Friday, July 12, 2013

Carnegie Park

Carnegie Park is 1 of 4 parks, along with Benton, Cherokee and Fremont Parks, serving the Benton Park Neighborhood.  Carnegie makes up 2.07 acres of the total 2,956 acres of St. Louis park land.


The ground was set aside for park space in 1899 and became a park in 1904.
This playground was acquired in 1899 to be a market but nearby property owners protested and that scheme was abandoned. The Park Department was then put in charge of the playground. It was partially developed into a public park in 1904. (source)
The park is located at just south of the much larger Benton Park at Indiana and Utah with 2 nearly equal sections north and south of Utah Street.

The homes that line the park along Indiana Avenue are St. Louis classics.




 Indiana Avenue is lined with street trees on the side with homes and park space.


Carnegie is really a tale of two parks.  The northern section has been embraced by the neighbors with plantings around trees, park benches and a couple berms with clusters of native grasses and other perennials in various states of care.







This part of the park looks used and with a little more hard work could become a real asset to the neighborhood.  The curb appeal of the park would improve by with more hardscape to define the space around the center planting and provide some structure and curb appeal.

The southern section of the park is a blank slate...literally just a mowed field of grass/weeds and a couple random trees.  There was a recent bump out along the sidewalk for a water fountain that does not work or is not turned on, but it looks nice.


There is no sign or otherwise identifying this as a city park.  In fact, I had to ask around to find out where this park was.

The most fun thing about visiting the parks (other than talking to people) is imagining what could be.  Obviously, the 1899 plan for a market, or some other higher use would be best.  But, this part of the park is probably a place for kids to run around and dogs to be walked.  It would be perfect as a dog park.  However, the much larger and really beautiful Benton Park is within eye shot.  It would be great to see it developed with more homes.

In the meantime it would be great to see the Park's Dept employees working in the parks year round to spread mulch around trees, remove dead vegetation, etc.  Maintenance is non-existent in most parks.  You can tell it is up to the neighbors to take care of them.












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