The city has a noted symphony orchestra, a municipal opera, a large botanical garden, and over 30 educational institutions, including Saint Louis Univ., Washington Univ., three theological seminaries, and a branch of the Univ. of Missouri. The city's large Forest Park has an open-air theater, an art museum, a zoo, a planetarium, and the Jefferson memorial building, which recalls the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 (the "St. Louis Fair"). Located in the city are two museums of contemporary art, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and the Contemporary Art Museum. St. Louis is also home to the National League's Cardinals, the National Football League's Rams, and the National Hockey League's Blues.
The major attraction is Gateway Arch (erected in 1965), a stainless steel arch, 630 ft (192 m) high, designed by Eero Saarinen. Standing on the banks of the Mississippi, it symbolizes St. Louis as the gateway to the West. The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, of which the arch is a part, was established in 1935 to preserve such historical buildings as the old courthouse (1839–64), where the Dred Scott Case was tried (see National Parks and Monuments, table). The poet Eugene Field was born in St. Louis; his house is a museum. New Cathedral is one of the country's largest Roman Catholic cathedrals. The massive Union Station, once the country's largest railroad terminal, now houses shops and a hotel.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.