St. Louis CIN grew out of planning efforts in 1994, and became a live web site in August 1995, thanks largely to the efforts of students from Washington University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Charles P. Kindleberger III, affectionately known as Chuck to colleagues, was the driving force behind establishing St. Louis CIN. Among many others, Sonya Pelli worked closely with Kindleberger to start St. Louis CIN, and remained the manager of the web site and its 2-person staff as of August 2005, the 10th anniversary of the web site launch.
Early development of St. Louis CIN was not funded by the St. Louis city government directly, but instead by grants from the state of Missouri, the US Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
St. Louis CIN became part of the St. Louis city government IT department in January 2004.