Improvements at Forest Park moving from drawing board to bulldozers
ST. LOUIS • Another big to-do list in Forest Park is being readied for the heavy machinery.
The new construction projects total $30 million and will complement the $125 million already spent to restore the once-crumbling regional playground and showcase. This second wave of improvements, to be completed over five years, will be paid for through a special bond issue.
The list is heavy on street improvements — necessary, if not headline-grabbing. It also calls for rebuilding more athletic fields, adding year-round restrooms and water fountains for the trail loops, improving three lakes — one with a new waterfall — and rebuilding the upper parking lot at the Muny.
The first go-round of construction produced a marquee transformation of the old park, which opened in 1876 and was the setting for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (World’s Fair) in 1904. In the years after World War II, as the city lost population and tax base, the park became distressingly shabby, symbolized by the walls and staircases around Basin Lake at the foot of Art Hill. They were falling in.