Search This Blog (A.K.A. "I Dote On...")

Sunday, January 18, 2009

St. Louis is Still Not a "Distinctive Destination"

Every year since 2000, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has released a list of a "Dozen Distinctive Destinations".

These are places that: "offer an authentic visitor experience by combining dynamic downtowns, cultural diversity, attractive architecture, cultural landscapes and a strong commitment to historic preservation and revitalization."

All right, all right. St. Louis is lacking in a lot of those. But, even if it were just a neighborhood of St. Louis, such as Lafayette Square or Soulard, shouldn't St. Louis get some recognition as distinctive?

It's a city with a staggering degree of history, even if a lot of the physical connections to that past have been erased. There's a wealth of existing exemplary architecture and parks. Cultural connections are many (everything from the landmark Dred Scott case to the development of the A-bomb).

Ste. Genevieve, Missouri was honored last year. Maybe someone could make a pitch for St. Louis in the upcoming year?

Here is this year's list, for those interested:

2009 Dozen Distinctive Destinations
Santa Barbara, CA
Athens, GA
Saugatuck-Douglas, MI
Virginia City, NV
Santa Fe, NM
Buffalo, NY
Lititz, PA
Bristol, RI
Hot Springs, SD
Franklin, TN
Fort Worth, TX
Lake Geneva, WI

P.S. If Buffalo and Fort Worth can make it on the list, surely St. Louis can, right?


Ryan Gladstone said...

As a Fort Worth native (now a Tower Grove resident), I would like to point out that Fort Worth is a town that has a "distinctive" atmosphere.

The city's leaders have cultivated its western heritage to the point that its a bit cheesy for those of us who live in the area.

While St. Louis should probably make this list, it is hurt by the absence one of easily identifiable characteristic to point to.

Matt M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt M. said...

I know. I was impressed by the write up of Fort Worth on the National Trust site. I fell victim to the stereotypes leveled against the city as a second rate Dallas. Clearly misfounded. Nevertheless, St. Louis suffers from a similarly maligned reputation as Fort Worth and Buffalo. So I didn't so much mean the comment as a dig.

And you're right--there's little to point to other than the Arch.

Ryan Gladstone said...

Dallas is a third rate New York City. For better or worse, Ft. Worth is unique.

Fashion STL Style!

Fashion STL Style!
St. Louis Gives You the Shirt Off of Its Own Back!

Next American City

Next American City
Your Go-To Source for Urban Affairs

Join the StreetsBlog Network!

Join the StreetsBlog Network!
Your Source for Livable Streets

Trust in Rust!

Trust in Rust!
News from the Rustbelt

Dotage St. Louis -- Blogging the St. Louis Built Environment Since 2008

Topics: Historic Preservation, Politics and Government, Development, Architecture, Urban Planning, Urban Design, Local Business, Crime and Safety, Neighborhoods, and Anything Else Relating to Making St. Louis a Better City!