July 1st marks the 5th anniversary of the opening of downtown's sublime Citygarden. We note the occasion this far in advance so people will have plenty of time to mark the date and reflect on this treasure.
We would argue that, pound for pound, the people of St. Louis have received no greater or more noble a gift than Citygarden -- all thanks to the benefaction of the Gateway Foundation, a legacy of the late Aaron and Teresa Fischer.
On the cool July day of Citygarden's ribbon cutting, the Post-Dispatch editorial page described the newly inaugurated park as "a two-block, tree-lined, grass-trimmed, multi-terraced, shrub-and-flower resplendent, fountain-centric, limestone-walled, granite-paved and waterfall-graced public place that is punctuated by classical, abstract, fanciful and monumental outdoor art, served by a lovely cafe and bounded by Market and Chestnut Streets between 8th and 10th Streets."
Five years of natural maturing and loving care have served only to enrich the landscape in every respect.
"Citygarden is no fair-weather attraction," the original editorial observed. "Indeed, it seems poised to become one of those rare St. Louis places for all seasons."
The prediction was too modest. Citygarden, in fact, has proved to be that rarest of things: a place for all PEOPLE.
Citygarden is a place where all people of all ages and all races, able-bodied and disabled, from all walks of life, are drawn to one another's company. From the moment people enter this sanctuary in the center of St. Louis, they move, meander, and meditate freely and joyously and unselfconsciously, together, as though to do otherwise would be an affront to such vibrant beauty and calm good order.
For this, above all, we celebrate the first half decade: Ad multos annos.