Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Father Filipiak Park

Father Filipiak Park is 1 of 108 St. Louis parks.  This 4.3 acre park, dedicated in 1980, is at the corner of 9th and Biddle in the Columbus Square neighborhood:


This park is immediately adjacent to another city park, Columbus Square Park.  I did a profile of that park back in August, 2013.  Read all about it here.

The city website spells his name wrong and hence the google maps pin is wrong as well.  The name is spelled Filipiak not Filipiac.  Surely an honest mistake.


It is fitting to re-post some of the information about Fr. Filipiak from that previous post as he was the one person who saved the church from the Archdioscese wrecking ball (a mighty and still active wrecking ball indeed):
In 1979, the Rev. Edward Filipiak was a one-man pastorate on a mission to save his church, built in 1844, from demolition. Archdiocese leaders planned a new building nearby but backed off after some former parishioners organized the Friends of St. Joseph, and the National Register of Historic Places designated the twin-spire structure a landmark. (source)
Photo by Ted Dargen of the Post-Dispatch

Fr. Filipiak was sadly murdered in 1979 by a 16 year old who was caught stealing wine from the church.  Andrew Daugherty, the 16 year old murderer, only got 15 years for his crime.  In a tragic turn, Daugherty was later shot and killed at his mom's home in North City in the 5200 block of Lexington Avenue years later.  You can read the full story about the incident in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article written in 2012.

What you'll see at this park is a grassy knoll of rolling berms and a few shade trees complete with benches and plaques in honor of Fr. Filipiak and those who've lost their lives in the line of work.


 bench repairs needed

 Edward Jones Dome and Arch in the background







There is a nice line of knockout roses along 9th street framing the park quite nicely and giving it a peaceful pocket park feel.


1 comment:

Keith Lawrence said...

I remember this sad and tragic story... I grew up in the Cochran Projects neighborhood a few blocks from the church. I was about 15 years old myself when Dougherty and friend(s) broke into the church. I was good friends with his brother.

I never had the chance to meet Father Filipiak but I'm sure I would have seen him around the school.

I remember the church fondly. I was a large building outside my school (Patrick Henry) window.

The death and the circumstances of how Father Filipiak died was senseless. I remember it like it was yesterday.

Rest in Peace!