Sunday, November 24, 2013

St. Louis Place Park

St. Louis Place Park is 1 of 108 St. Louis parks making up 14.13 acres of the total 2,956 acres of park land in the city.  Per the city website claims that St. Louis Place Park is one of two parks serving the St. Louis Place Neighborhood, along with Murphy Park.  That is not accurate per my understanding as Cass Avenue is the southern boundary between St. Louis Place and Carr Square.  Murphy Park is south of Cass.  But make no mistake, this park is the gem intended to compliment the area and has been here since 1850.


The long, slender park is located between Raushenbach Avenue to the west, N. 21st Street to the east, Mainden Lane to the south and Hebert Street to the north.


Per the city website, the park is on the site of an old reservoir and was donated to the City by Governor John Miller, John O'Fallon, Louis LaBeaume and others.

The park has walking paths throughout the park, a basketball court in the round, a mid-century service building, a beautiful spray pool, and a playground.  


 check out the concrete benches/seats


 spray pool




basketball in the round

Two things I'd like to see are the stumps ground out of the beautiful stone retaining walls and plant new oaks or hickories.

And, there was once a statue that his since been lost and tagged by the West Side gang.  I can't find out what used to be here, please contact me via email or comment on this blog if you know, I'd like to add that to this blog.



Edited June 1st, 2014:  As I was researching Memorial Plaza in the Downtown West neighborhood, I learned that a statue of German poet Friedrich Schiller was originally in St. Louis Place Park.  My guess is that it was located here.
The statue is an exact reproduction of the statue in Marback, Germany; Schiller's birthplace. Schiller was a noted German poet. The statue was donated by Col. Charles G. Stifel. It was originally installed in November of 1898 at St. Louis Place Park. It was moved to its current location in the 1970's. (source)
There should be something here commemorating the long history of this park and area of St. Louis.  Maybe the Kirchner Brothers would be a good call as they designed the beautiful Blair School overlooking the park which McCormack Baron Salazar renovated into apartments.
Designed by School Board Architects H. William Kirchner and August Kirchner, Blair School typifies the 1880 architectural solution for the safe expansion of school buildings to accommodate the ever-growing student enrollment of that period. The school originally consisted of a three-story square structure with four-story twin towers and provided twelve classrooms. The second stage added two-story wings on the north and south ends of the building increasing the number of classrooms to twenty. The third story additions to the wings were built in 1894 bringing the total number of rooms to twenty-four.Almost 100 years later the St. Louis Board of Education closed the school due to a lack of student enrollment. (source)
There is an area to the south by 21st and Market where the locals have set up chairs and picnic tables around a bonfire area.  And in Google street view, you can see these folks have set up a pool on the park property.  This is kind of odd that the park's department allows bonfires in a city park, especially with a fire house across the street.  But in many parts of St. Louis, I don't think the parks departments put any effort into maintaining or visiting the parks except to mow and empty trash cans.  Think of the potential liability this neglect could cause the city if someone got hurt.


image from google street view

bonfire remnants on park property

The buildings that line the park vary from excellently maintained to falling down.  There are several new homes constructed from various decades, churches, a school, a former school converted to apartments, and as I mentioned before the art deco Firehouse #5.


 Zion Lutheran School House

 Lutheran Church

Sonntag's Schule

 Blair School Apartments read all about the history HERE

 Fire Station #5


Examples of newer homes:





Old classics in various states of repair or neglect:







This is a neighborhood of St. Louis that I love.  It must have been amazing in its heyday.  It still is.  Get your photos now, it is disappearing fast.

1 comment:

Ralph Brontz said...

I lived in this area between 1960 and 1968. The neighborhood had not yet begun to deteriorate at that point, and the park was kept neat and clean. It saddens me to see what has become of it, and the low regard that the city and its' residents have for it. Of course, it is not the only park in the city that has become something of a eyesore.