St. Louis has a solution to the decline of the city’s downtown, according to the New York Times, a sculpture park:
Signs of the depleted population are everywhere, from the boarded-up houses that dot the city’s north side to the stubbornly vacant office buildings downtown.
Over the last 10 years, however, civic groups, private developers and city leaders have been trying to nurse downtown St. Louis back to life. Taking cues from revitalization drives in other midsize cities, they have created thousands of residential loft units. There is now a bookstore in the area, and next month a local grocery chain plans to open its first downtown branch.
But perhaps the most original — and conspicuous — step in the campaign is Citygarden, a 2.9-acre sculpture park that opened Wednesday on two blocks of the city’s central corridor, known as the Gateway Mall.
Financed by the Gateway Foundation, a nonprofit organization that installs public art in the St. Louis area, the park cost between $25 million and $30 million — which does not include the collection of 24 works by artists including Fernand Léger, Tony Smith, Jim Dine and Bernar Venet. (The foundation, which has a longstanding policy of not commenting to the news media, declined to disclose the collection’s value.)
Sculpture to Invigorate a Shrinking City (New York Times)