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Attention Visitors: You have reached an outdated version of the Virtual City site. Part of this site has been disabled. For the latest version, please visit us here.

Prepare to take a journey through time on the streets of downtown St. Louis. For more than a century, from the age of the steamboat through the age of industry, the downtown district on the banks of the Mississippi River was the dynamic heart of the metropolis and the center of urban life. Downtown was where people from all walks of life came together and interacted. Many of the most important decisions affecting the entire city were made there. As the city sorted out its problems and people sought to improve their lives, the downtown landscape evolved. High-rise office towers came to dwarf church steeples; automobiles and streetcars crowded out horse-drawn carts and carriages; derelict warehouses were demolished for new parks and monuments. By transforming the fabric of the city, the people of St. Louis worked out their history and their destiny.

Come and explore this dynamic landscape and discover why St. Louis evolved as it did. Learn about its buildings, streets, and people as they changed over time. To begin your tour, simply choose a year by clicking the timeline menu bar on this page. As you enter your selected decade, a three-dimensional model of downtown St. Louis will appear on the left side of your screen. If it does not appear, you must follow the instructions for downloading the necessary software. Use the navigation bar and cursor to walk the city streets or fly over them. Click on structures and people in the landscape to access information about them on the right side of your screen. (If the site does not fit on your screen, you may have to adjust your display settings on your control panel.) Chart a path of inquiry across space and time to discover how St. Louisans made history by reconstructing the city the around them.

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For questions regarding the 1800s:gerteis@umsl.edu
For questions regarding the 1900s:ahurley@umsl.edu
For questions regarding the 3d model:davis
Last updated: March, 2004