Breaking New Ground

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In this year’s first quarter, three projects broke ground benefitting two of St. Louis’s most treasured parks in the coming years.

Kiener Plaza began construction in March, 2021 as part of the Great Rivers Greenway and Gateway Arch Park Foundation partnership to provide needed infrastructure. As part of the CityArchRiver2015 project, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates of New York, created a beautiful meandering landscape inviting visitors to relax, play, and wander through the new grounds and play areas. In the months since the new plaza reopened to the public, GRG and GAPF realized some operational requirements necessary for improving both the visitor experience and GRG operations.

Trivers was engaged in 2018 to select a site and design a new structure to provide adequate storage and staging space for ongoing landscape maintenance as well as create a more permanent “home base” for the security guard and infrastructure and enclosed area for a future public restroom. In 2019, after a public engagement survey, the program expanded to include a visitor center kiosk. Trivers utilized site line studies, research into visitor paths to and through the plaza as well as an understanding of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) principals to site the building.

As the first built structure within the new plaza, a well-executed design is of paramount importance. Purposefully playful, the proposed design engages visitors with varied appearance of colored fins as one moves through the site. Driving this movement and activity around the building will result in feelings of safety and security as proven through CPTED research. LED lighting will be incorporated into the fins adding the ability for GRG to create movement and an experiential moment for dusk and evening plaza visitors. The project has received Cultural Resources, BPS, and City approval.

The restoration of two historical Tower Grove Park Pavilions began on March 12. The Turkish Pavilion and Old Playground Pavilion will undergo historical preservation of both structures and make accessibility and lighting improvements. These two iconic 150-year-old structures are part of the greatest collection of Victorian pavilions in the world and symbolize Tower Grove Park’s mission to be an exemplary, well-preserved and well presented, wooded Victorian park of international significance.