Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Samuel Kennedy Park

Samuel Kennedy Park is 1 of 108 St. Louis parks.  This small, triangular park was placed into ordinance in 2007 and is located in the Central West End neighborhood.

This park can accurately be described as a pocket park based on the small, irregular strip of land that it was built upon.  The sliver of space is between Olive Street and Washington Avenue, just east of Kingshighway.


This park is fantastically done with its careful landscaping, shaded resting spots, peaceful and inviting from the sidewalk and interior.  This park is an asset to the Central West End.  Gateway Contracting was the general contractor that built the park.

The park is named in honor of former 18th ward alderman Samuel M. Kennedy who was a public servant for over 20 years.
A native of East St. Louis, Kennedy served as President of a Textile Union prior to running for his first unexpired term of office in 1967.
The accomplishments of Samuel M. Kennedy are vast. He was Senior Black Alderman on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen; Chairman of the Aldermanic Housing Committee, Floor Majority Leader, Vice Chairman of Ways & Means, a member of the Public Safety & Zoning Committee and several other influential committees. But the aspect of Samuel Kennedy's character which truly distinguished him as a man of great stature was his personable style and consideration of others. (source)
There must have been some serious money invested in this park at some point, or it is maintained by a volunteer group or some other source.  There is simply too much landscaping, investment and care to indicate otherwise.

The fencing that defines the space is high quality and the gates honor Kennedy Park.



There is a beautiful water fountain accessible from the sidewalk:


The interior of the park has a playground at the eastern, widest point on the park, with benches for parents to rest, tucked under shade trees and surrounded by perenials.





There is another climbing gym as you head east toward the "point" converging at Olive & Washington.


Then you have two beautiful fountains, one operational upon my visit, the other not.

The first of two is designed to have water flowing low over a conical surface, creating sound as the water flows over metal studs, sculpted with artistic designs and contours in the concrete.






The second of two fountains is a vertical blast of water for kids to get wet and have fun.




This is what a pocket park should be.  I love it.  Great job Central West End!

The homes surrounding this little park are classics, and set on an interesting angle.

twin peacocks

The Central West End is arguably St. Louis' premier neighborhood and Samuel Kennedy Park adds to the neighborhood's sense of place, style and class.

No comments: