4 Comments

  1. Enjoying the coverage of Hyde Park. I wonder if Benton Park’s topography is still original, too – it has several big hills for such relatively small park.

    • I think it is, but we always have to be careful, as Frederick Law Olmstead, the designer of Central Park in New York, popularized parks that looked natural, even though they were highly altered. O’Fallon and Carondelet Parks are also great examples where rugged topography survives.

  2. Benton Park, representing the re-graded and landscaped St. Louis City Cemetery (1833-1859, I think), would seem not to have original topography in place, although it’s hard to tell what was original, what was part of the cemetery scape, and what was the result of the work that eventually was done to produce the park setting. Two other things – you know that Cherokee Park was originally a cemetery, too, I expect. Some of the tombstones from these parks (a lot of cholera deaths, I think) have been incorporated into nearby garden walls of houses. Finally, you also probably know about the plot of unused land in Calvary Cemetery that is the largest and most assured piece of untouched, untilled ground in the city – a wonderful spot. There have been stories and a TV piece about it in the past. Thanks for the wonderful site here – I hope my interest in neighborhood history and old cemeteries doesn’t come across like a ghoulish know-it-all. I do love seeing the hints of the original topography, too.

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