Sophia D. Franz gave her 5.32 acres to the city for a park and playground in honor of her husband Ehrhardt D. Franz in 1915, (with the stipulation to be used for a playground for the children). Ehrhardt was a wholesale merchandiser. He came to thee United States in 1854, and after accumulating some wealth, moved his family to St. Louis in 1871. Their house sat on 6730 Mitchell on what is not a tennis court in the playground. He had large real estate holding in the vicinity of Benton. He retired in 1873, but went back to work in 1880 in the grocery business until his store burned down. He then took care of his property interests until he died in 1898 at 65 yrs. One of the persons presenting the deed to the city was S.H. Kleinschmidt... (source)
The park makes up 4.67 acres of the total 2,956 acres of St. Louis park space.
The park is bordered by Prather Avenue to the west, Glades Avenue to the south, homes that abut Kraft Street to the east and Mitchell Avenue to the north. Check out the bird's eye view of the block and note the fact that a street does not separate the park from the existing homes to the east.
The park is located in the Franz Park neighborhood of Dogtown in St. Louis' 24th Ward.
The park is in great condition and is utilized by Wilkinson Early Childhood Center, a fantastic magnet school right across the street. The school and park at the the near heart of the neighborhood have a positive symbiotic nature and are great anchors and future building blocks for the neighborhood.
You can tell there are a lot kids spending time here and there were two young families using the park on my visit, one playing soccer, the other playing on the playground. I try and talk to the young families about where they plan on sending their kids to school and talk up the ones I know about and urge them to give the city schools a try. This particular family wants to stay in St. Louis and are excited about trying the magnets.
There are 2 ball field and soccer goals.
The tennis courts where the Franz house once stood is in playable condition, but are due for a resurfacing. And have since been resurfaced as of September, 2014. Way to go Franz Park!
The playground equipment and pavilions are quite clean and in good shape.
There are some cool stone walls and entry ways along Prather and Glades.
Other structures include a challenge course and a ho hum bathroom/park storage building.
The corner of Prather and Mitchell has a nice art installation from the kids at Wilkinson.
I spotted a homemade plastic bag dispenser that someone installed on the fence for curbing the dogs.
There are plenty of trees within the park to provide shade where people can relax and hang out with their kids on the playground, and there are street trees lining the southern edge of the park.
This nice, clean park is bordered by nice, clean houses.
Cheers to Franz Park, you have a nice pocket of the city.