A Reality in Grand Center

Just before 5 a.m. on Monday, June 18, 2012 a new era began for St. Louis Public Radio. At that time, Morning Edition host Bob McCabe opened the microphone for the first time from our new studios at UMSL in Grand Center, the new home of St. Louis Public Radio.

The move to 3651 Olive Street in the Grand Center District in midtown St. Louis ends a 40-year history of the station broadcasting from Lucas Hall on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus. We celebrated this history earlier this month with the station’s 40th anniversary of broadcast operations on June 2.

An early photo of the on-air studio at St. Louis Public Radio (KWMU) in Lucas Hall on the UMSL Campus

This relocation to a new facility in Grand Center is part of a move that includes the academics from UMSL also moving into the city of St. Louis. Within the 27,000-square feet of UMSL at Grand Center there are three classrooms, conference areas and academic offices, and the studios and offices for St. Louis Public Radio.

The portion of the building devoted to St. Louis Public Radio includes nine broadcast studios and expanded office space to accommodate our increased investment in reporters and producers to cover the St. Louis region.

The location of our new home brings with it a wealth of opportunities for new partnerships while expanding on our existing alliances throughout the area. We are now next door to our public media colleagues at the Nine Network for Public Media and the St. Louis Beacon.  Our community radio friends, KDHX, will be building their new home just down the street from us.  In addition, with the home of the St. Louis Symphony at Powell Hall, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, the Contemporary Art Museum, Jazz at the Bistro, and the Fox Theatre all within a five-minute walk of the station we expect to expand our role as a Champion for the Arts in St. Louis.

With the first day of broadcasting in our new home, we thought it fitting to talk about the new building with the design architects Heather Woofter and Sung Ho Kim on our initial broadcast of St. Louis on the Air from the new studio. In addition, Vince Schoemehl, the President and CEO of Grand Center, also joined in on the conversation discussing the building and its role in the Grand Center district.

The work to create a new home for St. Louis Public Radio goes back nearly ten years and is really a beginning more than it is an end.  It is the beginning of a new opportunity for the station to expend its public service to St. Louis and engage the community in new and innovative ways. Please save the date of Saturday, September 15, 2012 to come visit the station at our official Grand Opening of UMSL at Grand Center.

Finally, the video below by Brent Jones of The St. Louis Beacon chronicles the exterior construction of the building from April 2011 until today.

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About Tim Eby

General Manager of St. Louis Public Radio.

One response to “A Reality in Grand Center”

  1. Al Rose says :

    Congratulations to St Louis Public Radio and UMSL. The quality of the sound from KWMU is exceptional and clear. The beautiful and striking building offers an opportunity for Public Radio to make a significant additon to the whole Grand Center curltural arts space. Alot of people, starting with Tim and the on and off air staffs, UMSL Chancellor George, the Friends Board, contributors to the Capital Campaign, the archtects and builders all came together over the past several years to make the dream a reality.

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