and 1961 NBA Finals, 1961. In 1968 the Hawks moved to Atlanta. St. Louis was also the home to the St. Louis Bombers of the Basketball Association of America from 1946 to 1949 and the National Basketball Association from 1949 to 1950 and the Spirits of St. Louis of the American Basketball Association from 1974 to 1976 when the ABA and NBA merged. St. Louis hosts several minor league sports teams. The Gateway Grizzlies of the independent Frontier League play in the area. The St. Louis Trotters of the Independent Basketball Association play at Matthews Dickey. Saint Louis FC soccer team in the USL Championship play at World Wide Technology Soccer Park and the St. Louis Ambush (2013), St. Louis Ambush indoor soccer team plays at the Family Arena. The region hosts INDYCAR, NHRA drag racing, and NASCAR events at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in Madison, Illinois. St. Louis Slam play at the Harlen C. Hunter Stadium


Amateur sports

St. Louis has hosted the Final Four of both the women's and men's college basketball NCAA Division I championship tournaments, and the Frozen Four collegiate ice hockey tournament.
Saint Louis University Saint Louis University (SLU) is a private Jesuit research university with campuses in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, and Madrid, Spain. Founded in 1818 by Louis William Valentine DuBourg, it is the oldest university west of the Mississippi ...
has won 10 NCAA Men's Soccer Championships, and the city has hosted the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship, College Cup several times. In addition to collegiate soccer, many St. Louisans have played for the United States men's national soccer team, and 20 St. Louisans have been elected into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. St. Louis also is the origin of the sport of corkball, a type of baseball in which there is no base running. Although the area does not have a National Basketball Association team, it hosts the St. Louis Phoenix, an American Basketball Association (2000–present), American Basketball Association team. Club Atletico Saint Louis, a semi-professional soccer team, competes within the National Premier Soccer League and plays out of St. Louis University High School, St. Louis University High School Soccer Stadium.


Chess

St. Louis is home to the Saint Louis Chess Club where the U.S. Chess Championship is held. St. Louisan Rex Sinquefield founded the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis (which was renamed as St. Louis Chess Club later) and moved the World Chess Hall of Fame to St. Louis in 2011. The Sinquefield Cup Tournament started at St. Louis in 2013. In 2014 the Sinquefield Cup was the highest-rated chess tournament of all time. Former U.S. Chess Champions Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura have lived in St. Louis. Former women's chess champion Susan Polgar also resides in St. Louis.


Parks

The city operates more than 100 parks, with amenities that include sports facilities, playgrounds, concert areas, picnic areas, and lakes. Forest Park, located on the western edge of city, is the largest, occupying 1,400 acres of land, making it almost twice as large as Central Park in New York City. The park is home to five major institutions, including the St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Science Center, the
Missouri History Museum The Missouri History Museum in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri, showcases Missouri history. It is operated by the Missouri Historical Society, which was founded in 1866. The main galleries of the museum are free through a public subsidy by the ...
, and the Muny amphitheatre. Another significant park in the city is Gateway Arch National Park, which was known as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial until 2018 and is located on the riverfront in downtown St. Louis. The centerpiece of the park is the tall
Gateway Arch The Gateway Arch is a monument in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Clad in stainless steel and built in the form of a weighted catenary arch, it is the world's tallest arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and Missour ...

Gateway Arch
, a National Memorial designed by noted architect Eero Saarinen and completed on October 28, 1965. Also part of the historic park is the Old Courthouse (St. Louis), Old Courthouse, where the first two trials of ''Dred Scott v. Sandford'' were held in 1847 and 1850. Other notable parks in the city include the
Missouri Botanical Garden greenhouse at the Missouri Botanical Garden simulates the climate of a rainforest for conservational and educational purposes. The Missouri Botanical Garden is a botanical garden located at 4344 Shaw Boulevard in St. Louis, Missouri. It is als ...
, Tower Grove Park, Carondelet Park and Citygarden. The Missouri Botanical Garden, a private garden and botanical research facility, is a National Historic Landmark and one of the oldest botanical gardens in the United States. The Garden features 79 acres of horticultural displays from around the world. This includes a Japanese strolling garden, Henry Shaw (philanthropist), Henry Shaw's original 1850 estate home and a geodesic dome called the Climatron. Immediately south of the Missouri Botanical Garden is Tower Grove Park, a gift to the city by Henry Shaw (philanthropist), Henry Shaw. Citygarden is an urban sculpture park located in downtown St. Louis, with art from Fernand Léger, Aristide Maillol, Julian Opie, Tom Otterness, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Mark di Suvero. The park is divided into three sections, each of which represent a different theme: river bluffs; flood plains; and urban gardens. Another downtown sculpture park is the Serra Sculpture Park, with the 1982 Richard Serra sculpture ''Twain''.


Government

St. Louis is one of the 41 Independent city (United States), independent cities in the U.S. that does not legally belong to any County (United States), county. St. Louis has a strong mayor–council government with legislative authority and oversight vested in the St. Louis Board of Aldermen and with executive authority in the Mayor of St. Louis and six other elected officials. The Board of Aldermen is made up of 28 members (one elected from each of the city's wards) plus a board president who is elected citywide. The 2014 fiscal year budget topped $1 billion for the first time, a 1.9% increase over the $985.2 million budget in 2013. 238,253 registered voters lived in the city in 2012, down from 239,247 in 2010, and 257,442 in 2008.


Structure

The mayor is the chief executive officer of the city and is responsible for appointing city department heads including; the director of public safety, the director of streets & traffic, the director of health, the director of human services, the director of the airport, the director of parks & recreation, the director of workforce development, the director of the Community Development Agency, the director of economic development, the director of public utilities, the director of the Civil Rights Enforcement Agency, the register, and the assessor, among other department-level or senior administrative positions. The President of the Board of Aldermen is the second highest-ranking official in the city. The President is the presiding officer of the Board of Aldermen which is the legislative branch of government of the city. Municipal elections in St. Louis are held in odd-numbered years, with the primary elections in March and the general election in April. The mayor is elected in odd-numbered years following the United States presidential election, as are the aldermen representing odd-numbered wards. The president of the board of aldermen and the aldermen from even-numbered wards are elected in the off-years. The Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party has dominated St. Louis city politics for decades. The city has not had a Republican Party (United States), Republican mayor since 1949, and the last time a Republican was elected to another citywide office was in the 1970s. , all 28 of the city's aldermen are Democrats. Forty-six individuals have held the office of mayor of St. Louis, four of whom—William Carr Lane, John Fletcher Darby, John Wimer, and John How—served non-consecutive terms. The most terms served by a mayor was by Lane, who served 8 full terms plus the unexpired term of Darby. The current mayor is Lyda Krewson, who took office April 18, 2017, and is the first woman to hold the post. She succeeded Francis Slay, who retired in 2017 after serving 16 years and six days from April 11, 2001, to April 17, 2017—longer than anyone in the city's history. The second longest-serving mayor was Henry Kiel, who took office April 15, 1913, and left office April 21, 1925, a total of 12 years and 9 days over three terms in office. Two others – Raymond Tucker, and Vincent C. Schoemehl – also served three terms as mayor, but served seven fewer days. The shortest-serving mayor was Arthur Barret, who died 11 days after taking office. Although St. Louis separated from St. Louis County in 1876, some mechanisms have been put in place for joint funding management and funding of regional assets. The St. Louis Zoo-Museum district collects property taxes from residents of both St. Louis City and County, and the funds are used to support cultural institutions including the St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis Art Museum and the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Similarly, the Metropolitan Sewer District provides sanitary and storm sewer service to the city and much of St. Louis County. The Bi-State Development Agency (now known as Metro) runs the region's MetroLink (St. Louis), MetroLink light rail system and bus system.


State and federal government

St. Louis is split between 11 districts in the Missouri House of Representatives: all of the 76th, 77th, 78th, 79th, 80th, 81st, 82nd, and 84th, and parts of the 66th, 83rd, and 93rd, which are shared with St. Louis County. The 5th Missouri Senate district is entirely within the city, while the 4th is shared with St. Louis County. At the federal level, St. Louis is the heart of , which also includes part of northern St. Louis County. A Republican has not represented a significant portion of St. Louis in the U.S. House since 1953. Correspondingly, despite voting Republican prior to 1928 in presidential elections, from then on the city has become a Democratic stronghold at the presidential level. George H.W. Bush in 1988 was the most recent Republican to win even a quarter of the city's votes in a presidential election. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri are based in the Thomas F. Eagleton United States Courthouse in downtown St. Louis. St. Louis is also home to a Federal Reserve System branch, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is a combat support agency under the United States Department of Defense and a member of the United States Intelligence Community, with the primary mission of collecting, analyzing, and distributin ...

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
(NGA) also maintains major facilities in the St. Louis area. The Military Personnel Records Center (NPRC-MPR) located at 9700 Page Avenue in St. Louis, is a branch of the National Personnel Records Center and is the repository of over 56 million military personnel records and medical records pertaining to retired, discharged, and deceased veterans of the U.S. armed forces.


Crime

Since 2014 the city of St. Louis has had, , the highest murder rate, per capita, in the United States, with 188 homicides in 2015 (59.3 homicides per 100,000) and ranks No. 13 of the most dangerous cities in the world by homicide rate. Detroit, Flint, Michigan, Flint, Memphis, Tennessee, Memphis, Birmingham, Alabama, Birmingham, and Baltimore have higher overall violent crime rates than St. Louis, when comparing other crimes such as rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Despite these high crime rates relative to other American cities, St. Louis index crime rates have declined almost every year since the peak in 1993 (16,648), to the 2014 level of 7,931 (which is the sum of violent crimes and property crimes) per 100,000. In 2015, the index crime rate reversed the 2005–2014 decline to a level of 8,204. Between 2005 and 2014, violent crime has declined by 20%, although rates of violent crime remains 6 times higher than the Crime in the United States, United States national average and property crime in the city remains 2 times the national average. St. Louis has a higher homicide rate than the rest of the U.S. for both whites and blacks and a higher proportion committed by males. , 7 of the homicide suspects were white, 95 black, 0 Hispanic, 0 Asian and 1 female out of the 102 suspects. In 2016, St. Louis was the most dangerous city in the United States with populations of 100,000 or more, ranking 1st in violent crime and 2nd in property crime. It was also ranked 6th of the most dangerous of all establishments in the United States, and East St. Louis, a suburb of the city itself, was ranked 1st. The St. Louis Police Department at the end of 2016 reported a total of 188 murders for the year, the same number of homicides that had occurred in the city in 2015. According to the STLP At the end of 2017, St. Louis had 205 murders but the city recorded only 159 inside St. Louis city limits. The new Chief of Police, John Hayden Jr., John Hayden said two-thirds (67%) of all the murders and one-half of all the assaults are concentrated in a triangular area in the North part of the city. Yet another factor when comparing the murder rates of St. Louis and other cities is the manner of drawing municipal boundaries. While many other municipalities have annexed many suburbs, St. Louis has not annexed as much suburban area as most American cities. According to the 2018 Census, the St. Louis metro area included about 3 million residents and the city included about 300,000 residents. Therefore, the city contains about ten percent of the metro population, a low ratio indicating that the municipal boundaries include only a small part of the metro population.


Media

Greater St. Louis commands the 19th-largest media market in the United States, a position roughly unchanged for over a decade. All of the major U.S. television networks have affiliates in St. Louis, including KTVI 2 (Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox), KMOV 4 (CBS), KSDK 5 (NBC), KETC 9 (Public Broadcasting Service, PBS), KPLR-TV 11 (The CW Television Network, CW), KDNL 30 (American Broadcasting Company, ABC), WRBU 46 (Ion Television, Ion), and WPXS 51 Daystar Television Network. Among the area's most popular radio stations are KMOX (AM sports and talk, notable as the longtime flagship station for St. Louis Cardinals broadcasts), KLOU (FM oldies), WIL-FM (FM country), WARH (FM adult hits), and KSLZ (FM Top 40 mainstream).Arbitron (June 2011). St. Louis also supports public radio's KWMU, an NPR affiliate, and community radio's KDHX. All-sports stations, such as KFNS (AM), KFNS 590 AM "The Fan" and WXOS "101.1 ESPN" are also popular. The ''St. Louis Post-Dispatch'' is the region's major newspaper. Others in the region include the ''Suburban Journals'', which serve parts of St. Louis County, while the primary alternative newspaper is the ''Riverfront Times''. Three weeklies serve the African-American community: the ''St. Louis Argus'', the ''St. Louis American'', and the ''St. Louis Sentinel''. ''St. Louis Magazine'', a monthly magazine, covers topics such as local history, cuisine, and lifestyles, while the weekly ''St. Louis Business Journal'' provides coverage of regional business news. St. Louis was served by an online newspaper, the ''St. Louis Beacon'', but that publication merged with KWMU in 2013.
Many books and movies have been written about St. Louis. A few of the most influential and prominent films are ''Meet Me in St. Louis'' and ''American Flyers'', and novels include ''The Killing Dance'', ''Meet Me in St. Louis (novel), Meet Me in St. Louis'', ''The Runaway Soul'', ''The Rose of Old St. Louis (novel), The Rose of Old St. Louis'', and ''Circus of the Damned''. As St. Louis was a prime location for immigrants to move to, much of the early social work depicting immigrant life was based on St. Louis, such as in the book ''The Immigrant of St. Louis (book), The Immigrant of St. Louis''.


Transportation

road transport, Road, rail transport, rail, ship transport, ship, and aviation, air transportation modes connect the city with surrounding communities in Greater St. Louis, national transportation networks, and international locations. St. Louis also supports a public transportation network that includes public transport bus service, bus and light rail service.


Roads and highways

Four Interstate Highway System, interstate highways connect the city to a larger regional highway system. Interstate 70, an east–west highway, runs from the northwest corner of the city to
downtown St. Louis Downtown St. Louis is the central business district of St. Louis, Missouri, the hub of tourism and entertainment, and the anchor of the St. Louis metropolitan area. The downtown is bounded by Cole Street to the north, the river front to the east, C ...
. The north–south Interstate 55 enters the city at the south near the Carondelet, Missouri, Carondelet neighborhood and runs toward the center of the city, and both Interstate 64 and Interstate 44 enter the city on the west, running parallel to the east. Two of the four interstates (Interstates 55 and 64) merge south of Gateway Arch National Park and leave the city on the Poplar Street Bridge into Illinois, while Interstate 44 terminates at Interstate 70 at its new interchange near N Broadway and Cass Ave. A small portion of the Interstate 270 (Missouri–Illinois), Interstate 270 outer belt freeway runs through the northern end of the city. The 563-mile Avenue of the Saints links St. Louis with St. Paul, Minnesota. Major roadways include the north–south Memorial Drive (St. Louis), Memorial Drive, located on the western edge of Gateway Arch National Park and parallel to Interstate 70, the north–south streets of Grand Boulevard (St. Louis), Grand Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue (St. Louis), Jefferson Avenue, both of which run the length of the city, and Missouri Route 30, Gravois Road, which runs from the southeastern portion of the city to downtown and used to be signed as U.S. Route 66. An east-west roadway that connects the city with surrounding communities is Missouri Route 180, Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, which carries traffic from the western edge of the city to downtown.


Metro Light Rail and Subway

The St. Louis metro area is served by MetroLink (known as Metro) and is the 11th-largest light rail system in the country with of double track light rail. The Red Line and The Blue Line both serve all the stations in the inner city, and branch to different destinations beyond in the suburban areas. Both lines enter the city north of Forest Park on the western edge of the city or on the
Eads Bridge Eads Bridge is a combined road and railway bridge over the Mississippi River connecting the cities of St. Louis, Missouri and East St. Louis, Illinois. It is located on the St. Louis riverfront between Laclede's Landing, to the north, and the gr ...
in downtown St. Louis to Illinois. All of the system track is in independent right of way, with both surface level and underground subway track in the city. All stations are independent entry, while all platforms are flush-level with trains. Rail service is provided by the Bi-State Development Agency (also known as Metro), which is funded by a sales taxes levied in the city and other counties in the region. The Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center acts as the hub station in the city of St. Louis, linking the city's light rail system, local bus system, passenger rail service, and national bus service. It is located just east of the historic grand St. Louis Union Station.


Airports

St. Louis is served by two passenger airports. St. Louis Lambert International Airport, owned and operated by the City of St. Louis, is 11 miles northwest of downtown along highway I-70 between I-170 and I-270 in St. Louis County. It is the largest and busiest airport in the state. In 2016, when the airport had more than 255 daily departures to about 90 domestic and international locations, it served more than 15 million passengers. The airport serves as a focus hub city for Southwest Airlines; it was once a hub for Trans World Airlines and a focus-city for American Airlines and AmericanConnection. The airport has two terminals with a total of five concourses. International flights and passengers use Terminal 2, whose lower level holds the Immigration and Customs gates. Passengers can move between the terminals on complimentary buses that run continuously, or via MetroLink for a fee. It was possible to walk between the terminals until Concourse D was closed in 2008. MidAmerica St. Louis Airport is the secondary passenger airport serving the metropolitan area. Located 17 miles east of the city downtown core, the airport serves domestic passengers. Air cargo transportation is available at Lambert International and at other nearby regional airports, including MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, Spirit of St. Louis Airport, and St. Louis Downtown Airport.


Port authority

River transportation is available through the Port of St. Louis, which is 19.3 miles of riverbank on the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. From its traditional source of Lake Itasca in northern Minne ...
that handles more than 32 million tons of freight annually. The Port is the second largest inland port by trip-ton miles, and the third largest by tonnage in the United States, with more than 100 docks for barges and 16 public terminals on the river. The Port Authority added two new small fire and rescue craft in 2012 and 2013.


Railroad service

Inter-city rail passenger train service in the city is provided by Amtrak at the Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center downtown. Amtrak trains terminating in the city include the ''Lincoln Service'' to Chicago and the ''Missouri River Runner (Amtrak), Missouri River Runner'' to Kansas City, Missouri. St. Louis is an intermediate stop on the ''Texas Eagle'' route which provides long-distance passenger service between Chicago, San Antonio, and three days a week, to Los Angeles. St. Louis is the nation's third largest freight rail hub, moving Missouri exports such as fertilizer, gravel, crushed stone, prepared foodstuffs, fats, oils, nonmetallic mineral products, grain, alcohol, tobacco products, automobiles, and automobile parts. Freight rail service in St. Louis is provided on tracks owned by Union Pacific Railroad, Norfolk Southern Railway, Foster Townsend Rail Logistics – formerly Manufacturers Railway (St. Louis), Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, Affton Trucking, and the BNSF Railway. The Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (reporting mark: TRRA) is a switching and terminal railroad jointly owned by all the major rail carriers in St. Louis. The company operates 30 diesel-electric locomotives to move railcars around the classification yards, deliver railcars to local industries, and ready trains for departure. The TRRA processes and dispatches a significant portion of railroad traffic moving through the city and owns and operates a network of rail bridges and tunnels including the MacArthur Bridge (St. Louis) and the Merchants Bridge. This infrastructure is also used by inter-city rail and long-distance passenger trains serving St. Louis.


Bus service

Local bus service in the city of St. Louis is provided by the Bi-State Development Agency via MetroBus (St. Louis), MetroBus, with more than 75 routes connecting to MetroLink light rail transit and stops in the city and region. The city is also served by Madison County Transit, which connects downtown St. Louis to Madison County, Illinois. National bus service in the city is offered by Greyhound Lines, Burlington Trailways and Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach, with a station at the St. Louis (Amtrak station), Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center, and Megabus (North America), Megabus, with a stop at St. Louis Union Station.


Taxi

Taxicab service in the city is provided by private companies regulated by the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission. Rates vary by vehicle type, size, passengers and distance, and by regulation all taxicab fares must be calculated using a taximeter and be payable in cash or credit card. Solicitation by a driver is prohibited, although a taxicab may be hailed on the street or at a stand.


Notable residents


Sister cities

St. Louis has 16 sister cities. * Bologna, Italy * Bogor, Indonesia * Brčko (city), Brčko, Brčko District, Bosnia and Herzegovina * Donegal (town), Donegal, County Donegal, Ireland * Galway, County Galway, Ireland * Lyon, France * Nanjing, China * Saint-Louis, Senegal, Saint-Louis, Senegal * Samara, Russia, Samara, Russia * San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí, Mexico * Stuttgart, Germany * Suwa, Nagano, Suwa, Japan * Szczecin, Poland * Wuhan, China * Yokneam Illit, Israel


See also

*Caves of St. Louis *Delmar Divide *Downtown St. Louis **Laclede's Landing, St. Louis **Downtown West, St. Louis *Great Flood of 1993 *Heat wave of 2006 derecho series *History of the Jews in St. Louis *LaClede Town *LGBT culture in St. Louis *List of mayors of St. Louis *List of tallest buildings in St. Louis *National Register of Historic Places listings in St. Louis (city, A–L), Missouri *National Register of Historic Places listings in St. Louis (city, M-Z), Missouri *Neighborhoods of St. Louis *Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis *St. Louis cuisine *St. Louis in the Civil War *1939 St. Louis smog


Notes


References


Further reading

*Henry W. Berger, ''St. Louis and Empire: 250 Years of Imperial Quest and Urban Crisis.'' Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2015. *Carl J. Ekberg and Sharon K. Person, ''St. Louis Rising: The French Regime of Louis St. Ange de Bellerive.'' Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2015. *Gordon, Colin. ''Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City''. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008.


External links

*
Built St. LouisSt. Louis Convention & Visitors BureauSt. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth AssociationWashington University – About St. LouisThe City of St. Louis, Missouri
*Historic maps of St. Louis in th
Sanborn Maps of Missouri Collection
at the University of Missouri {{DEFAULTSORT:Saint Louis St. Louis, 1764 establishments in New Spain 1764 in New France Cities in Greater St. Louis Cities in Missouri Former colonial and territorial capitals in the United States French colonial settlements of Upper Louisiana Independent cities in the United States Inland port cities and towns of the United States Missouri counties on the Mississippi River Missouri counties on the Missouri River Missouri populated places on the Mississippi River Populated places established in 1764 Regions of Greater St. Louis