With recent revitalization efforts across the city bring new life to formerly blighted areas, the Art and Entertainment District Grand Center in Saint Louis is blossoming again. The area, known to locals simply as Grand Center, has been at the middle of a concentrated effort to expand homes for the arts in St. Louis. Each year has seen the completion of a new renovation or initiative, which all serve to expand the cultural capacities of Grand Center.
The neighborhood is located just to the north of the St. Louis University campus and claims to have more theater seats in a more concentrated area than anywhere else in the region. More than 12,000 seats in 4 tight blocks have drawn more than 1.3 million visitors annually to check out performances and shows. That kind of foot traffic should warn visitors that it is not an undiscovered area and popular shows will need to be booked early to guarantee seats.
Even with heavy competition for seats, there are more than 1500 cultural events in the district annually, meaning that everyone has the opportunity to find something that will suit them. Jazz clubs pay homage to the city's past reputation as a blues leader while new performing arts venues host visiting Broadway productions like Wicked and host touring acts stopping in St. Louis.
Festivals of music and culture throughout the year bring huge crowds, and continued development projects ensure than more and more will be pulled to the area. The Medinah Temple makeover is the latest project, and the multi-use office and theater complex will join the Sheldon Concert Hall, The St. Louis Black Repertory Theater, and the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in the neighborhood as a meeting place and show destination. Parking can be tough, but public transportation provides many options for those wanting to check out the area during busy times.