Best Local Landmark - 2004
Giant Amoco sign
Traveling west out of the city, Highway 40 is pretty basic: There's horizontal concrete to drive on, and there's vertical concrete separating you from the eastbound traffic. Oh yeah, and there're some giant concrete turtles. Pretty straightforward stuff. While the Gateway to the West is definitely an architectural wonder, once you've passed that, what's there to look forward to besides Kansas City? Well, just shift your gaze from your rearview mirror toward the sky, and you'll see one of the most magnificent sights St. Louis has to offer: the giant Amoco sign at the Clayton Road exit. This colossal wonder, reputed to be 40 feet high by 60 feet wide and visible a mile away, does not merely mark a place to top up your tank. It also stands as proof that the little guy sometimes wins -- or the littler one, anyway. When BP acquired Amoco, the Britain-based energy leviathan undertook a systematic dismantling of the red-white-and-blue color scheme in favor of the new corporate master's green and yellow. But not here. The sign remains, as it has since the 1960s. (It was redone at some point after Standard Oil gave way to Amoco.) See it? OK, now you can look forward to Kansas City.