ST. LOUIS – As time marches on we get further from the events and the people of the 20th century.
So, the Missouri Historical Society has taken on the task of sharing stories unique to St. Louis and renovating the Soldiers Memorial.
“The Soldier`s Memorial was originally opened Memorial Day 1938 as a World War I memorial,” says Patrick Allie, Military & Arms Curator Missouri Historical Society.
Although it won't open to the public until November, just in time for Veterans Day we're getting a sneak peek at renovations to the Soldiers Memorial in downtown St. Louis.
“The addition of some LED lighting and this will light the face of the cenotaph and read the names,” says Allie. “In addition, there`s some light into the cenotaph that will light the Gold Star Mother`s mosaic overhead.”
The Soldiers Memorial at 13th and Market in downtown first opened in 1938 telling the stories of St. Louis in the first World War.
New upgrades like automatic doors, ADA accessible bathrooms and entrances are just a few of the things you might notice.
“You`ll see a lot of different things in this space, uniforms, firearms, individual letters,” says Allie. “What we do is tell the stories of St. Louisans to get to that broader military context.”
From new LED lighting to exterior cleaning, even an entire HVAC system, the upgrades will give the Soldiers Memorial and the names and stories of St. Louisans a new life.
“When it opened in 38 the elevator was physical,” says Allie describing a renovated elevator. “So, you had to physically open the doors like in old movies. So, what we`ve done is make the doors automatic.”
As work continues, one doesn't have to look far in this city to find reminders of great history and architecture left for us by those who lived in the 19th and 20th century.