Sacred Song and the Public Square: Encountering the Public Square of St. Louis

By Rehwaldt, Peter W. | The Hymn, Winter 2018 | Go to article overview

Sacred Song and the Public Square: Encountering the Public Square of St. Louis


Rehwaldt, Peter W., The Hymn


If you want to know about the "public square" in St. Louis, Blueberry Hill on Delmar Boulevard might be the place to start. Blueberry Hill is a bar-museum-restaurantnightclub that its owner describes as "a welcoming place that was all about music, pop culture memorabilia, and great food to share a beer over."1 It is located a few blocks north of Washington University, in a part of St. Louis called the Delmar Loop, so named because this was where the long-gone Delmar streetcar line ended and the cars turned around on a loop to make their return trip. The Delmar Loop was a run-down area in 1972 when Joe and Linda Edwards opened Blueberry Hill, and Joe put as much energy into revitalizing the area as he and Linda put into their new bar. In the more than forty years since opening Blueberry Hill, it has become a true St. Louis landmark, and the same can be said of the Delmar Loop.

What makes Blueberry Hill the heart of the public square of St. Louis is another idea of Joe Edwards: the St. Louis Walk of Fame (SLWOF). On the sidewalk in front of Blueberry Hill is the first star ever placed, in 1989, dedicated to Chuck Berry. Scattered along Delmar are another 150 stars that have been added over the years, dedicated to people who were born in St. Louis or strongly associated and shaped by St. Louis, and whose accomplishments were significant not simply for St. Louis but the nation.2

The public square is not a place, per se. Instead, the public square is the gathering of the community, to shape and form the community's life. That is, the public square is the coming together of people - which means that the people on the SLWOF are perhaps the embodiment of the public square of St. Louis. So let's look at some of the people commemorated on the SLWOF.

The Hymn Society conference will take place on the campus of Washington University, and more than a few of the stars on the SLWOF honor people strongly associated with "Wash U." 3 William Greenleaf Eliot, a Unitarian minister, was one of the co-founders of the university in 1853, which was originally named "Eliot Seminary." (He also helped to found the St. Louis Art Museum.), and Father Lawrence Biondi, SJ, who spent over forty years as president and chancellor of St. Louis University.

The medical school of Washington University sits at the other end of Forest Park from the main campus, where it is at the heart of a cutting edge medical research community, and people connected with it have a host of stars as well. Robert Brookings was a successful local businessman who became the president of the board of Washington University in 1895 and founder of its medical school, as well as the founder of the Brookings Institution. Brookings' goal was to make the medical school a model for US medical education, and it is not an exaggeration to say that he succeeded. Arthur Compton received the 1927 Nobel Prize in Physics, and later became the university chancellor. Carl Cori and Gerty Radnitz received the 1947 Nobel Prize for medicine, with Radnitz being the first woman ever to receive this prize. William Masters and Virginia Johnson share a star for their work on sexuality at Washington University's medical school. Barry Commoner taught in the medical school, and became nationally prominent through his work on the health dangers associated with nuclear weapons testing and his defense of the environment generally. All in all, eighteen Nobel Prizes have been awarded to people associated with the school of medicine.4

Walking along the SLWOF, you encounter people like these who touched and shaped both St. Louis and the world. Other prominent educators have stars on the SLWOF, like Susan Blow, who received her star in recognition of her role in creating the first successful kindergarten in the United States in 1873, and Father Lawrence Biondi, SJ, who spent over forty years as president and chancellor of St. Louis University.

A local postal aviator has a star on the SLWOF - Charles Lindbergh - earned for the flight of his plane The Spirit of St. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Sacred Song and the Public Square: Encountering the Public Square of St. Louis
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.