At 630 feet tall, the most visible symbol of St. Louis is the Gateway Arch. Designed by the late architect Eero Saarinen and completed in 1965, the Arch symbolizes St. Louis’ role as the Gateway to the West. But St. Louis’ location near the center of the country could just as well make it the Gateway to the East, North, or South.

St. Louis is the 20th largest metropolitan area in the country with a population of 2.81 million people. The Greater St. Louis area has seen population growth of more than 250,000 people since the 1990’s. St. Louis has been named in the top 10 “America’s Best Housing Markets” and in the top 20 “Best Cities for Singles” by Forbes magazine. In addition, the St. Louis region has been named in the top 100 places to raise a family by Best Life magazine (based on favorable student-teacher ratios, above-average test scores, safety, number of museums, parks, pediatricians and length of commutes) and in the top 10 “Best Cities for Relocating Families” among large metro areas by the Worldwide ERC and Primary Relocation. In 2016, St. Louis was a recipient of the John A. Sasso Award from the National Community Development Association.

St. Louis is also home to many world-class restaurants. Local favorites include Imo’s Pizza and Pappy’s Smokehouse for BBQ. Open Table included two Greater St. Louis area restaurants on their “100 Most Scenic Restaurants in America” for 2016 (Kemoll’s Italian Restaurant, Baxter’s Lakeside Grille) and included St. Louis restaurant, The Crossing, on their “100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America” for 2016.

Washington University has been an integral part of the St. Louis community since its founding in 1853. The Danforth Campus, surrounded by suburbs and facing Forest Park, is just seven miles west of the Mississippi riverfront and the Arch. In between, at the eastern end of the park, are the University’s School of Medicine and the affiliated hospitals and clinics of the Washington University Medical Center.