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Great Rivers Imaging

Ideas for places to visit in the Midwest

Christmas at the Governor’s Mansion

The Christmas Season has arrived at the Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City, Missouri. This front parlor has three Christmas Trees and other decorations. The 148 year old building is as much a museum as a residence for the Governor.

The mansion’s first occupant was Benjamin Gratz Brown who was elected in 1872. This and the State Capitol next door bring the visitor beautiful architecture, paintings, murals and other works of art.

Eads Bridge


The Eads Bridge is a combined road and railway bridge over the Mississippi River connecting the cities of St. Louis, Missouri and East St. Louis, Illinois. It is located on the St. Louis riverfront between Laclede’s Landing, to the north, and the grounds of the Gateway Arch, to the south. Near the water’s edge you will see a sculpture of Lewis and Clark, the famous explorers.

It’s interesting combinations of arches make great subject for photographers. You can walk around for interesting perspectives or photograph from the inside out

The August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area

Busch Wildlife Hunt

One of the more interesting areas in the St. Louis metropolitan area is The August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area. This was purchased by the Missouri Department of Conservation in 1947 from the federal government.

In the early 1940s, the area was used by the Department of Army as a TNT munitions plant to support the World War II effort. There are still 100 of the old TNT storage bunkers that exist on the area.

The Department encourages recreational use of the area by the public, while furnishing fish and wildlife with the resources necessary to be healthy and abundant. They encourage you to walk the hiking trails, drive the auto tour, photograph the wildlife, or simply sit under a tree and enjoy the sights and sounds of the outdoors.

This place is something to see during the winter.

Sunset on the Missouri

For those that live in the St. Louis Metropolitan area, they are familiar with Highway 40 (64) where it crosses the Missouri River near Chesterfield’s Gumbo Flats. Once while crossing the bridge I looked to the west and noticed this spectacular sunset. This is major metropolitan highway with no way to stop to take a photo so it did not stop. Over the next year I examined the bridge and found that it had a pedestrian walk/bike path and a nearby mall for parking. When the sun was lined up  with with the river again, I was able to stop to get this shot (with massive 18 wheelers rushing past, 5 feet behind me).

Grand Basin

This photo takes you back over 115 years in time. Forest Park’s Grand Basin served as the center of the 1904 World’s Fair. This body of water was surrounded by “Grand Palaces” that featured: Electricity and Machinery; Industry and Manufacturing; Transportation; Mining; and Liberal Arts.

Beyond that is the famous Art Hill. Art Hill is the place to be seen sledding on snow days, a stage for large public events and, sometimes, the Forest Park Baloon Glow site.

Beyond that is The Palace of Fine Arts, the only palace constructed for the 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair which was intended to remain after the fair. The other buildings were constructed of wood and ornamented with what was called “staff”, a mixture of lime plaster and cement which contained glycerin and dextrose to which shredded hemp was added. During the fair the Palace of Fine Arts was dwarfed and hidden behind the much larger Festival Hall. The Palace of Fine Art is now the home to the St. Louis Art Museum and keeping to the inscription on the building “Dedicated to Art and Free to All”, the art museum changes no admission.

The photo is a three shot HDR photo taken on one end of the basin. Click on the photo for a larger version and more information.

Nathan Frank Bandstand

Forest Park

One historic structure in St. Louis’ Forest Park is the Nathan Frank Bandstand. The original bandstand on this site was built around the time Forest Park opened in 1876. Constructed of wood, it was renovated for the 1904 World’s Fair and was one of the Fair’s most photographed structures. Concerts held there were popular attractions and were continued for several years after the Fair. It closed in 1911 for repairs but was destroyed not long after by a storm and fire.

St. Louis lawyer, Nathan Frank, donated $50,000 to erect a new bandstand, making the first private gift to a St. Louis park. It was dedicated in 1925. Of classic Renaissance design, the new bandstand was designed by Heffensteller, Hirsch and Watson and made of white marble with bronze railings and ornaments.

The Bandstand makes a very scenic area in front of the park’s and makes a great opportunity for a photograph.

Late Fall in Forest Park

Of all of the buildings and structures in St. Louis’ Forest park, this is one of my favorites. This a suspension foot bridge near Post-Dipatch lake in the center of the park. This bridge connects Forest Park’s Grand Basin (the heart of the 1904 World’s Fair) and the parks Boathouse restaurant. This has always made a nice walk for my dogs where we can end up at the Boathouse for lunch.

The bridge makes for a great photographic subject!

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