Tower Grove Park Restrooms Add Safety and Inclusivity

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Trivers recently completed a renovation of the public restrooms inside the park’s Stupp Center pavilion which was originally constructed in 1981. Though the project footprint is small, the renovations will have a major impact on the Park’s ability to fully support all visitors.

The new design was created with thoughtful attention to accessibility and inclusivity to accommodate the needs of all park visitors regardless of age, gender, race, or disability.  By foregoing gender assignments to each restroom, all park visitors have a safe and comfortable facility to use.  A former corridor has been transformed into a shared sink area flooded with natural light and ideal for families or those requiring assistance.  High end, hospitality grade finishes including new marble inlaid floor tile, brass finishes, and a large, ornate wall mirror complete the transformation.

Transforming outdated multiple-stall restrooms into gender neutral, single occupancy rooms proved to be ahead of the curve in more ways than originally anticipated.  The restroom renovation was completed in March 2020.  Although the design was forward-thinking in terms of gender neutrality, it quickly became clear that the COVID-19 pandemic created even more necessity for single occupancy restrooms. In a recent Washington Post article, president of the American Restroom Association, Steven Soifer, advocated for this kind of public restroom. According to the article, “Soifer’s group seeks a retooling of public facilities that would place toilets inside fully enclosed unisex stalls, as is more common in Europe and parts of Asia.” Social distancing and managing the risk of cross contamination is better managed when a restroom only allows for one occupant at a time. By limiting occupants, the cleaning process is made more effective and efficient as well.

Though the project footprint is small, the trend toward gender neutral, inclusive restrooms is a major topic in terms of social justice.  As stated by Stalled!, “bathrooms are a point of departure to generate a larger conversation about the relationship between environmental design the human body and social equity.”  For more information about the work of Stalled! as well as additional resources, please visit their website