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Forest Park Riverine Landscape

Category: Institutional

Location: Forest Park, City of Saint Louis, Board of Public Service
Designed By:
Oehme and van Sweden Landscape Architects,
Landscape Design Overview:
A restored riverine landscape on the historic site of the 1904 World's Fair. Forest Park is the crown jewel of the Saint Louis, Missouri, park system.

Forest Park, a 1,300-acre nineteenth century park west of downtown St. Louis, was the site of the 1904 World's Fair. The River Deperes was buried beneath the park to make way for the fair. As a disconnected series of lakes and lagoons, it eventually degenerated into a stagnant system that detracts from the river's appearance.

The landscape plan reestablishes the original riverine environment as a major visual and horticultural feature by reintroducing wet savannas, meadows, wooded slopes, aquatic vegetation, and nodes of ornamental planting. Pagoda Circle is being constructed first. Sweeps of perennials and ornamental grasses soften the hard edges and add year-round interest to the river as it flows through an area known locally as "the heart of the park."

The monumental task of updating plantings around the bandstand--and on six adjacent acres--is the job of Oehme, van Sweden & Associates. The firm is famous for its dramatic sweeps of color, says John Hoal, lead designer of the Master Plan. "You don't look at one little plant," Hoal says, "You take in the whole view."
--Becky Homan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 11, 2000