Latent Memory Cahokia, A Super Power Plant Reassesses and Reorients Memorial and Monument in St. Louis
Hallie Nolan Washington University in St. Louis Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts Design Thinking Spring 2018 Professor Zeuler Lima Faculty Assistant Eric Shripka
Beginning with the foundation laid by Aldo Rossi in Ar chitecture of the City, this project aims to examine the realities of Sa uget, Illinois and the Cahokia Po wer Plant as an â€˜urban artifactâ€™ in the hopes of repurposing it as a living monument and working memori al to the memory of industrial capitali sm that created this reality. This project reorients memory, monuments, memorials, and mementos as proces ses, productions, representations, an d transformations of the site in a wa y that embraces the true nature of the place rather than recreating an image removed from the authentici ty of Sauget. This project acknow ledges the severe environmenta l issues present in Sauget however it is not the primary concern of this project at this stage. The go al is to engage a collective consti tution through memory and monument to better imagine and create the futu re.
1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5
‘Urban Artifacts’ and Memorializing Monuments Memory as Form, Form as Monument Power of Propelling Monument Power of Monuments in the Present Memorial Space
2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4
Monument as City Constitution ‘Urban Artifacts’ in St. Louis Reassessing Monumentality and Memorialization Catalog of Urban Artifacts of St. Louis
3.1 Context 3.2 Sauget, Illinois 3.3 Timeline 3.4 Demographics 3.5 Context of Industry, Infrastrucutre, and Ecology in Creating a Collective Memory 3.6 Infrastructural Presence 3.7 Industrial Presence 3.8 Ecology and Environment 3.9 Vice and Entertainment Industries 3.10 National Building Arts Center
4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4
Coal as Material Coal as Archive Permanence and Persistance of Memory Memory as Fantasy, Fantasy as Future
5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5
Program Views Levees and Flood Walls Coal, Slag, and Mounds Future Program
6.1 Appendix 6.2 Works Cited 6.3 Additional Images
5 6 6
A map of all of Union Electricâ€™s structures and Power Plants in the region, all providing electricity to the city of St. Louis.
1.1 ‘Urban Artifacts’ and Memorializing Monuments
When Aldo Rossi makes an argument for the permanent and temporary structures that compose a city it becomes clear that it is important to consider the historic significance of the structure in relation to the city’s fabric. This provides valuable insights into not only the structure’s past but also the culture of generations before us, just like our structures will leave clues to the future about what we valued most. Rossi, in his book Architecture of the City, uses the term ‘urban artifact’ to refer to distinctive elements of a city that, when combined, reveal the character of the city and society in which they reside. By exploring the city through a series of ‘urban artifacts’ one begins to reveal what objects were important but also what motifs were adapted throughout time from one use and meaning to another to keep the city and its ideals relevant.
These programmatic changes usually reflect a change in the built environment, building and/or landscape, each generation feels a need to reconstruct the meaning of ‘urban artifacts’ as monuments to their achievements.
â€œTo understand a city, beyond its monuments, beyond the history of its stones, is to rediscover the specific way of being its inhabitants.â€?
-Levi-Strauss Tristes Tropiques
1.2 Memory as Form, Form as Monument By identifying examples of memory as form as well as forms of monuments one can begin to dissect the elements of form, memory, and monumentality that give meaning to a specific site, event, or person to a city’s inhabitants. This meaning and significance is what gives way to a monument being an ‘urban artifact’. This correlation between memory and monument in the formation of ‘urban artifacts’ has many examples, but the ones shown as examples are examples of ‘urban artifacts’ that have successfully made the transition through time.
1.3 Power of Propelling Monument “...the dynamic process of the city tends more to evolution than preservation, and that in evolution monuments are not only preserved but continuously presented as propelling elements of development.” -Aldo Rossi p. 60
These examples, while dealing with memory or memorialization, are also grounded in the future. They construct spaces for engagement and conversation. they are spaces of production and productivity for the both the individual and the collective. While some are new structures, and some are old, they are all acknowledging and operating within a history as ‘urban artifacts’ in a way that creates development.
Heydar Aliyev Center Baku, Azerbaijan
“The centre breaks from the rigid and often monumental Soviet architecture that is so prevalent in Baku, aspiring instead to express the sensibilities of Azeri culture and the optimism of a nation that looks to the future”
Munster Palace, Kristallnacht, Germany Due to citizen complaints the original sculpture was demolished creating an entirely new urban artifact. It now serves as the absent monument to commemorate the absent people. Black Form was reconstructed a year later, in 1989, in Kristallnacht.
São Paulo, Brazil A non-profit institution founded in 1946 acting throughout Brazil with the purpose of promoting culture and good-living among workers and traders and their families. It also keeps records of all activities as a way of collecting “memories” of Brazilian culture.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Washington, D.C.
The memorial is heralded as a change for memorial design by breaking with classical conventions and dramatically changing the discourse of a typology. The design’s success signifies that monuments are no longer objects but environments to be experienced.
Mrs. Emma Willard’s Chronographer of Ancient History A memorization technique where people associate specific events with the built environment in order to better recall events. A series of prints were created to educate people on the shape of history, referred to as “Temples of Time.”
01_memory: something that is recalled from the past, a remembrance 02_memorialize: the act of encasing or preserving a memory/ the act of commemorating 03_memorial: a monument to recall the past and provide conditions for new responses in the future 04_remembrance: the action of re-membering something or someone (re: indicates repetition/to do again and again), memory-work 05_commemorate: the act of recalling the memory of an individual, event, place, or situation in the form of celebrating, honoring, or paying tribute/ some that serves to preserve memory or knowledge of an individual, event, place, or situation (preserve: the act of documenting and collecting artifacts of the past) 06_memento: something that serves to warn or remind with regard to conduct or future events
1.4 Power of Monuments in the Present Architectural forms of memory can provide an opportunity or a space for mourning, grieving, and learning as a transformative process that occurs as a part of the acts of memory (remembering, commemorating, and memorializing). This begins to frame the act of understanding memory which moves us from the past, to the present, and further into the future. In the past, built environments like museums, monuments, memorials, etc. represented the material traces of memory, or the historical past, and this memory served as the foundation for modernity.
“I wanted my design to work with the land, to make something with the site, not to fight it or dominate it. I see my works and their relationship to the landscape as being an additive rather than a combative process” - Maya Lin, On her design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
“Entire parts of the city manifest concrete signs of their way of life, their own form, and their memory, and these areas may be distinguished from one another for the purpose of investigating their characteristics morphologically and possibly also historically... In this context, the study of areas in the city raises the issues of locus and scale.”
-Aldo Rossi, Architecture of the City
“The architect’s historic role has been to create a theater for memory capable of embodying truths that make it possible to affirm life and contemplate a better future.” - Alberto Perez-Gomez
act of remembrance
1.5 Memorial Space The construction of memorial space is framed by the events remembered and the act of remembrance. This framing of memorial space creates the form of monument and memorial through memory. The downfall of monuments is that they often memorialize or glorify the past without allowing for an opportunity for the monument to be contextual and constantly change with time. Living Monuments and Working Memorials allow for the individual to engage in the past in order to image a better future. living monument working memorial
â€œ...persistence in an urban artifact often causes it to become identified as a monument, and that a monument persists in the city both symbolically and physically. A monumentâ€™s persistence or permanence is a result of its capacity to constitute the city, its history and art, its being and memory.â€? -Aldo Rossi p. 60
2.1 Monument as City Constitution By identifying monuments as urban artifacts that represent the different times and realities of a site, one can begin to understand how urban artifacts are in fact monuments to the cityâ€™s constitution of the past, present, and future.
2.2 ‘Urban Artifacts’ in St. Louis St. Louis’ history of constructing, preserving, and developing monuments or ‘urban artifacts’ is typically based on the theme of “Westward Expansion” or St. Louis being the “Gateway to the West”. This history began in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase, made possible by Thomas Jefferson, and the subsequent expedition made famous by Lewis and Clark. This history has been memorialized in the ‘urban artifacts’ of St. Louis again and again. First, the 1903 World’s Fair commemorated The Louisiana Purchase and was called the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, it is survived today by the St. Louis Art Museum and the preservation of Forest Park. Then the theme is once again memorialized by the construction of the Gateway Arch and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park and Museum at the base of the Gateway Arch. However, to make way for the Gateway Arch St. Louis had to demolish most of the historic structures that were actually a part of the history the Arch commemorates. The reality of these monuments reveals that memorializing this image of St. Louis as the Gateway to the West was more important than actually maintaining the physical history of its founding and development.
2.3 Reassessing Monumentality and Memorialization Reassessing monuments as part of the larger typology of primary elements of urban artifacts is importnat to understand them as the fabric and memory of a city. Monuments do not have to be monumental, they are forms that endure the changes of activities inherent with the changes of time. They speak to the collective of the site and keep a trace of the changes in the priorities of the collective. Reassessing monumentality and memorialization in the â€˜urban artifactsâ€™ of St. Louis through the case study of the Gateway Arch illuminates the dichotomoty between my proposal and monumentality in St. Louis to date. According to Henri Lefebvre monuments replace a brutal reality with a materially realized appearance; reality is changed into appearance; therefore, the image of reality is altered to reflect the monument rather than the truth. It is an image recreated to fit the will to power of a collective. This imagery is then programmed by individuals or others to fit their goals further removing the monument from the truth or the experience. The memory loses its legitimacy as it is propagated to fit a new reality. The Gateway Arch erased the identity that it was built to celebrate in order to recreate the image of St. Louis, except now the river city no longer is a city on the river.
2.4 Catalog of Urban Artifacts of St. Louis This collection of images portrays places celebrated as landmarks, monuments, memorials, museums, place makers, and wayfinders for the City of St. Louis. These examples show St. Louis’ attitude towards creating and cultivating an image of the city and what it values- Beer, Baseball, Frozen Custard, Transportation, and all of its amenities like Forest Park and the Botanical Garden. All of these institutions have played a part in dictating the portrayl of the city and its alleged collective memory when in fact this imagery has been largely manufactured to serve the goals and values of the elite with the clout to use these institutions for their own personal gain under the guise of public benefit. This is the reality of “urban artifacts” in St. Louis, they are only revitalized if they can contribute to the narrative already being scripted rather than acknowledging a collective past as a means to imagine a better future or outcome than the one we are currently experiencing.
The Gateway Arch
Lambert International Airport
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
Missouri Botanical Garden
Central Public Library
Saint Louis Art Museum
Busch Stadium & Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum
Cathedral Bascilica of Saint Louis
Washington University in St. Louis, Brookings Hall
The Old Courthouse
â€œWith time, the city grows upon itself; it acquires a consciousness and memory. In the course of its construction, its original themes persist, but at the same time it modifies and renders these themes of its own development more specific.â€?
-Aldo Rossi, The Architecture of the City
3.1 Context In the context of the Greater St. Louis area, Sauget continues to serve as one of the oldest industrial backdoors to the city of St. Louis. It exists because of its leniency and acceptance of less than ideal industries, like Monsanto. It has a past, present, and future of ecological degradation and yet it hasnâ€™t felt the same shrinking effects as its neighbor to the north, East St. Louis, or its neighbor to the south, Cahokia.
Sauget considers itself the Center of the Center with intensities of industry, infrastructure, and environmental issues as well as fiercely loyal residents. However, it is also the home to the National Building Arts Center, the home of the nationâ€™s largest collection of artifacts of the built environment.
â€œThe city is a fact in nature, like a cave, a run of mackerel or an antheap. But it is also a conscious work of art, and it holds within its communal framework many simpler and more personal forms of art. Mind takes form in the city; and in turn, urban forms condition mind, for space, no less than time, is artfully reorgranized in cities: in boundary lines and silhouettes, in the fixing of horizontal planes and vertical peaks, in utilizing or denying the natural site... The site is both a physical utility for collective living and a symbol of those collective purposes and unanimities that arise under such favoring circumstances... it remains manâ€™s greatest work of artâ€?
-Lewis Mumford, The Culture of Cities p. 5
3.2 Sauget, Illinois Sauget sits south of the city that went from “All American City,” to one of the “most dangerous cities in America,” East St. Louis and north of Cahokia, a city called the “Birthplace of the Midwest,” due to it’s colonization dating to 1699. Unlike these two declining cities, Sauget maintains its most important residents, industries. With a population of 219, it is a city of deregulation and tax breaks for various industries including ones that smelt zinc, treat sewage, incinerate toxic waste, and offer adult entertainment nicknamed the “Ballet du Sauget”. It refers to itself as the “Center of the Center.” It was incorporated in 1926 as a company town, the Village of Monsanto. The village offered Monsanto a tax and regulation free dumping location.
update map Image: The view entering Sauget from the North on Route 3. Monsanto Ave was first named for the Village of Monsanto in 1926. It is also the address of the Cahokia Power Plant, 2 Monsanto Ave.
Sauget is one of the most polluted communities in the region according to the Director of Region 5 of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund Division. The chemicals found in the contamination of land, ground water, rivers, and the food chain include polychlorinated biphenyl (banned in 1977), benzene, toluene, dioxin, and organic solvents. Heavy-metal pollutants include cadmium, silver, selenium, and zinc. Today a spin-off of Monsanto, Solutia Inc., occupies the plant and produces oil additives and agricultural chemicals. In August of 2006, a new $100 million ethanol plant was built. “The heavy industry is not as strong as it used to be, but all the infrastructure is still here. We have the access, we have the roads. And we will talk to anybody,” say Mr. Sauget Jr., Village President, referred to by residents as Mayor.
Image: Mementos of Monsanto and its company town.
3.3 Timeline of Cahokia Power Plant, Union Electric Company, Sauget, IL 1902- Union Electric Company was founded 1904- Union Electric Ashley Plant built to provide steam heat to downtown St. Louis 1904- Union Electric powered The Palace of Electricity’s electric lights in the 1904 World’s Fair 1923- First portion of Cahokia Power Plant was completed 1926- Sauget incorporated as the town of Monsanto 1929- Construction on Cahokia Power Plant was completed 1930- Union Electric’s Lake of the Ozarks’s Administration Building-Lakeside was constructed 1939- ‘Black Tuesday’ thick fog of acrid coal smoke engulfed the city of St. Louis, city known for the nation’s filthiest air 1940- Soft coal was banned by the city’s aldermen. However, Illinois governments hadn’t enacted ordinances to restrict the burning of soft or low-grade coal in fear of hurting Illinois mining interests. 1946- Coal smoke was reduced by 75% in the city 1971- Ashley Street Plant is placed on the National Register of Historic Places 1967- January 12th, Village of Monsanto is renamed Sauget in honor of the first Village President Leo Sauget 1976- Cahokia Power Plant is decommissioned due to stricter air quality regulations
Cahokia Power Plant and Steamboat on the Mississippi River
The Ashley St Plant, the first Unio n Electric Power Plant to provide electricity to St. Louis
View of the industry and infrastructure that found a home in Sauget, IL
1977- PCBs banned, Sauget was the nation’s largest producer of PCBs due to the Monsanto Plant 1997- Union Electric merges with CIPSCO Inc to form Ameren Corporation 1998- Lake of the Ozarks Administration Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places 2001- Gateway Grizzlies came to Sauget, Illinois 2005- National Building Arts Center takes over the Sterling Steel Casting Building in Sauget 2011- Union Electric/Ameren’s Ashley Street plant stopped operations 2017- Ashley Street plant begins steam operations and services 70 hotels, sports venues, businesses, and city-owned buildings in downtown St. Louis through a network of 17 miles of steam piping. The steam is produced by burning the city’s trash due to a contract with the Solid Waste Management and Development Corporation and owner Ashley Energy, LLC. Present- The site is used as a multi-modal transportation business run by SLAY Industries; it functions as a bulk commodity transfer site, loading river barges and the Power Plant is being used as indoor storage. Future- Site Interference begins on the Flood Walls of the Old Cahokia Power Plant, the site is activated as a living monument/working memorial to industry, capitalism, and its relics/ artifacts. The National Building Arts Center opens Museum of the Built Environment, showcasing relics of the destructive creation of capitalism
Ashley St Plant is on the National Register of Historic Places
The interior of the Ashley St plant as it operates today
Image: Momentos of Monsanto and its company town.
The National Building Arts Center and its backdrop of the industrial Sauget
3.4 Demographics SAUGET, IL 219 population 99% White 1% Two or More Races 49.2 Median Age 3.65% Povery Rate 103 Employees $47,969 Median Household Income $45,000 Median Property Value City of St. Louis 316,000 45% White $37,000
48% African American
East St. Louis 27,000 6% White 91% African American $20,000 Cahokia 14,500 32% White $28,500
64% African American
Greater St. Louis Region 2.8 million 76% White 18% African American $56,700 Missouri 6 million 82% White $49,500
12% African American
East St. Louis
3.5 Context of Industry, Infrastructure, and Ecology in Creating a Collective Memory The realities of this site are that it is heavily industrial, infrastructural, and contaminated. The land of Sauget has been commoditized to the point of irreversible environemtal degradation however the population of Sauget has been unchanging. It continues to experience economic success especially in comparison to the shrinking cities of Cahokia and East St. Louis. The heavy infrastrucutre in place to support the heavy industry takes its toll on the site as well but the residents accept it as the reality of the place they live. Since it is their reality it is also their shared memory - so by embracing these realities I approach the site of the Cahokia Power Plant by trying to be true to the principles of Sauget and its authenticity as an industrial company town.
Views of the Cahokia Power Plant with the surrounding towers and power infrastructure
The railroad tracks that service the site as it operates as a barge terminal
The fence around the private propoerty owned by SLAY Industries
Rail Union Pacific Rail Terminal Rail Progress Rail Service Alton & Southern Railrods Valley Junction Railyard River Barge loading and unloading WATCO Cahokia Terminal Flood Walls Levees Runway St. Louis Downtown Airport
Road Highways and Truck Access Highway access via all major highways and interstates: I-55 I-255_ “the road to prosperity” was built in the late 70s. I-64 I-44 I-70 Route 3, 15, and 157
I R IVE R
3.6 Infrastructural Presence
ROUTE 3 WA CAHOTCO KIA TERM INAL
55 H WY
T OR RP
3.7 Industrial Presence 1_BCL Restaurant Supply 2_ Lyon Industries Inc 3_ Afton Chemical Corporation 4_ Solutia Inc 5_ Eastman Chemical Company 6_ Industrial Gas Products Inc 7_Eagle Marine Industries 8_ Adm Grain 9_Brock Industrial Services 10_American Bottoms Wastewater Treatment facility 11_Stellar Manufacturing 12_ National Building Arts Center 13_ WATCO Cahokia Terminal 14_ FedEx Ground Transportation Facility 15_Various Vice Industries
Industries added within the last decade: Gasket & Seal Fabricators, Light Industrial Affton Fabricating, Light Industrial Holten Meat Inc., Consumer Products R&L Carriers, Transport Stellar Manufacturing Co., Light Industrial Peterbilt, Transport Center Ethanol, Renewable Fuels East County Enterprises, Real Estate Development Hulcher Services Inc., Environmental SIHF, Healthcare Ralcorp, Consumer Agricultural Research FedEx Ground Hub
3.8 Ecology and Environment The Cahokia Power Plant is located on the flooding side of the levees and flood walls engineered to control the powerful Mississippi River. The 4 square mile village of Sauget is home to 11 Superfund sites as a result of extreme industrial occupation; that is almost 3 Superfund sites per square mile. While the degradation of the landscape as a result of industries producing toxic and harmful chemicals is a reality of Sauget, the Cahokia Power Plant has the purest industrial material of all other industries in Sauget, coal. The scope of this project deals with the material of coal and its possible use in creating a landscape. The question of environmental justice and misdoings in Sauget is outside the scope of this project.
American Bottoms Waste Management
Downtown St. Louis Airport surrounded by adjacent industry
The black mounds of the Cahokia Power Plant
Superfund Sites Adjacent to the Cahokia Power Plant
“They’re poisoning the air For personal wealth It’s a long way to heaven It’s a short way to hell … Industrial wind It blows in from the west It’ll burn out your eyes And suck out your breath” -Uncle Tupelo, Sauget Winds
3.9 Vice and Entertainment Industries Ballet du Sauget: Oz’s Night Club Pop’s Night Club Diamond Cabaret Country Rock Cabaret Route 3 Liquor Sauget Ballet: urban dictionary a term used to describe any of your finer gentlemen’s clubs found on the east side of St. Louis. These strip clubs can be found primarily in Sauget. The other source of entertainment in Sauget is the stadium of the Minor League Baseball team, the Gateway Grizzlies, started by former minor league player, former Village President Richard Sauget, father of current Village President. The contrast between types of entertainment industries that are available in Sauget does not consider the casinos in proximity to the site, located in East St. Louis. The Vice Industries of alcohol, tobacco, and adult entertainment are on the same entry axis as the Cahokia Power Plant. These conditions contribute to the power of capitalism in Sauget and continue the dialogue that Sauget welcomes industries that most other cities won’t allow. These windowless structures are among the first buildings you see upon entering Sauget so they’re not even hidden from a visitor’s view rather they are in the front yard of Sauget.
Pop’s Nighclub has a 24 hour liquor license
The Gateway Grizzlies’ Stadium with the silhouette of the Arch and Cahokia Power Plant in the background
Rock Cabaret, recently hosted Daniels in April of 2018.
3.10 National Building Arts Center The National Building Arts Center, â€œpromotes public awareness of the crucial roles of architecture, manufacturing, construction, and urban design in our built environment.â€? It is dedicated to the salvaging, educating, and making aware the public on all aspects of the American built environment from its design to fabrication. It is the largest collection of building artifacts in the country, with a focus on the architectural materials, forms, and styles of St. Louis specifically. The volume of artifacts being stored in custom made crates speaks to our culture of erasure for the sake of image, production, reproduction, transformation, and evolution. We continue to create monuments and memorials for the very things we are responsible for destroying. The NBAC aims to learn from these artifacts of destruction and demolition and create engagement with people about their importance to our future.
Column capital salvaged at the NBAC
St. Louis stamped manufacturer
The two remaining statues from a building that used to be in Downtown St. Louis
National Building Arts Center Pt. 1 This diagram shows the relationship of the National Building Arts Center and its relics to the discourse of memory. The center currently operates as a salvage, storage, and archive of the built environment. It filters those relics on to one site and then presents them again as artifacts and objects of the past. The goal of the NBAC is to allow people to learn from the built environmet of the past. However, at present, it does not distribute these mementos of the past because it is closed to the public.
National Building Arts Center Pt. 2 This diagram reimagines the future of the National Building Arts Center with its proposed Museum of the Built Environment in order to distribute all the NBAC has to offer. Being able to distribute a more comprehensive understanding of our built environment, especially in relationship to its own erasure due to capitalism and industrialization, as a way to engage and invite the collective to imagine new possible futures by creating a site of living monument and working memorial.
4.1 Coal as Material Coal takes millions of years to form under the earthâ€™s surface under extreme heat and pressure. In its original form coal is plant matter that is buried due to natural processes like flooding. It is extracted from the earth. One form coal can take is graphite, the material used in pencils. However, coal from southwest Illinois was typically soft low-grade coal burned to produce electricity.
The smoke of the plant wafts over the city it powers
Smoke from coal powered trains contributes to the air pollution
Bus stuck in traffic as visiblity is decreased due to coal smoke clouding the air
4.2 Coal as Archive Importance of time in the creation of coal. Coal is a literal archive of time. Subject to heat, pressure, and time coal acts as a marker of time as well as a physical marker of the landscape and body. The site leaves traces on you and you therefore expand the site. Coal becomes a tool for mark making in multiple ways. It is the material of memory for this site and will continue to be for as long as coal is being extracted from the earth.
Image: “Black Tuesday” in St. Louis, 1939. The city fills with smoke from the power plants that use coal to provide electricity to the city. The worst of many “foggy” days in St.L
â€œOne must remember that the difference between past and future, from the point of view of the theory of knowledge, in large measure reflects the fact that the past is partly being experienced now, and this may be the meaning to give permanences: they are a past that we are still experiencing.â€? -Aldo Rossi p 59
and Persistence Memory
In this landscape of memory in which we constantly inhabit, our visions, views of the present, and dreams of the future, all arranged with the relics and remains of what was is the permanence and persistence of memory. We live in that memory constantly and are continually experiencing it, which gives memory its permanence. Our collective past, like our personal memories, keep changing as we grow. While memory persists through this growth, action is a thing of the present, and acting on the memories created begin to give form to our future.
4.4 Memory as Fantasy, Fantasy as Future Every time a memory is accessed in the human brain it is slightly altered eventually rendering our memories to be more fantasy than reality. These new realities that our memories are operating in are also slaves to the process of time, similar to coal. As time goes on the fantasy turns to myth and the memory lives on as a marker of history, just as coal becomes a tool for marking. How can these fantasies turn the clocks of time forward to address new possible futures and realities within the context of the site and the Greater St. Louis area? One option explored is a sequence of follies on the site dedicated to reconstructing what coal means to the industry, environment, and culture of St. Louis. The goal is to reorient the monument in St. Louis as a site for collective engagement by remaining authentic to the site and its context.
â€œIn spite of history, memory can imagine and reconstruct a future time of fantasy.â€? -Peter Eisenman
â€œThe form of the city is always the form of a particular time of the city; but there are many times in the formation of the city, and a city may change its face even in the course of one manâ€™s life, its original references ceasing to exist.â€? -Aldo Rossi, The Architecture of the City
5.1 Program Constructing responsive sites of memory as “working memorials” and “living monuments” to invite collective engagement in the production, representation, and distribution of collective memory. Memorial, memento, monument, and museum as tools and strategies to warn, mind and remind, advise, to be aware, and to call for action the collective. These strategies are applied as programs on the site in order to reassess the realities of the site as well as the Village of Sauget as the ideal site for a living monument/ working memorial to industry, capitalism, and the relics of what was. The physical parts of the site come together as the individual parts of memory definied at the beginning of this project. These proposed programs are not aimed at the beautification of the site but the memory of it. The Arch is serves infrastructure of memory but not memory itself. This site will remain an active terminal as well as a site for constructing memory.
EI NDU STR IES
DM EN T
ARC EV E
EUM L CA GI GS LO DI EO Y CH OR ARMEM
RIA MAKL DE ER SIG SPA N CE
SE DERVAT CK OR S Y
5.2 View and Visability The proposed Observation Decks will look across the landscape of St.Louis so one can see the realities of the Greater St. Louis rather than the idealized and curated image projected by the view from the Gateway Arch and its currated landscapes. The site is also an important part of the visual memory of St. Louis. It has marked the riverâ€™s edge for longer than the Gateway Arch and is equally as visable on your journey east or west.
5.3 Levees and Flood Walls The adjacent levees and flood wall provides an opportunity for existing infrastructure to be utilized as what I am referring to as site interference. The appropriation of this infrastructure by the collective as a place of expression and engagement at the entrance of the site can become a collection of individual memories-a living monument. This is intended to serve as the beginnings of a public art venue. Further infrastructure for creation as well as an extension of the proposed NBAC Museum will be a place for living and transformational memory to occur as the physcial manifestation of the act of creation.
5.4 Coal, Slag, and Mounds The material of coal acts as an archive of visitors, marking you as you enter, staying with you when you leave, and extending the boundaries of the site as you carry the coal with you leaving traces of your experience. Coal, a product of the earth, is the most pure material you will find in Sauget and is also a material drenched in time as it takes millions of years to form. Slag, the bi-product of coal production, can even be used as a soil amendment. The mounds formed as a result of the current industry on the site will be activated as archeological digs of memory- where people can physically move the material into forms of memory as they begin to find their own memories through the act of digging, and then marking them with the new mound of their creation as a form of public art. This act repurposes the act of production for the accessing and creation of memory.
â€œHe who seeks to approach his own buried past must conduct himself like a man digging. Above all, he must not be afraid to return again and again to the same matter; to scatter it as one scatters earth, to turn it over as one turns over soil.â€? -Walter Benjamin, Excavation and Memory
The programatic archeology of the site serves as excavation for memory. People will come to create their own forms of land art or other temporary installations with the material of coal in order to redefine our relationship with coal and how it is a marker of time.
5.5 Future Program The proposed program is meant to happen in phases rather than all at once. These images show an idea of what a built structure could begin to frame on the site and the relationship it could have with the context. All program will be parts of the creation and collection of memory and focused on a new type of production on the site. These images are not about the views of the site but the memory and the act of framing a view through memory and memorialization.
The Cahokia Power Plant provides a unique opportunity to reframe our understanding and use of memory and memorialization in St. Louis. The Gateway Arch erased the physcial traces of the history it celebrates. The Cahokia Power Plant will embrace and support the physical realities of its context. The dualities of industries, vice and architecture, will illuminate this site and transform Saugetâ€™s past with industry into something productive and transformative.
6.1 Appendix_The Process
This project started by looking at the images and representations of St. Louis as portrayed by media and projected images like postcards. The presence and importance of St. Louis’ history was at the forefront of these representations which lead to questions of preservation and evolution. Then I visited the National Building Arts Center in Sauget, Illinois and was immediately interested in the relationship between the relics of the built environment being salvaged and stored in a site of such extreme and intense industry. The destructive creation, capitalism, and our city’s past with erasure and ideal representation created these realities present in Sauget. Further exploration of Sauget led me to the Cahokia Power Plant, named after Cahokia because during the plant’s founding Sauget did not exist as the Village of Monsanto yet. This research led to the additional information and images now archived in the appendix.
Ge•ni•us Lo•ci ORIGIN: Latin 1_the (guardian) god or spirit of a place 2_the character or atmosphere of a place Urban Artifact Italian: fatto urbano French: faite urbaine 1_Not just a physical thing in the city, but all of its history, geography, structure, and connection with the general life of the city. Anchor Institution 1_place-based force or influence i.e. university, hospital/ medical complex, stadium/arena, art & cultural institutions, public utilities, large corporations Urban Monument 1_a statue, building or other structure erected to commemorate a famous or notable person or event 2_a statue or other structure placed by or over a grave in memory of the dead 3_a building, structure, or site that is of historical important or interest 4_signs of the collective will expressed through architecture, fixed points in the urban dynamic. Memory 1_Method of loci: Memory Palace the subject memorizes the layout of some building, or the arrangement of shops on a street, or any geographical entity which is composed of a number of discrete loci. When desiring to remember a
set of items the subject literally ‘walks’ through these loci and commits an item to each one by forming an image between the item and any distinguishing feature of that locus. Retrieval of items is achieved by ‘walking’ through the loci, allowing the latter to activate the desired items i.e. Our memories are only as good as our buildings. 2_ Collective Memory the memory of a group of people, typically credited with the passing down of information from one generation to the next memory: something that is recalled from the past, a remembrance memorialize: the act of encasing or preserving a memory/ the act of commerorating memorial: a monument to recall the past and provide conditions for new responses in the future remembrance: the action of remembering something or someone (re: indicates repitition/to do again and again), memory-work commemorate: the act of recalling the memory of an individual, event, place, or situation in the form of celebrating, honoring, or paying tribute/ some that serves to preserve memory or knowledge of an individual, event, place, or situation (preserve: the act of documenting and collecting artifacts of the past) memento: something that serves to warn or remind with regard to conduct or future events
6.2 WORKS CITED Sources: Rossi, Aldo. The Architecture of the City. MIT Press, 2007. Allen, Michael. “The Landscape Of Fragments And Memories: Intangible Heritage On The American Bottom” The American Bottom, theamericanbottom.org/ itineraryAllen.html. “Cahokia Power Plant,” The American Bottom, theamericanbottom.org/ powerPlant.html. Bonder, J. (2009). On Memory, Trauma, Public Space, Monuments, and Memorials. Places, 21.1, https://escholarship.org/uc/ item/4g8812kv Benjamin, Walter.Selected Writings, Vol. 2, part 2 (1931–1934), ”Ibizan Sequence”, 1932, Excavation and Memory, ed. by Marcus Paul Bullock, Michael William Jennings, Howard Eiland, and Gary Smith, Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005 (paper), p. 576 Lefebvre, Henri, and Donald Nicholson-Smith. The Production of Space. “The Monument.” Blackwell, 2009. p 139-146
Cahokia: A Super Power Plant. Union Electric Light and Power Company, 1925. The Cahokia Plant of The Union Electric Light & Power Co., A Technical Description for the Information of Visitors and Inquirers. Union Electric Light and Power Company, 1931. “Sixty-First Annual Convention, The American Institute of Architects, St. Louis, Missouri.” The American Architect, CXXXIII, 5 July 1928, pp. 771–828., play.google.com/ books/ “American Architecture of Today.” American Architecture of Today, by George Harold. Edgell, Reprint Services Corp, 1993, pp. 288–290. “The Industrial City.” Built St. Louis | The Industrial City, Built St. Louis, www.builtstlouis.net/ industrial/industrial00.html.
6.3 Additional Images The following images are to better show different aspects of what this project deals with like Sauget, Union Light and Electric, Power Plants, Industry, etc. Some of these images are scans from books published by Union Electric in 1925 and 1931.
Sauget Industrial Images
Sauget Residential Images
Foundry & National Building Arts Center Images
Ashley Street Power Plant Images
Venice Power Plant Images
Additional Cahokia Power Plant Images
"Every time we centralize and cheapen power, we increase production; decrease the burden of physical effort upon men, and increase the comfort of all people."
CAHOKIA: Rejoice, O heart of pain! Be glad! My dream is a strong child. -- Rejoice, Dear starry voices of my soul! My dream is a fair child, and shall go forth Amid the strength of men, to vanquish there The dreamless multitudes, and smite The blind vision. -- Sing, O heart of peace! For all that through unumbered ages slept Dark and unused has wakened him, to build New mounds of wonder.
Saint Louis Pageant and Masque
Latent Memory: Cahokia, A Super Power Plan Reassesses and Reorients Memorial and Monument in St. Louis