St. Charles, MO
LJC and Great Rivers Greenway joined forces to reimagine the 180 acres of riverfront property along the Mississippi River. This project was exceptionally unique, as acquiring such a vast expanse of land adjacent to a renowned National monument along one of the world’s most crucial natural systems is nearly impossible. The potential of the North Riverfront’s urban landscape demands an integrated and optimistic approach to creating dynamic and vital public places. While the site holds tremendous but latent potential, realizing it will require new connections to capitalize on its opportunities.
To meet the challenges of this complex design, the project demanded a multi-disciplinary approach. The team drew from their global experience in large-scale urban design, architecture, and landscape interventions, along with their deep appreciation for the character of St. Louis, to turn this into a dream project for the region. The design process included multiple work sessions with various stakeholder groups and extensive reviews with the client steering committee, during which the team discovered the passionate desire of the surrounding community to create a better future for this important site.
The plan also reimagines a collection of smaller, more organic developments spread across the site, woven together in a common framework that leverages their interdependence. Organized around their unique contexts, the plan incorporates four districts: Laclede’s Landing District, Lumiere District, the Creative District, and the Innovation District. All four are linked by a continuous riverfront park, connecting the St. Louis Arch Grounds to the North Riverfront Trail.
Phase II of the Redevelopment plan was to enhance this green connection. LJC designed a Vision Plan for a new public space—an interactive riverfront park. This Mississippi Greenway Park Vision Plan prioritizes wellness, incorporates innovative stormwater techniques, and offers inventive programming opportunities. The development strategy revolves around the open space master plan, integrating sustainable, mixed-use development opportunities. The Vision Plan envisions an urban landscape of parks and adjacent infill development that will foster exciting new connections between Laclede’s Landing, the Casino and Hotel, the Arch Grounds, and the City to the riverfront.
LJC and various engineering partners have been diligently developing many portions of the Mississippi Greenway Park Vision Plan. One significant portion of the plan that has come to fruition is the Katherine Ward Burg Garden. The garden plaza is the first built portion of the North Riverfront Open Space and Redevelopment Plan and serves as the primary gateway for people meandering their way through the Eads Bridge from the Arch Grounds.
The riverfront has several other opportunities that could derive from the Redevelopment and Vision plan in the future. UnderRail Park, one of the largest expanses of open space north of the Eads Bridge, is one of those opportunities that could be up next. The plan proposes a new residential community developed along the western edge, fronting Commercial Street. This community will also overlook and connect with the new Park, providing exceptional recreational opportunities along the Mississippi River’s edge.