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Saint Louis Forest Park

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Markers Planned for Key Forest Park Entrances
A temporary mock-up of the planned markers will be installed in fall 2015 at Forest Park's southwest edge at Skinker/Wells/Clayton. Illustration courtesy SWT Design

Limestone Markers Planned for Key Forest Park Entrances
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), August 26, 2015 - The City of St. Louis and the private nonprofit conservancy Forest Park Forever have announced plans to construct the first of eight new arrival markers at key Forest Park entrances, as called for in the 1995 Forest Park Master Plan.

A temporary mock-up will be installed in fall 2015 at Forest Park's southwest edge, located at the popular entrance at Skinker/Wells/Clayton. This will allow stakeholders and the Forest Park Advisory Board - established in the Master Plan to ensure public involvement in any new capital projects in the Park - to assess scale, positioning and Park context before continuing on with construction, which is planned for 2016.

Design and construction costs for this entrance are estimated to be approximately $300,000. Highly durable Indiana limestone will be used as the key material, which visitors already see on the Saint Louis Art Museum and Missouri History Museum. Full block stone will be used as a permanent solution that needs minimal maintenance.

"As many visitors and citizens have pointed out over the years, Forest Park is a vast and beloved treasure, yet it has no formal entrance markers welcoming visitors," said Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E., President and Executive Director of Forest Park Forever. "We even know that some people visit one of our great cultural institutions without ever realizing they've entered this world-class park and point of civic pride. Forest Park Forever is extremely pleased to have worked with our City partners and the Forest Park Advisory Board to advance this terrific project, and we are grateful for a lead private donation making this first site possible."

These entries are designed to provide traffic calming as vehicles enter the Park. "This is an invaluable project for Forest Park that will greatly improve the visitor experience and enhance the overall impression of the Park for our surrounding communities and visitors from around the world," said Greg Hayes, Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for the City of St. Louis. "The steps taken on this project in recent years have been patient and deliberate, with the Forest Park Advisory Board playing a key role throughout the design process."

The location of the eight sites for these Forest Park entrance markers are (going clockwise from the Park's southwest edge):

Skinker/Clayton/Wells; Lagoon/Forsyth/Skinker; DeBaliviere/Lindell; Union/Lindell; Lindell/Kingshighway; Kingshighway/Hospital/Clayton; Hampton (near I-64); and, Tamm/Oakland

The new arrival experience will be another improvement to this southwest corner of the Park, which has been undergoing more than $2 million in road, crosswalk, sidewalk and path upgrades. Forest Park Forever has raised the private funds necessary to proceed and complete it. St. Louis-based SWT Design has served as the project's designer.


Zoo Museum District Institutions to Offer Special Weekend Member Perks
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), July 26, 2015 - The five cultural institutions that make up the St. Louis Zoo Museum District (ZMD) will join together to offer their members reciprocal benefits and membership discounts.

The offer is valid August 28-30 and must be fulfilled on-site. Members of any of the district's institutions - the Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri History Museum, Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Science Center and Saint Louis Zoo - need only show a membership card to enjoy discounts and special offers.

Missouri Botanical Garden will offer 20% off of Garden memberships to those who are currently members of other ZMD institutions. The Missouri Botanical Garden's mission is "to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life." Today, 156 years after opening, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display.

The Saint Louis Art Museum will offer a 20% discount on membership to those who are currently members of other ZMD institutions. The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the nation's leading comprehensive art museums with collections that include works of art of exceptional quality from virtually every culture and time period. Areas of notable depth include Oceanic art, pre- Columbian art, ancient Chinese bronzes and European and American art of the late 19th and 20th centuries, with particular strength in 20th-century German art. The Museum offers a full range of exhibitions and educational programming generated independently and in collaboration with local, national and international partners. Admission to the Saint Louis Art Museum is free to all every day.

Missouri History Museum will offer a 10% discount on Family and Friends level membership (valued at $90) to those who are currently members of other ZMD institutions. The Missouri History Museum has been active in the St. Louis community since 1866. Founding members established the organization "for the purpose of saving from oblivion the early history of the city and state." The museum operates the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park and the Library and Research Center at 225 South Skinker Boulevard near the Washington University campus.

Saint Louis Science Center will offer a 10% off a Single Family & Friends membership (regularly valued at $85.00) to those who are currently members of other ZMD institutions. The Saint Louis Science Center is one of the top five science centers in the United States. Named one of the Top 10 Science Centers for Families by Parents magazine and one of America's most visited museums by Forbes Traveler Magazine, the Saint Louis Science Center complex includes a four-story OMNIMAX® Theater, and the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. Its mission is to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning.

Saint Louis Zoo will offer a 10% discount on food or retail items to those who are currently members of other ZMD institutions. The Saint Louis Zoo is widely recognized for its innovative approaches to animal management, wildlife conservation, research and education. One of the few free zoos in the nation, it attracts about 3,000,000 visitors a year. The Zoo has been named America's #1 Zoo by Zagat Survey and Parenting Magazine.


Fountain at World's Fair Pavilion
The newly renovated fountain on Government Hill beneath the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park.

Forest Park Is the 'Crown Jewel' of St. Louis
In 1876, Forest Park was created from 1,371 acres of land west of downtown St. Louis. By the 1890s, the public park was widely used for recreation with bicycle paths, baseball diamonds and lawn tennis courts. An expanded lake provided parkgoers with an opportunity for boating in the summer and skating in the winter. Funds were raised to develop the St. Louis Zoo by the Forest Park Zoological Association.

The western half of the metropolitan park was used as the site for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904. Today, the Saint Louis Art Museum occupies one of the few remaining structures built for the Fair. The Missouri Historical Society is comprised of the new Emerson Electric Center and the Jefferson Memorial Building. The building was the first memorial built to honor Thomas Jefferson and was funded with proceeds from the 1904 Fair.

A natural amphitheater near Art Hill was developed as The Muny in 1917 with proceeds from a theatrical production called the Pageant and Masque which was performed on a stage built over part of the Grand Basin.

In 1936, an Art Deco-style Conservatory opened in Forest Park. The Jewel Box is surrounded by rose gardens, lily ponds, statuary and monuments and houses seasonal displays.

The site of a razed Mounted Police Station became space for the McDonnell Planetarium which was completed in 1963. In 1984, the city sold the Planetarium to the Museum of Science and Natural History. The building, renamed the St. Louis Science Center, is connected by a highway overpass and tunnel to its new headquarters, south of Forest Park.

Private donors to Forest Park Forever paid for the $1.1 million restoration of the World's Fair Pavilion. The current renovation is the first of three scheduled phases of Forest Park Master Plan. Forest Park is used by more than 13 million visitors a year. Forest Park Forever was founded in 1986 to work in partnership with the Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry to rehabilitate and maintain the Forest Park as the "Crown Jewel" of the metropolitan area.

The annual Great Forest Park Balloon Glow and the Great Forest Park Balloon Race is held on Central Field, located just north of the Jewel Box. The Concours d'Elegance and Easter Car Show is held on the Muny upper parking lot.


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