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He found an elevated area overlooking the flood plain of the Mississippi River, not far south from its confluence with the Missouri and Illinois rivers. In addition to having an advantageous natural drainage system, there were nearby forested areas to supply timber and grasslands which could easily be converted for agricultural purposes. This place, declared Laclède, “might become, hereafter, one of the finest cities in America.” He dispatched his 14-year-old stepson, Auguste Chouteau, to the site, with the support of 30 settlers in February 1764. It is home to nine of the ten Fortune 500 companies based in Missouri. Before European settlement, the area was a regional center of Native American Mississippian culture. St. Louis was founded on February 14, 1764 by French fur traders Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxent, Pierre Laclède, Auguste Chouteau and named after Louis IX of France. In 1764, following France’s defeat in the Seven Years’ War, the area was ceded to Spain.
They have the highest concentration in the Dutchtown, Benton Park West , and Gravois Park neighborhoods. After years of immigration, migration, and expansion, the city reached its peak population in 1950. That year, the Census Bureau reported St. Louis’s population as 82% White and 17.9% African American. After World War II, St. Louis began losing population to the suburbs, first because of increased demand for new housing, unhappiness with city services, ease of commuting by highways, and later, white flight.
Coal, brick clay, and millerite ore were once mined in the city. The predominant surface rock, known as St. Louis limestone, is used as dimension stone and rubble for construction. One US Bank Plaza, the local headquarters for US Bancorp, was constructed for the Mercantile Bancorporation in the Structural expressionist style, emphasizing the steel structure of the building. The architecture of St. Louis exhibits a variety of commercial, residential, and monumental architecture. St. Louis is known for the Gateway Arch, the tallest monument constructed in the United States at 630 feet . The Arch pays homage to Thomas Jefferson and St. Louis’s position as the gateway to the West.
Before the founding of the city, the area was mostly prairie and open forest. Native Americans maintained this environment, good for hunting, by burning underbrush. Trees are mainly oak, maple, and hickory, similar to the forests of the nearby Ozarks; common how to affiliate marketing understory trees include eastern redbud, serviceberry, and flowering dogwood. Riparian areas are forested with mainly American sycamore. Limestone and dolomite of the Mississippian epoch underlie the area, and parts of the city are karst in nature.
Most of the residential areas of the city are planted with large native shade trees. Most species here are typical of the eastern woodland, although numerous decorative non-native species are found. The most notable invasive species is Japanese honeysuckle, which officials are trying to manage because of its damage to native trees.
This is particularly true of the area south of downtown, which has numerous sinkholes and caves. Most of the caves in the city have been sealed, but many springs are visible along the riverfront.
After the Bosnian War started in 1992, more Bosnian refugees began arriving and by 2000, tens of thousands of Bosnian refugees settled in St. Louis with the help of Catholic aid societies. Many of them were professionals and skilled workers who had to take any job opportunity to be able to support their families. Most Bosnian refugees are Muslim, ethnically Bosniaks (87%); they have settled primarily in south St. Louis and South County. Bosnian-Americans are well integrated into the city, developing many businesses and ethnic/cultural organizations. Among the Asian-American population in the city, the largest ethnic group is Vietnamese (0.9%), followed by Chinese (0.6%) and Indians (0.5%). The Vietnamese community has concentrated in the Dutchtown neighborhood of south St. Louis; Chinese are concentrated in the Central West End. People of Mexican descent are the largest Latino group, and make up 2.2% of St. Louis’s population.
Several places of worship in the city are noteworthy, such as the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, home of the world’s largest mosaic installation. About fifteen families from Bosnia settled in St. Louis between 1960 and 1970.
The Eads Bridge became a symbolic image of the city of St. Louis, from the time of its erection until 1965 when the Gateway Arch Bridge was constructed. The bridge crosses the St. Louis riverfront between Laclede’s Landing, to the north, and the grounds of the Gateway Arch, to the south. Today the road deck has been restored, allowing vehicular and pedestrian traffic to cross the river.
Architectural influences reflected in the area include French Colonial, German, early American, and modern architectural styles. On August 22, 1876, the city of St. Louis voted to secede from St. Louis County and become an independent city. Industrial production continued to increase during the late 19th century. Major corporations such as the Anheuser-Busch brewery and Ralston-Purina company were established. After the war, St. Louis profited via trade with the West, aided by the 1874 completion of the Eads Bridge, named for its design engineer. Industrial developments on both banks of the river were linked by the bridge, the second in the Midwest over the Mississippi River after the Hennepin Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis. The bridge connects St. Louis, Missouri to East St. Louis, Illinois.
In hindsight, many of these original settlers thought of these first few years as “the golden age of St. Louis”. The founding of St. Louis was preceded by a trading business between Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxent and Pierre Laclède in the fall of 1763. St. Maxent invested in a Mississippi River expedition led by Laclède, who searched for a location to base the company’s fur trading operations. Genevieve was already established as a trading center, he sought a place less prone to flooding.
St. Louis’s Jewish Community Relations Council gave O’Leary an award. Under O’Leary, the company — always known for innovative work — gave second chances to other major American operas, such as John Corigliano’s “The Ghosts of Versailles”, presented in 2009 in a smaller-scale version. With its French past and waves of Catholic immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries, from Ireland, Germany and Italy, St. Louis is a major center of Roman Catholicism in the United States. St. Louis also boasts the largest Ethical Culture Society in the United States and is one of the most generous cities in the United States, ranking ninth in 2013.
The St. Louis MetroLink light rail system has used the rail deck since 1993. For the first few years of St. Louis’s existence, the city was not recognized by any of the governments. Although the settlement was thought to be under the control of the Spanish government, no one asserted any authority over it, and thus St. Louis had no local government. This vacuum led Laclède to assume civil control, and all problems were disposed in public settings, such as communal meetings. In addition, Laclède granted new settlers lots in town and the surrounding countryside.