Monday, December 30, 2013

St. Louis Square Park

St. Louis Square Park is a gem of a pocket park (1.66 acres) in the deep south side of St. Louis in the awesome Patch Neighborhood.

The park has been around since 1882 and is bordered by South Broadway, Pennsylvania Avenue, Courtois Street and Schirmer Street:

It is hard not to love the potential of Broadway.  This could be our French Quarter if there was ever vision and money to make it happen.

 oh my, urban-scaled new construction!!!

This park is simply awesome.  It feels perfectly laid out and surrounded by its neighboring commercial and residential buildings.  The old stone home that sits on the property is awesome.

This little Christmas vignette was displayed next to the stone building...complete with baby Jesus, snowman, robots and humpty dumpty.

You can tell the neighborhood likes this park and is investing in it.  There are trash cans at all entry points as well as the interior.  There are signs of attention and landscaping within the park.  It is in good hands and looks cared for.

The service building needs some attention as the slate tiles and roof are falling into disrepair.  This would be one that should be targeted for restoration as the stone complements the other stone structure within the park.

There are playgrounds and a monument to James Eads and the construction of iron clad warships of the Civil War that were designed and built near this site on the Mississippi.

I love this park and the Patch!

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of 3 parks within the Hyde Park neighborhood.

The park makes up 11.84 acres of the total 2,956 acres of park land in St. Louis. 

The park has been around since 1854 and is bordered by Blair Avenue, Salisbury Street, N. 20th Street and Bremen Avenue:

From the city website:
The neighborhood known as Hyde Park was once the town of Bremen.Among the many Germans who migrated to the St. Louis area in the 1840's were quite a few who were natives of the German city of Bremen. Since many of these families had settled along Bellefontaine Road, this area was given the name of New Bremen after their home town. A survey of the town area was executed by Edward Hutawa in 1844 at the direction of the four principal property owners; George Buchanan, E. C. Angelrodt, N. N. Destrehan and Emil Mallinckrodt. They were the incorporators of the town of Bremen in 1850 and the four east-west streets were named in their honor. Broadway was the main street and was dedicated as a public highway on May 10, 1852.
This park is beautiful.  It has a gazebo, fountain, lake, service building (closed) and playgrounds.  

 horseshoe pits

just get rid of the damaged fence already, why does the park's dept. leave these meaningless, falling fences in place?
The buildings and homes surrounding the park range from beautifully restored to abandoned.  

 Former Krey meat packing company in the background

I miss the Nord St. Louis Turnverein which was still standing when I toured this neighborhood back in January, 2011.  This building was damaged by a fire caused by kids shooting fireworks off on July 4, 2006.
From Jan, 2011:

The lot at 20th and Salisbury is now an empty lot.  
Hyde Park is brimming with potential and the park, the centerpiece of the neighborhood, will hopefully rise as the neighborhood rises.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Strodtman Park

Strodtman Park is 1 of 3 parks in the Hyde Park neighborhood.  It makes up 13.73 of the total 2,956 acres of St. Louis park land.  It was placed into ordinance in 1924.

Here's an excerpt from the Missouri History Museum:
Providing more playgrounds for children in working-class areas of the city was one of the highest priorities for middle-class reformers in the early part of the twentieth century. Clean and wholesome playgrounds, where children were placed under professional adult supervision, were deemed a far superior alternative to the crowded and dangerous city streets. Playgrounds were seen as especially critical for neighborhoods like this one because the children of immigrants were thought to be especially vulnerable to the immoral influences of the unsupervised streets. This particular park was donated to the city by George W. Strodtman, a prominent North St. Louis businessman, in 1924. The park was named in memory of his wife Genevieve. For many years, the Grace Hill Settlement House sponsored softball leagues and day camps at the park. A Strodtman Park newsletter informed children and adults about ongoing programs and events. (source)
The park is located just west of Interstate 70.  The streets that border the park are 13th to the east, 14th to the west, Branch to the north and Palm to the south.

The area has a largely post-industrial feel as there are former factories and warehouses surrounding the park and few residential properties.  

I assume the park is most used by the students at the Confluence Academy Charter School immediately to the south of the park.

There is a basketball court, but there are no rims.  There is a softball field, but the fences are missing. 

There is a playground and small spray pool.

This is one of those city parks that I think should be embraced by the charter school.  They could use it for outdoor education.  If charter schools were public vs. private/non-profit entities, the park property could be given to the school.