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Name:  Shaw Historic District
District: Certified Local Historic District

The Shaw Historic District was once part of the outlying common fields of St. Louis known as the Prairie des Noyers. Laid out by French settlers in 1769, it is named for Henry Shaw, famous for the Botanical Gardens, which he built close to his country home in 1858. He described the land in its natural state before he purchased it as being "a vast undulating prairie without trees or fences, but covered with tall luxuriant grass." His estate later became Tower Grove Park. Currently, the most prominent structure in the Botanical Garden is the Climatron, a geodesic dome designed by R. Buckminster Fuller in 1959. By the mid-1850s Henry Shaw had acquired several large tracts in the area, and planning and development of the Shaw neighborhood began in earnest by 1857. Shaw’s plan was to control the residential development of the land around the Botanical Garden. In 1879, he began construction of 10 houses that today are known as Shaw Place. These were used as rental units to supplement funding for the Gardens. The Shaw Neighborhood became a Local Historic District in 1985. Both Tower Grove Park and the Missouri Botanical Garden, bordering the Shaw Historic District, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Shaw Historic District
Shaw Historic District



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This site was made possible by: the City of St. Louis Planning and Urban Design Agency and
the City of St. Louis Community Information Network.

This site was funded in part by Federal funds administered by the Missouri State Historical Preservation Office, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, The National Park Service, and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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