Marquette Park

Marquette Park is 1 of 108 St. Louis parks making up 16.96 of the total 2,956 acres of park space.  Placed into ordinance in 1915, the park was named after Pere Marquette:

Father Jacques Marquette S.J. (June 1, 1637 – May 18, 1675), sometimes known as Père Marquette or James Marquette, was a FrenchJesuitmissionary who founded Michigan's first European settlement, Sault Ste. Marie, and later founded St. Ignace, Michigan. In 1673 Father Marquette and Louis Jolliet were the first Europeans to explore and map the northern portion of the Mississippi River. (source)

The park is located in the Dutchtown Neighborhood, bordered by Osage Street to the north, Gasconade Street to the south, Louisiana Avenue to the west and Minnesota Avenue to the east.  South Compton Avenue goes right through the park and kind of divides it into two:

The park has a beautiful setting in the shadow of the dual steeples of St. Anthony of Padua on Meramec Street.

The homes that line the park are diverse in style and are Dutchtown classics.

 brick streets, brick homes

This area has seen better days and I don't think has hit rock bottom yet.  But it is still hanging on.

The park is unique in that it has functioning swimming pools.

There are also multi purpose fields, tennis courts and playgrounds.

Another unique set up for a park is the Thomas Dunn Learning Center just south of the pool house.

Here's some information on the learning center:

The Thomas Dunn Memorials Adult Education Program is a not-for-profit organization committed to enhancing the lives of St. Louis adults through practical application of communication, critical thinking, career training and development, personal growth, family relations, and life skills. We have no tests, no grades - and no tension! 

Thomas Dunn Memorials Adult Education Program was launched in 1962 under the direction of a dedicated, volunteer Board of Directors. Since then, we have successfully sustained our founder’s vision for a learned and peaceful society by helping thousands of participants recognize, define and realize their physical, mental, moral and social goals for personal growth. (source)

Read the full history of Thomas Dunn and his memorials HERE.

"Papa" Dunn was laid to rest in Bellefontaine Cemetery:

photo source Connie Nisinger

There is a beautiful service building that is falling into severe disrepair and needs resources now if it is to remain.  The parks department does so little maintenance, even controlling vegetation in the parks.  The stairs leading up from the parking lot near this service building are completely blocked by weeds and vines.

Maybe is we ever merge the city and county parks departments some accountability will be required and our parks will get the maintenance and care they and we deserve.