For some reason, in downtown St. Louis there are two places with such similar names, that it confuses almost everybody:
Bus riders get frequently confused by this. Where's the "civic center"? I've never heard of that. You must mean the convention center. I've been guilty of this confusion, just as much as anyone else.
Part of the blame goes to the management of these institutions. What used to be simply "Kiel Auditorium" on 14th Street is long gone. They built the Kiel Civic Center, which was normally called the Kiel Center for short. I remember this pretty clearly; I even took a tour of the new facility when it opened in, I think, 1994.
The adjacent MetroLink station - which opened even before that arena itself did - was called Kiel Civic Center Station. But, then, they changed the name of the arena to Savvis Center.
This is what made things confusing. The MetroLink station was still called Kiel Civic Center. So then, in 2002, Bi-State (now DBA Metro) renamed it.
From the press release dated February 8, 2002. "The Kiel Center station will be changed to Civic Center. Civic Center reinforces the local destinations which are within walking distance of the station such as City Hall, the Post Office, the Police Station, the Civil Courts Building and the Savvis Center."
That's all well and good, but what does "Civic Center" really mean? There's no building by that name, really. The very busy MetroBus (transfer) Center adjacent to this MetroLink station was also named Civic Center MetroBus Center, when it opened on September 6, 2004.
At one time, architects and urban planners referred to that area as the "Public Buildings Group." But, that was in the 1920s; only historians use that terminology today. The problem with that MetroLink station on 14th and Spruce is that you can't call it "Savvis Center Station" because that would be naming it after a for-profit company who happens to have the naming rights for that massive arena next to the station. If they pay for the naming rights for the station, too, it's possible; but otherwise, why would Bi-State give away the name for free? So they picked the generic name "Civic Center."
Likewise, at the same time Bi-State renamed "Busch Stadium Station" as simply "Stadium Station" because there was the possibility that facility's name could change when the new stadium opened. That probably won't happen soon, but was probably a prudent name change decision.
However, the potential confusion between "Civic Center" and "Convention Center" remains. Sure, there isn't really a building called the Cervantes Convention Center anymore; in 1991, when the facility was expanded, it was renamed America's Center, to emphasize that St. Louis is a centrally located convention destination.
I remember taking a tour of that place, too, when it opened, and seeing the ongoing demolition, grading and construction for the Edward Jones Dome, still un-named at that point. (I've still never been inside the Dome, however; when it opened in 1995, I don't recall they had a public grand opening tour day).
But, then, why is the "Convention Center" MetroLink station not located adjacent to the America's Center? Instead, it's next to Saint Louis Centre, that glass-enclosed behemoth of a largely empty shopping mall opened in August, 1985. While initial plans for the MetroLink called for that station to be named Saint Louis Centre Station, the development of the Convention Center expansion changed that; so that when the line opened in 1993, the name was Convention Center Station.
Then, there's the matter of the courts. We have so many courthouses, that when somebody says I'm going to the courthouse, I don't know what to tell them. If they are reporting for Jury Duty, it's obvious: go to the Civil Courts Building.
But if they're going to court - whether as a witness, defendant, or whatever - it's more difficult. Sometimes, they may need to go to the Civil Courts, which is a misnomer, since both civil and criminal trials happen there. Or, they may need to go to the Carnahan Courthouse (sometimes called the Carnahan Government Building) across the street.
Don't send them to the Municipal Courts at 14th and Market; that's closed. But if they're headed for Federal courts, which used to be in what's now the Carnahan building, they need to go to the Eagleton Courthouse on 10th.
And if its Traffic Court you need, well, that's at 14th and Olive. Finally, if they're tourists, they probably want the Old Courthouse down by the Arch.
And don't even ask about Juvenile Court. That's way out on Vandeventer and Enright.