Friday, June 27, 2014

Parkland Park

Parkland Park is 1 of 108 St. Louis parks.  Located at the intersection of Hamilton and Maple Avenues in the West End Neighborhood, not far from the city/county border.

This 2.35 acre park was placed into ordinance in 1968 and it totally has the feel of a late 60's early 70's park.  The park is across Hamilton Avenue from a massive surface parking lot formerly serving the shuttered 1960's era Cook Elementary school, now occupied by West End Mount Carmel Community Services.  This school was closed in 2004 leaving another gap in an increasingly abandoned part of the city.



The neighborhood was built with beauty in mind, and some of the homes are holding on and being maintained.  Others are not.  The homes that have not been demo'd on Parkland Place, overlooking this park, are beautiful and if the neighbors and community have the desire, drive and initiative, this can be a really nice park setting.  But that will take work and commitment, something not evident in the park today.




Sadly, the park is another example of user abused and community and the city/parks dept. abandonment.  It is falling apart.

I hate being a messenger of bad news and photos, but I invite you to take a visit to the park and come away with a different conclusion.

The 1960s elements of the park include 2 cannons and somewhat "fort-like" concrete walls that create a private, fortified feel at ground level, and double as a place for kids to walk along the tops of the walls.






These are in really bad shape and are structurally degrading.

There is a modern playground too, this one in pretty good shape, but the park goers have destroyed the benches and no one has taken it upon themselves to get them repaired.



A park usually reflects the condition of the neighborhood, Parkland Park is no exception.

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