In our continued documentation of parks’ contribution to city tourism, we again are relaying advice in the New York Times 36 Hours series, this time from St. Louis. The Times notes that “the famous arch, of course, is still there, along with plenty of 19th-century architecture and an eye-opening amount of green space.” Interestingly, the article lists City Garden and Forest Park as the green spaces to visit, and leaves out the Arch grounds. (If the city were to do something about the freeway cutting the grounds of from the rest of the city, it is hard to argue there wouldn’t be tourism benefits.) Here’s an excerpt:
7) OUTSIDE ART
The new jewel of downtown St. Louis is Citygarden (citygardenstl.org), a sculpture park the city opened last summer, framed by the old courthouse on one side and the arch on the other. The oversize public art, by boldface names like Mark di Suvero and Keith Haring, are terrific, but the real genius of the garden’s layout is that it reflects the landscape of the St. Louis area: an arcing wall of local limestone, for instance, echoes the bends of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.
8) GREEN DAY
St. Louis boasts 105 city-run parks, but none rivals Forest Park (stlouis.missouri.org/citygov/parks/forestpark), which covers more than 1,200 acres smack in the heart of the city. It opened in 1876, but it was the 1904 World’s Fair that made it a world-class public space, spawning comely buildings like the Palace of Fine Art, which now houses the Saint Louis Art Museum. In 2002, a $3.5 million renovation of the Jewel Box, a towering, contemporary-looking greenhouse dating back to 1936, gave it an extra sheen. Rent a bike from the visitor’s center (314-367-7275; weekends only, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; $30 per person per day) and just meander.
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