St. Louis, MO

“Our time has come. To make a change. To make history. And to make our future.”



In 2009, the CityArchRiver Foundation held a design competition to create “a single vibrant and dynamic destination” that integrates downtown with the Gateway Arch and the river front. The project includes renovation of the Arch and its 91 acres of park and recreation space; a new museum under the Arch with state-of-the-art interactive exhibits; renovation of the adjacent Old Courthouse; construction of an elevated park over the I-44 highway to connect the Arch grounds with the Old Courthouse; complete overhaul of Kiener plaza as a downtown gathering place; elevation of Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard to reduce flooding incidents; and addition of walking and biking trails around the Arch and along the water front.


Determined to pay more than lip service to accessibility, CityArchRiver hired Cohen Hilberry to serve as accessibility and inclusive design consultants for all project design and construction partners. Cohen Hilberry reviews drawings and construction mock-ups, develops inclusive design criteria, manages compliance with various regulations and works to resolve conflicts. As part of the design process, Cohen Hilberry assisted with the formation of the Universal Design Group (UDG), a group of citizens with knowledge of a wide range of disabilities who participate in the review and development of the project design. With friends in both the accessibility and design camps, Cohen Hilberry serves as moderator between the UDG and other team members. The creativity and mutual consideration exhibited at the UDG meetings have generated innovative design solutions in response to conflicts between access, security, historic preservation and structural requirements. While parts of the work are completed and open to the public, the entire project is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

By Numbers

$380,000,000 budget

91 acres of parkland

2013 start of construction

2017 scheduled completion

Project type

Inclusive Design

Accessibility Consulting

Historic Preservation




CityArchRiver Foundation

National Park Service

Great Rivers Greenway

Landscape Architecture: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

Prime General Contractors: McCarthy Castle JVI; Kozney Wagner; and KCI

Project Architecture: Cooper Robertson; James Carpenter Design Associates; and Trivers Associates
Museum Exhibits: Haley Sharpe Design

Link to the project

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