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A Monument for Maplewood...Perhaps

A few more thoughts, monumental and otherwise about the situation at Big Bend and Manchester.

Readers of this space will recall that last week I proposed a monument of some sort to identify our community to the tens of thousands of daily passersby through the intersection of Big Bend and Manchester.  Since that post I’ve talked to many of you who actually read the whole thing.  I’m honored.  I was even more honored that you all agreed with me (or at least the ones who don’t are being uncharacteristically quiet).

At the city council meeting last Tuesday, many, many residents made their opposition to the QuikTrip relocation known to the council.  How this might come out I have no idea.  The only thing we know for sure is that QuikTrip will either be there or they won’t.

To the QuikTrip officials: If it turns out that you are successful in your effort to relocate please read my last week’s post.  Realize that a substantial monument of the sort I suggested might feel like a soothing balm to many fevered foreheads (well, mine anyway).  It wouldn’t be that much to a giant benevolent corporation such as yours.  A triangle right at the corner, say 20 feet or so in either direction with some nice limestone masonry to support the City of Maplewood’s coat of arms.

If QuikTrip bolts I’d like to suggest that the buildings that already exist on that corner might fit someone’s needs. I walked through them and they are rough to be sure.  But the complex has one outstanding feature, the lamella roof over the garage.  If you’re unfamiliar with the term, google it.  The Arena on Oakland had an enormous one.  I stepped off this one and I’d guess it’s about 110’ wide by 132’ long.  That’s a lot of space with no interior supports.  It’d be a good spot for a brewery but we’ve already got one. And besides we’d have to relocate the high school.  I’m sure the space would be useful to many different businesses.

Take a look at the photos.  There used to be a monument at that intersection.  It makes sense.

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Doug Houser August 20, 2012 at 08:04 PM
If I remember correctly, Tom Grellner, our former parks director, told me some years back that there was a bronze plaque from one of the memorials in the basement of the high school.
Ryan Martin August 21, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Wow, I love the before-and-after photo of Saint Louis Cellars. I moved here in 2010, so I didn't know the building looked so bad just a few years ago.
Doug Miner August 21, 2012 at 06:41 PM
BTW, Maplewood's Architectural Design Guild did that project, just sayin'.
Cathy Edmond September 03, 2012 at 02:28 PM
I think the city has the bronze plaque now. It used to be on the concrete slab in front of the old junior high. The slab is still there. I believe it lists WWII soldiers, but not sure. Love your idea of mimicking the stonework on the baby pool for a memorial wall.
Doug Houser September 07, 2012 at 04:12 AM
I'm not advocating for a soldier's memorial though I think that's a good idea too. We ought to have one for all the military and first responders from Maplewood who have given their lives in our service. But that could be a whole 'nother project. I think the location at Manchester and Big Bend is a natural for a marker type of monument to identify our community to passersby. A physical statement of pride of place is what I have in mind. I love the neon signs that identify the Grove on Manchester in the City of St. Louis. Once you've driven through them you have no doubt where they're talking about when they mention The Grove. It's a wonderful locator for the businesses.

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