Wheels is a public art sculpture by artists Bill Baker and Claudia Cuesta located at the Civic Center Transit Center. The sculpture is a symbol of the movement and life of people, trains, buses, and the city. The sculpture is ringed with a poem by T.S. Eliot.


Claudia Cuesta and Bill Baker | 2018

Civic Center Transit Center
Stainless Steel and Vermont Granite
23′ h. x 19′ w. x 19′ d.

Wheels is an iconic symbol for the infinitesimal movement of life and its constant rhythms as they are played out at this hub of people, trains, buses, and vehicle traffic to celebrate the pulse of the city.  It is a highly visible site marker that integrates the different forms of transportation.  The sculpture’s minimal footprint and the inscribed poem from T.S. Eliot invite people to circle the sculpture as they read the poem, creating the fourth wheel, and reminding us all that at the center of movement, there is stillness.

Dedicated to T.S. Eliot (born 1888, St. Louis), with inscribed poetry from The Four Quartets (Burnt Norton), 1943

Thomas Stearns Eliot, the Nobel Prize-winning poet, dramatist, and essayist, was born on Locust Street, about a mile from this spot, in 1888.  The city streets, powerful Mississippi, and ragtime rhythms of St. Louis appear in some of his famous poems, like “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” The Waste Land, and Four Quartets.  He died in England in 1965.

-the International T.S. Eliot Society

Commissioned by Arts in Transit for Metro Transit St. Louis.