I couldn't find any information on who Loretta Hall is, or her story. Please contact me if you know. So, instead I'll share some info on William C. Carr.
There's something I really like about these mid-century parks. They are heavy on the concrete and feel very urban. Makes me want to break out the Vision Gator and skate like its 1979. The 1960's parks don't as much seek to provide a green space, natural getaway as much as they intend to be a city park, a complement to their surroundings. Heck, even the horseshoe pits are surrounded by concrete.
The coolest thing I learned today was from talking to some guys who just got back from the Real Madrid-Inter Milan match Downtown. They were kicking the ball around. I struck up a conversation and it turns out DeSoto Park is the site of a long-running adult semi-pro soccer league. It is played on Sunday's and it is an International scene with players from Mexico, Central and South America, Bosnia, Croatia, Poland, of course old time St. Louis guys, etc. These guys described an awesome scene where the families of the players cook out and socialize while watch the games. The fields are in good condition as are the goals.
This neighborhood has seen better days, no doubt. There are the problems that plague many city neighborhoods and especially north side neighborhoods. Unused urban prairies, crumbling housing stock, abominations/failed attempts from the 1970's-1980's and contemporary construction both decent and not so much. I'll show examples of both. There is no walkable business/retail within the neighborhood that serves the area to provide the essentials of decent food (fast food joints appear to be the only option), clothing, or anything the normal household would need to exist.
This is one of those parts of town that has seen such massive disinvestment and lack of care and respect from it's inhabitants and leaders, that it is basically a wasteland. There are huge swaths of unused land, mainly the north west corner where Pruit-Igoe used to be, that are just jungles of weeds.
There are so few reminders of St. Louis' history here, it's disturbing. It's been leveled. It's been filled in with some good intentions, but unsustainable rental/subsidized housing that attracts very little growth potential, nor historic meaning or urban context.