The first time we ever visited St. Louis, around this time last year, we were of course excited to see the city’s iconic Arch. But then we quickly found how impossible and/or undesirable it is to get anywhere near it (less so on the Missouri side, definitely in Illinois). When we were back there this summer and had to shoot some quick b-roll footage of the Arch for a project, we wound up doing it from a moving car, allowing us to avoid fussing with the parking, the inexcusibly-placed casinos, etc. So even though our trips to the city have been limited to just two times thus far, we were happy to hear that St. Louis and officials at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (the Arch’s true name) have finally realized they have a problem and are acting on it. They’ve launched a design competition, Framing a Modern Masterpiece, in hopes of integrating “the Arch and the park surrounding it into the fabric of the city and region and embrace the Mississippi River and its east bank.” Once the entries are in, the multi-stage reviews take place, and they’ve picked a winner in early October of next year, the city hopes to have whatever plan takes shape finished up by 2015, the 50th anniversary of the Arch. Here’s to hoping they’re smart about it and it does do something to revitalize the area (our recommendation is to start by knocking down the Lumiere casino’s hideous, gigantic video billboard and running out of town every city planner who approved its construction).