St. Louis, Missouri (STL), one of America’s most cherished cities situated along the Mississippi River, St. Louis’ history extends back to its founding in 1764. Incorporated in 1822, STL is an independent city as well as a major port that was built into a strategic location along the western bank of the Mississippi River. Founded by French fur traders, Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau, the city was named after Louis IX of France.
STL shares a border with Illinois today. As of 2016, it was estimated that the city has a population of 311,404. The greater St. Louis region in total is home to close to 3 million people, and relies on the city as its cultural and economic epicenter. According to population statistics, St. Louis is the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, and as of 2016, the 19th largest in the United States.
Nicknames given to St. Louis include Gateway to the West, the Gateway City, The Lou, Rome of the West, and River City.
In total, STL covers 66-square-miles, with 61.9-square miles of land, 4.1-square miles of water, and an elevation of 466 feet. It resides within the Central Standard Time Zone.
As of November 2017, the STL Mayor is Lyda Krewson.
History of St. Louis, Missouri
Prior to the French settling of the city, STL was part of a major regional center of Native American Mississippian culture. Crops like corn, squash, fish, and beans were traded among local tribes in exchange for furs, game, and other items scavenged in local environments.
However, all of that came to an end in 1764, following France’s defeat in the Seven Years’ War. The area was given to Spain, but amazingly, given back to France in 1800. In 1803, following the formation of the United States, the nation acquired the territory in part of the infamous Louisiana Purchase, which was overseen by Thomas Jefferson. After being acquired by the United States, STL developed as a major port on the Mississippi River, helping merchants ship products between the northern and southern portions of the newly acquired nation.
By 1870, St. Louis was ranked as the 4th largest city in the United States. It elected to separate from St. Louis County in 1877, and became its own independent city with its own political boundaries. In 1904, the city played host to the Summer Olympics, and was the site of the Louisiana Exposition.
The Gateway Arch, St. Louis, MO
STL is most recognized for its 630-foot tall arch: the Gateway Arch. Situated in downtown STL, overlooking the Mississippi River, the Gateway Arch is made from stainless steel. Impressively, it is the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and is the state’s tallest accessible building. It was conceptualized and created as an adage to the westward expansion of the United States, a key concept that underpins St. Louis spirit. It serves as the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.
St. Louis Regions
Within STL, there are vibrant communities that work together to make up the quintessential American spirit. The two most notable regions, Soulard and the Central West End, offer the very best to city residents and tourists.
The Central West End, known as the city’s commercial epicenter, is where people get their shopping and commercial investments done. Home to sidewalk cades, smart Italian and Asian establishments, and chic boutiques and antiques stores, the region borders the city’s lovely Forest Park with lakes and woods for strolling. It’s also filled with museums, art displays, and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.
Soulard, the nightlife go-to for city travelers, is home to the best dining, drinking, and entertainment options, characterized by the cobblestone streets and charismatic old-school architecture. Soulard also boasts a blues music scene, with seafood spots that serve oysters and crawfish. The region can trace its founding back to 1779.
It’s most notable activity is the Soulard Farmers Market, which displays a vast array of cheeses and meats that draw in people from around the state.
St. Louis Economy
Today, the STL economy relies on service, manufacturing, trade, transportation of goods, and tourism to keep the supply and demand up. The metro area is home to major corporations like Anheuser-Busch, Express Scripts, Centene, Boeing Defense, Emerson, Energizer, Panera, Enterprise, Peabody Energy, Ameren, Post Holdings, Monsanto, Scottrade, Edward Jones, Go Jet, Purina, and Sigma Aldrich. Additionally, nine of the ten Fortune 500 companies that are located in Missouri today are founding within the STL metropolitan area. As of recently, the city has also been regarded for its growing medical, pharmaceutical, and research presence in scientific studies.
St. Louis Sports
St. Louisans are very proud of their two professional sports teams today: the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. Developers are testing the waters for hosting a Major League Soccer team at this time as well.
More St. Louis related pages – Busch Stadium – Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis – Fox Theatre – Gateway Arch – Lambert International Airport – Mississippi River – Missouri Botanical Garden – Peabody Opera House – Publicly Traded Companies in St. Louis – Soulard District – St. Louis Cardinals – St. Louis Zoo – Union Station