by Michael R. Allen
In their May 8 statement on their conclusions about what should be done to improve the Arch grounds, Memorial Drive and the downtown riverfront, Walter Metcalfe, Peter Raven and Robert Archibald laid out an agenda for year-round attractions and a new museum on the grounds, a lid over I-70, increased number of visitors to the Arch grounds, an international design competition and a 2015 deadline for the goals. Some of those goals are laudable and consensus-builders, like improving access and attendance. Others, like the museum plan and the semantics of “attractions,” are quite controversial.
To this end, the trio of mayoral-appointed advisers suggested establishing “a regional not-for-profit trust should be organized to raise funds for, operate
and maintain the new destination attraction.”
Although the National Park Service’s public comment period on the Arch grounds had not yet commenced, on June 11, Metcalfe, Archibald and Raven incorporated the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Trust. Incorporation documents (available here) state the goals of the corporation as those stated in the May 8 letter. The corporation’s directors are exclusively the three advisers; the Danforth Foundation has no representation.