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Union Station was once second only to Grand Central in New York as the busiest train station in the United States,
and it was the busiest not counting commuter trains. These days, it’s a hotel, a convention center, and the St. Louis Aquarium.
There’s also a Ferris wheel next to the train shed.
St. Louis Lambert International Airport (IATA code STL) has non-stop flights from many major cities in the “lower 48”, and from Toronto, ON, CA, and Frankfurt, DE.
From the airport, it’s about a half hour ride on MetroLink (light rail) to roughly two blocks from the venue. A one-way ticket good for two hours costs $4.00 at the airport, $2.50 at other stations. A taxi will likely cost between $35 and $50 and will take about 20 minutes (but it’ll get you right to the front door, which might be interesting while lugging luggage).
If you take MetroLink, get off the train at the Union Station station. The stairway and elevator on the west end of the MetroLink platform will get you under the train shed. Walk north on 18th Street to Market Street, turn left. (The only entrance until you get a room key is through the hotel’s front door.)
MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, IL (IATA code BLV), which shares a runway with Scott Air Force Base, serves one carrier, the low-cost Allegiant Airlines, which has non-stop flights from several airports, mostly in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, but also from Las Vegas and Phoenix.
It’s a 20-minute bus ride, $3.00 one-way cash only, to the nearest MetroLink station, then another $2.50 and 45 minutes to Union Station. A taxi will likely cost between $60 and $75.
You can rent a car from Enterprise if you make arrangements in advance.
The Google map:
The drive takes about half an hour.
Our current Amtrak station, the St. Louis Gateway Transportation Center (also serves Greyhound intercity busses), is about a five minute walk from the venue. (It’s also just one stop away on MetroLink, but you’ll spend almost all your time waiting for the train. The ride itself takes only about one minute; and you’ll still have half of the hike from the Union Station station.)
Day trips are possible from a handful of cities in the northern Midwest; it’s an overnight trip from most places in the area from New England down to D.C. and out to the Rocky Mountains; you’d spend two nights on the train from the West Coast or the Southeast. Your host is a train-riding geek. Contact him privately for help with planning a trip.
From the station (under highway 40 in the lower right corner), walk west on Poplar Street to 18th Street, then north to Market Street, turn left. You could also cross the Civic Center MetroLink station and the St. Louis bus terminal to 14th Street, turn left and walk north about four blocks to Market Street and west about six blocks to Union Station. (“Block” here is a distance, ca. 1/20 of a mile. There won’t always be cross streets to count.)
St. Louis is at the intersection of I-44, I-55, I-64, and I-70. Contact the host privately for driving tips around town.
From the hotel’s front door, ascend the Grand Staircase to the Grand Hall. You’ll see the hotel’s front desk to your right behind a couple of arches.
For an accesible entrance, there’s a door in the corner to the left of the hotel’s front doors. Go through that door, turn right, turn left (signs give good directions). After a short walk, you’ll see an elevator on your left that you’ll take to the second floor. Go through a door on your left and turn right and you’ll be in the Grand Hall near the top of the Grand Staircase. (It’s easier than it sounds.)
Drury InnA short walk south on 20th Street, just across the street from the Ferris wheel.
OYO Hotel St. LouisAcross 14th Street from the city bus terminal, which is connected to the Civic Center MetroLink station, which in turn is connected to the Amtrak Station. An easier walk is north to Market Street, then west to Union Station.
Three more to the west:
Fairfield Inn & Suites
Courtyard by MarriottJust west of the Fairfield Inn (not shown by Google on their map for some reason).
Pear Tree InnIf you stay at the Pear Tree, cross Market Street at 20th. There’s not another pedestrian crosswalk until Jefferson Avenue (effectively 26th Street).
The Monday and Saturday plenaries will be held in the combined Regency AB Ballroom on the west side of the first floor. We will have that room until whenever the plenary ends on Monday, but we’ll need to be out by 14:00 on Saturday.
The rest of the meeting will be in breakout rooms in the Midway East area, also on the first floor.
We will initially have all of the Midway 5-11 rooms until 21:00, Monday through Friday; but we expect to release most of them after 17:30 once we know what we’ll need for evening sessions (if any).
There will be WiFi in all the meeting rooms. Instructions for connecting to the WiFi will be available in the plenary room first thing Monday morning.
To get to the meeting rooms, take the elevators that serve the guest rooms down to the first floor. On Monday and Saturday mornings, turn left, walk almost as far as you can go, and turn left again down a ramp to Foyer A (in the ballroom diagram first above). Tuesday through Friday, turn right, and walk to a door on your left that says that it’s the entrance to the “Grand Hall” (this is the room called “Grand Staircase Prefunction” in the Midway East diagram).
Returning from lunch outside the building, you can also enter through doors from the “Outdoor Courtyard” on the west side of the building. These doors will likely be locked; but your room key card will get you in; or you can press a button and tell the person who answers that you’re attending the WG21 meeting, and you’ll be buzzed in.
If you’re staying at the hotel, another option is to enter the Midway East area through the Aquarium. Walk north through the first floor until you can’t go any farther. Your room key card will get you through a gate on your left.
If you’re not staying at the meeting hotel, descend the Grand Staircase to the first floor (the street level is called the mezzanine) and you’ll be in the Grand Staircase Prefunction room. You can also take the elevator mentioned in the “Checking in” section to the first floor, go through a door on your left, and turn right into a hallway behind the Midway 6 room. Getting buzzed in through the doors on the west side of the building is also an option.
|These are the only ways to get to the meeting rooms if you don’t have a hotel room key card, including after lunch if you leave the hotel.|
The host will provide a breakfast buffet Monday through Saturday beginning one hour before the scheduled start of the meeting. Monday and Saturday, the buffet will be in Foyer A in the ballroom area (near the plenary rooms); Tuesday through Friday, the buffet will be in Midway East’s Grand Staircase Prefunction room (near the breakout rooms).
There are several places inside the building or under the train shed. In addition to those are:
Maggie O’Brien’s, an Irish restaurant and sports bar just across 20th Street on Market Street;
Lombardo’s Tratoria, an Italian restaurant in the Drury Inn building across 20th Street from the Ferris wheel.
The Old CourthouseThis is now a museum commemorating the numerous slaves, including Dred Scott, who sued for their freedom here.
Gateway Arch National ParkThere’s a museum under the Arch and a ride inside the Arch to the top.You can walk to both on Market Street from Union Station in 20 or 30 minutes; or you can take MetroLink three stops to the 8th & Pine station and have another four- or
The site of the 1904 World’s Fair, four stops west on MetroLink.
It was at the fair that the International Electrical Congress proposed what would become our IEC.
Until 19:00 daily during the summer months, the Forest Park Trolley shuttles visitors around the park to various attractions including:
Missouri History Museum
St. Louis Art Museum
St. Louis Zoo
St. Louis Science Center and PlanetariumNot shown on the Google map. The planetarium is in the southeast corner of the park; the rest of the science center is across Highway 40. There’s a covered pedestrian walkway over the highway. The schedule for planetarium shows will be known at least six weeks prior to our meeting.
Municipal Opera (a.k.a., the Muny)An 11,000-seat open air amphitheater that stages Broadway musicals. The 2024 schedule will be known by the 1st of November.
Everything except the Muny is free and open to the public, and the Muny has 1500 free seats. There are fees for admission to particular shows at the zoo and the science center.
This being St. Louis, I hope you’ll forgive me for not being able to stop writing without mentioning the Cardinals.😄 Busch Stadium is just two stops east on MetroLink; and it’s walkable, less than a mile, maybe 1km give or take.
The Cards will be in town the week of our meeting hosting the Atlanta Braves Monday-Wednesday, and the Cincinnati Reds Thursday-Sunday. First pitch times aren’t known as I write this, but Wednesday and Sunday will likely be day games.