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  Forest Park Established
Brief Description:  In 1870 Forest Park was proposed by real estate developer Hiram Leffingwell and legislator Nicholas Bell, among others. Four years of fighting ensued among citizens over the acquisition of the land. Since it was not connected to the city by either horsecar lines or paved roads, it was inaccessible to most citizens. Many felt that only the wealthy would benefit from the $1.5 million purchase. A bill for the establishment of Forest Park was approved on March 25, 1872. Upon appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court, it was ruled to be unconstitutional. In 1875, the "Boulevard Bill" passed the legislation, named after the four boulevards that bound the park. Forest Park was officially dedicated in 1876. The park currently covers over 1,300 acres on the western edge of St. Louis. The park includes more than six miles of biking trails, 20 lakes and ponds, 30 athletic fields, three golf courses, and many monuments, statues and other memorials. It is also home of the St. Louis Science Center, the Art Museum of St. Louis, the Missouri Historical Society, the St. Louis Zoological Park, the Dwight Davis Tennis Center, The Municipal Theatre, the Amatuer Athletic Association, the Jewel Box Conservatory and the Steinberg Skating Rink. Ovre the years, the park has served as a rest station for WWII soldiers, a host for a public reception for Charles Lindbergh and, most significantly, the home of the 1904 Worlds´ Fair. After a period of general neglect throught the 1970s, a Forest Park Master Plan is currently being implemented, at a cost of $80-100 million. Funding for this project has been provided by public and private entities, led by the City and Forest Park Forever. [127-129]
Year:  1876
Decade:  1870 - 1879

Bell, Nicholas M.
Leffingwell, Hiram W.

Related Links
Forest Park website:

St. Louis (Documentary History of American Cities)



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