It was a Gorgeous Saturday. I was out the door early, but – not early enough. “The Garden” was surrounded by parking guards, whose job was keeping an overflow of vehicles from the lot. Tower Grove Park was already wall to wall people. It was time to find some quiet. So, this week, the learning curve of a new camera begins at Benton Park.
I really like the Benton Park neighborhood. It’s diverse, sweet to the eye and their history is rich with every kind of city story possible. (and, I do mean, this part of St. Louis proper goes back to rowdier days.) Someday I’ll take you for a cuppa and share stories, but today we’ll simply stroll around the park.
Benton Park covers a little more than 14 acres.
There are two man made lakes, a recreation building, playground, plenty of paths and nice places to sit and enjoy the day.
Okay, look at this fabulous – I don’t even know what to call it:
There’s a grassy field, a few picnic benches, and this cool looking place. I wonder if they hold concerts here?
There’s another beautiful pond on the other side.
During early-ish 1800’s expansion of St. Louis, land from the city commons was set aside for parks, including Benton Park. A small portion of this land was already fenced off as a cemetery. But, in 1865 a city ordinance was passed and all remains were relocated.
Originally this was called “City Park.” It was renamed to honor Thomas Hart Benton, the first U.S. Senator representing Missouri.
Circling back around, there’s a memorial to Freidrich Hecker, a German-American Hero. When the monument was officially installed, over 15,000 people attended the ceremony.
Plenty of celebrations are held at Benton Park. The two that look interesting to me this year are the 150th Birthday Party on June 25th (2016,) and August 13th, we are invited to “Gospel In The Park.” If it turns out to be great music, I might have to show up.