Landmarks Association Awarded Grant from National Trust for Meramec River Bridge
Landmarks Association of St. Louis was awarded a $3,500 grant by the National Trust for Historic Preservation from the Missouri-Kansas Preservation Fund. The seed grant funds will launch the first phase of a multi-phased project to develop a master plan for the Historic Route 66 Bridge over the Meramec River.
The master plan for the bridge will serve as a long-range plan for the future use of the bridge and its environs as historic resources. An economic feasibility study, which is part of the master plan, will examine preservation and rehabilitation costs, as well as physical enhancement opportunities such as the placement of overlooks, seating, handicap accessible viewing platforms and educational signage in the park. These enhancements will help build an identity for the project, educate the public about the bridge as a hsitoric resource, and distribute information about the process being currently undertaken.
The Meramec River Bridge is an important resource associated with Route 66 in Missouri. The bridge was specifically constructed in 1931-32 for the historic highway, and is one of only four similarly designed bridges in the state. When the road was bypassed by Interstate 44, the bridge was likewise evaded and fell into disrepair. The master plan funded by the grant is a critical step in stabilizing the bridge for future renovation and use.
Landmarks Association serves as fiscal agent for the bridge and has been working closely with the bridge stakeholders - a strong partnership of over twenty local, state and national organizations working to preserve the bridge as a vital tourism, recreational and historic asset.
"Without organizations like Landmarks and the Meramec River Bridge stakeholders, communities and towns all across America would have a diminished sense of place," said Stephanie Meeks, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "The National Trust for Historic Preservation is honored to provide a grant to Landmarks, which will use the funds to help preserve an important piece of our shared heritage."
| Historic image of the Route 66 Meramec Bridge|
The National Trust for Historic Preservation dispenses small grants for local projects through the National Trust Preservation Funds grant program. The grants rande from $500 to $5,000 and have provided over $5.5 million dollars of funding since 2002. They are awarded to non-profit groups, educational institutions and public agencies and must be matched, at least dollar for dollar, with public or private funds. Preservation Fund grants are being used nationally for such wide-ranging activities as consultant services for rehabilitating buildings, technical assistance for toursim that promotes historic resources and educating children about their heritage. These grants are often the deciding facotr on whether historic buildings or sites can be saved for future generations. To learn more about the National Trust's Preservation Fund grants visit their website.
If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to save the Route 66 Meramec River Bridge, please send a check with "Route 66 Meramec River Bridge" written in the memo line to:
Landmarks Associaiton of St. Louis, 911 Washington Avenue, Suite 170 St. Louis, Missouri 63101
To learn more about the bridge and the efforts to save it, join the Friends of the Meramec River Route 66 Bridge on Facebook.