Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects
Leonard Masonry, Inc.
Many urban areas are experiencing revitalizations as new generations develop an appreciation for downtown living and amenities. One such area is St. Louis, Mo. Designed to provide a vibrant and serene urban oasis, Citygarden sits at the heart of the Gateway Mall, just a few blocks west of the famous Arch and Mississippi River. The two-square block space has been underused for decades and often sat idle as an open lawn with no clear purpose. The surrounding area had undergone significant revitalization efforts including two new stadiums and many new condominium developments. The city hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star game in 2009 and wanted to present itself in the best light and part of that effort was the development of Citygarden.
Funded by the Gateway Foundation, the landscape architect firm, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects (NBWLA) formed a clear design strategy for the three-acre space. Citygarden is structured as three precincts delineated by two walls. The northern precinct represents the high upland ground, the river bluffs. The middle band represents the low ground or floodplain. The southern band represents the cultivated river terraces. While all the territories are interrelated and interconnected, each of these precincts possesses distinct characteristics. The first wall is granite-capped and snakes through the park’s southern portion offering seating. The arcing second wall is 550 feet long and made of limestone from Missouri. While providing park space, Citygarden also serves as a sculpture garden, which includes 24 both modern and contemporary works. Other features include a café, a massive ‘spray plaza’ and a split-level pool whose two-parts are joined by a waterfall.