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Entrant Name
CHRISTOPHER GRAESSER

Design Team
CHRISTOPHER GRAESSER

Collaborators
Thesis Advisors: Gundula Proksch Rick Mohler Elizabeth Golden

Owner / Client


A Bridge to the Mississippi: A Museum for the St. Louis Riverfront

All Submissions > Conceptual

St.. Louis, like many riverfront cities throughout the world, has become isolated from the river upon which it was founded. The Mississippi at St. Louis is primarily a working river, conveying commercial traffic up and down on its waters as it has for centuries. Layer upon layer of industry and transportation infrastructure have been built up along its banks, shaping the growth and development of the city from its earliest days. But these physical networks of production and conveyance also served to sever the city and much of its population from the Mississippi.

Even though it remains a vital resource, in many respects the river has become almost invisible, both physically and perceptually from the life of the city. The Mississippi is typically only experienced when speeding past it or over it on an interstate highway. It only rises into the public consciousness as a threat when it inevitably floods and overflows the channels and walls that have been built to control and contain it.

St. Louisans and visitors the riverfront to really understand and appreciate the influence of the Mississippi, they must be able to experience its history and current state as a working river, a living conduit that exists beyond the monument. This thesis proposes a new riverfront transportation museum for St. Louis, as a means to reconnect the city and the river. The museum, located in the post-industrial riverfront neighborhood of Chouteau’s Landing, celebrates the city’s heritage of transportation and industry that grew along the riverfront, and serves as a new icon for a city seeking to reimagine the image of its riverfront.