Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dwight Davis Park

Dwight Davis Park is 1 of St. Louis' 108 parks.  It was placed into ordinance in 1951 and makes up 9.6 acres of the total 2,956 acres of park space in St. Louis.


The park is located near the intersection of Lillian Avenue and Riverview Boulevard in the Walnut Park East Neighborhood.


The park is named after Dwight F. Davis. 
"He is remembered best as one of the most progressive civic leaders this community has ever known. World famous as a champion tennis player he was, of course, the donor of the famous Davis Cup. 
In 1911, he was appointed St. Louis Park Commissioner, and in that post made local history. Intensely interested in recreational facilities, he had the conviction, that public parks were intended for public use, not merely for appearance sake. He laid out baseball diamonds, tennis courts, golf courses and stirred up enthusiasm for outdoor sports. Mr. Davis was the man who took the "Keep Off The Grass" signs away from Park lawns and invited the public to make free use of every facility offered by his Department. Public Parks, he argued, belonged to the public. As a result, the organized use of municipal Parks for recreation centers spread throughout the country."  (source)
The tennis center in Forest Park is also named in honor of Mr. Davis.

Tennis is a focal point of this park today, although I doubt there is much tennis played here.  In fact, one of the courts was converted to a basketball court (way more popular sport in this part of St. Louis).  



The courts are in excellent condition and there were brand new nets and posts which were already destroyed by the locals. 



Too bad, because tennis is popular in other parts of St. Louis.  They should get these resources.  Think Compton Reservoir Park where the park is in a densely populated area were tennis courts are rare.  Theirs are trashed and old.  This would go over big in that part of town; not so much here per my evidence.

There are 3 baseball diamonds in pretty good shape, and based on the chalk striping, it appears they are in use.  




The park is directly east of Northwest Academy of Law, a magnet school focusing on the law and law enforcement trades.  

They have a nice football field just west of the park.

The city website boasts spray pools, but I think those were recently removed and paved over:



The playgrounds have trash all over them, but are in excellent condition:



The park also has a mid-20th Century facility with bathrooms and storage (close to public).  Porta-Pottys now serve the park.



A park usually reflects the spirit of the neighborhood in which it resides.  There is trash and public drinking evidence everywhere.  Sadly, the trash cans were dumped over and destroyed and the new ones were largely empty and the current park goers choose to throw the junk food, booze, beer and snack juice (Vess) containers on the ground. 









There has been money invested here in the form of new trees planted.  Sadly they were planted and walked away from and 95% are now dead.




Dwight Davis is being abused and it's pretty sad.  We sure could use those tennis courts in other neighborhoods where they'd be used.

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