A place to meet in St. Louis
St. Louis' Citygarden, a 2.9-acre sculpture garden and park near the Gateway Arch, last month received the 2011 Urban Land Institute's Amanda Burden Urban Open Space Award, which recognizes outstanding examples of well-used public open spaces that have spurred regeneration in the surrounding community. Opened in 2009, the park is situated on two blocks of the mile-long Gateway Mall, and showcases 24 modern and contemporary sculptures, native landscaping and three water features.
Citygarden is a cooperative project between St. Louis and the locally based private, non-profit Gateway Foundation. The city owns the land and the site improvements, and the foundation invested $25 million to $30 million for design and construction. The foundation also owns the sculptures, the cost of which is additional, and it pays for all costs of Citygarden except water and electricity.
Visitors can take an audio tour of Citygarden that includes stories from the featured artists narrated by notable St. Louis residents. They also can view baseball games, movies and art videos on a 10-foot-long outdoor LED video wall, most of the content for which is selected by a team of curators from St. Louis museums. And, they can play in the 102 jets that spray water up to eight feet high in the park's spray plaza.
With the Urban Land Institute's award, Citygarden received a $10,000 cash prize. “Citygarden is a stunning example of what great public open space design can do for an urban area,” says New York City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden. “It exemplifies why public space is integral to the health of cities and epitomizes the best of what the Urban Open Space award seeks to foster.”