by Michael R. Allen
The Soldiers’ Memorial was completed in 1938 as the centerpiece of Memorial Plaza, a municipal landscape devoted to St. Louisans who sacrificed their lives in World War I. Designed by Mauran, Russell & Crowell with Preston J. Bradshaw, the building offers an angular, modernist reduction of a classical Greek temple form. This building and its military museum anchor a historic civic landscape, but public awareness and financial stability have been elusive in recent years.
Now the National Park Service is studying acquiring the Soldiers’ Memorial, which the City of St. Louis has owned since construction. Should the city convey a public building long maintained by local taxpayers to the federal government? Will the National Park Service be able to increase attendance and improve the curatorial practices of the museum? These questions are now on the table.
Thursday, members of the public will have the chance to offer comments on the National Park Service study of acquisition and management of the Soldiers’ Memorial. The following is taken from an announcement posted this week by Ruth Heikkinen, Project Manager, Soldiers’ Memorial Military Museum Special Resource Study:
The National Park Service was directed by Congress in Public Law 110-229 to evaluate the Soldiers’ Memorial as a potential unit of the national park system. For a site to be recommended as a potential new park unit, it must meet the criteria for national significance, be a suitable and feasible addition to the park system, and NPS must be found to be the best option for management. Studies that evaluate these criteria are called special resource studies (SRS).
Public input is an important part the of the SRS process, and we invite your attendance at our public meeting at the Memorial on March 15th from 5-6:30pm (see Meeting Notices at left for more details). We also invite your comments on the Draft SRS (to be posted by March 14th, 2012 …).
Read more here.