Saturday, December 14, 2013

Compton Reservoir Park...part II

So I gotta tell you, I live in this part of town and have fallen for this park...it might be perfect...but I haven't seen all 111 St. Louis parks, so I'm holding my final judgement until the end.

Anyhow, I did a story on the park back in August, 2013.  I have had some great family times, personal times and dog related time in this park.  It's just a damn fine use of urban land and a good example of how "green space" can provide a variety of uses and actually increase the value of an area.

As with most park visits, I try to share my thoughts and dreams about what I'd do to immediately improve a park.  For my Compton Reservoir Park post, I chose to focus on the dilapidated tennis courts and the weird service building covered in ivy and surrounded by fence.

Here are my words from the original post:
The park is obviously loved by its neighbors and is in good hands.  But, what I would do to improve the current condition and usability of the park would be two things: 
1. The tennis courts are in unusable condition.  The nets are sagging and the concrete is all cracked and uneven.  With all the young people that have recently moved to this part of town, i could really see these courts being used.  We don't have tennis courts in this part of town, so I as a resident of nearby Fox Park would come here as well to play. 
 
 

2. I'd remove the ivy and weeds from this building: 
 
I'm not exactly sure what this is, but it is surrounded by fence and barbed wire.  It is a beautiful building that should be cleaned up.
So as it turns out, my #1 from above is being addressed and unbeknownst to me, another great addition is being made to the park.

This information was brought to me via the Fall, 2013 mailer of the Tower Tribune by the Water Tower & Park Preservation Society.

Here's what they had to say:
A comprehensive borrowing program by the City of St. Louis will provide funds to rebuild the crumbling tennis courts and to replicate tow long-lost lighting fixtures on the Compton Hill Water Tower.  Sixth Ward Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia announced in October that she is allocating funds for those projects from Reservoir Park's share of a $26M bond issue approved by the city in 2012...Simply resurfacing the asphalt is not sufficient, she noted, due to earth shifts during the seasonal freeze and thaw cycles.  This calls for complete rebuilding, meaning new subsoil foundations, she said.  Light standards will be repaired or replaced as needed, as will fencing around the courts.
Furthermore from the mailer:
A total of $10,000 is designated to replicate two lighting features that recently recovered photos show once adorned the Water Tower.  One is a 5-ft. tall bronze torchere, which had been mounted on a small limestone shelf on the south face of the Tower.  The other is a lantern which once hung above the main Tower entrance.  Blueprints describe it as an oblong frame, made of brass bands and straps, containing a glass globe.
The same firm who restored the "Naked Truth" sculpture in the park was chosen to fabricate the replicas.

Wow!  Way to go Water Tower & Park Preservation Society and Alderman Ingrassia.  This progress is very exciting and exactly what the area needs.  With the added density and activity from the high rise apartment complex across Russell Avenue from the park, these improvements will draw more and more activity and vibrancy.

I will update my original post to include these new developments.

The central corridor an near south side really continue to impress!

If you are like me and in awe of what a dedicated group of citizens who love their surroundings can do, you can donate to this tax-deductible non-profit by sending a check to:

Water Tower and Park Preservation Society
P.O. Box 2156
St. Louis, MO 63158

Or visit the website to become a member at:

www.watertowerfoundation.org

Long live St. Louis.  Long live Compton Heights, Tiffany, Shaw, the Gate District and Fox Park!

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