Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Kaufmann Park

Kaufmann Park is one of a series of six parks along Market Street in the Downtown West Neighborhood.  Working west from Tucker Boulevard and Market Street you have Poelker Park, Washington Square Park and Kaufmann Park, then Memorial Plaza Park (including Eternal Flame Park and the one across from the Park Pacific which is not listed on the city website), Aloe Plaza and Aloe Plaza West.  The beautiful and peaceful Soldier's Memorial Military Museum is also part of this stretch of land and I will include that in a separate post.

The park is bordered by 13th Street to the west, Chestnut Street to the south, Pine Street to the north and Tucker Boulevard to the east.


The park, 1 of 108 in St. Louis, takes its name from Aloys P. Kaufmann, the last Republican mayor of our fair city.
Aloys P. Kaufmann was born in St. Louis in 1903. He began his political career in 1936 when he became head of the Republican Party City Central Committee. In April 1943 he became President of the Board of Alderman and later that year he succeeded to the office of Mayor upon the death of Mayor Becker. In November 1944, Kaufmann was elected to serve out the unexpired term of Mayor Becker and in 1945 he was re-elected to a full four-year term by a two-to-one majority. In 1949, Kaufmann chose not to run again and entered private law practice. In 1954 he became President of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis. Kaufmann also served as Bi-State Development Commissioner, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the city’s Urban Redevelopment Corporation, and Director of the St. Louis Human Development Corporation. Kaufman died in St. Louis on February 12, 1984. 
Kaufmann helped draw up the $43 million bond issue proposal that was approved by the voters August 1, 1944 which, among other things, provided for the expansion of Lambert Field Municipal Airport from 350 to 1400 acres. The first St. Louis Earnings Tax Ordinance was passed in 1946, but was declared unconstitutional by the Missouri Supreme Court. Later, in 1948, a second Earnings Tax Ordinance was passed after the Missouri Legislature had passed an Enabling Act. (source)
Aloys P. Kaufmann

The park is really not much of anything other than a patch of grass, some mature trees, a couple decorative planters, water fountains and a few concrete benches.

Upon my visit, the Go! St. Louis Marathon was in full swing, so the park was serving its purpose as a regional gathering and event space.


The park is just south of the beautifully restored Park Pacific building...and unfortunately one of the ugliest parking lots in the entire city...I understand structured parking is an important element of residential conversions, but the developers should not have been allowed to scar one of the highest profile streets in the city with this turd.

 to the left we have the highest design standards, to the right...the laziest and lowest of standards


With a little creativity and care, here's what can be done to help incorporate a garage into a vibrant city: 



 Kansas City, MO



Maybe someday the fine folks at the Lawrence Group will decide to do Downtown St. Louis a favor and invest in sprucing up the garage.  One can hope.

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