Fan makes pitch to save Busch Stadium arches

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

ST. LOUIS -- A St. Louis Cardinals fan has written a 17-page proposal to save the concrete-and-metal arches atop Busch Stadium when the existing stadium is torn down.

The 96 arches ring the top of the stadium, bringing a reminder of the city's famed Gateway Arch into the ballpark.

Joe Bauer, of Iowa City, Iowa, wrote to several community leaders with ideas for how the arches could be saved and relocated when the Cardinals demolish the existing stadium.

"When you think of St. Louis, you think of the Arch," Bauer told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for a story in Tuesday's editions. "For anybody that is a Cardinals fan, you think of the arches."

The new downtown stadium, with a capacity of 46,000, will occupy space overlapping and just south of the current ballpark. It's expected to be ready by opening day next year.

Bauer, 45, is a graphic artist and voice actor for commercials. He presented alternatives for how the arches could be reused: placing them on the Illinois riverfront, moving them to a St. Louis park, or relocating sections of the arches around the city as an urban art project.

Bauer's ideas aren't expected to move forward, because it would be so difficult to retain the massive arches when the stadium is demolished.

But Bauer was asked to come to St. Louis to meet with Cardinals co-owner Bill DeWitt III, team president Mark Lamping and John Loyd, who is overseeing stadium construction.

DeWitt said some reference to the arches might be made near the new stadium, either by preserving a small slice of the arches or reproducing them.

And area leaders -- from Frank Mares, deputy superintendent for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial where the Gateway Arch is located, to U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, a Democrat from Belleville, Ill. -- wrote to Bauer to express some interest in his ideas.

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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