I have heard or read a couple of things about the new Danforth Report on the St. Louis riverfront that probably require a response here. (One of the challenging things about the current state of news reporting is the mix of rumor and fact that gets churned around in blogs, talk shows, and boards - and then re-reported on mainstream TV and radio.)
For the record, then:The City of St. Louis does not want to run the Arch, nor own the Arch grounds. However, the current configuration and use of the Arch grounds is a significant barrier to the revitalization of the riverfront and its reconnection to the rest of downtown. If the people of the region support it and Congress allows it, the region would set up an entity-- maybe something like the Zoo/Museum District-- to use some portion of the grounds to accomplish those things in a way that also enhances the experience of visiting the Arch.Jack Danforth is, in fact, the perfect citizen to lead this effort. Aside from distinguished careers as legislator and diplomat, his interests and philanthropy led directly to the creation of a growing regional network of greenspace and bicycle trails, better healthcare for thousands of local residents, and a summer music festival that brings people from throughout the area to the City every summer.The Danforth Report is much different than previous, unrealized plans because it is the first one to take into account the dangerous conditions of the Mississippi River at St. Louis and the challenges posed by flooding. Congress, which will have the final say in the matter, will likely listen to a local Congressional delegation whose early reactions have ranged from interested to enthusiastic.