First look – Chapman Plaza Opens for Clayton Residents and Workers

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Downtown St. Louis has Citygarden, Kiener Plaza and the new Arch grounds but what haven is there for the residents and office workers in Downtown Clayton?  Well now there is Chapman Plaza in Shaw Park.  The ribbon cutting for the $4 million project was made possible by the generous donations from the Chapman Family, the Clayton Century Foundation and Barry – Wehmiller.  Another $3 million has been set aside for future upkeep and maintenance.  The new Chapman Plaza successfully takes a steep hill barrier that separated Shaw Park from downtown Clayton and replaces it with a welcoming entrance inviting visitors to enter and explore the park.

New cross walks and pedestrian push buttons were installed at the intersection of Forsyth and Brentwood. New sidewalks and boulevard trees extend south and west along the boarders of Shaw Park.  Visitors are greeted by a lighted infinity water feature, benches and half moon shaped wooden pergola.  As one continues into the park they’re surrounded by extensively landscaped grounds as they follow the cascading falls down to the serene pavilion perched overlooking the reflection pond and fountains.

The pedestrian experience is heightened by benches, platforms, drinking fountains and paved trails.  Moneta Garden, just south of the plaza, features native grasses and a metal sculpture by Clayton High Alum, Ernest Trova, on loan from St. Louis County Parks.  To the west of the plaza, and overlooking the Treetop Playground, is the whimsical bronze statue “One of us On a Tricycle” by artist Steven Gregory. Next time you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and check out the new Chapman Plaza.  You won’t be disappointed.

Over the next few months I’ll be checking in on more of the new developments around Clayton and mid county.  I hope you enjoy the updates.











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  • Whipple

    Clayton was a mistake

    • jhoff1257

      Nah. The Great Divorce that separated the City from the County was the mistake. White flight was going to happen no matter what, which means Clayton was going to happen no matter what. Most cities have these exurban business districts that sprouted up at the height of the suburban rush. St. Louis’ mistake was separating the two.

      • Matthew W. Hall

        Nothing is inevitable. There are many possible futures from any given point in time. Clayton is not inevitable.

        • Whipple

          And should be regulated to the dust bin of history

          • Matthew W. Hall

            “Should” isn’t how the world works. Who knows what will happen.

          • Daniel Schmidt

            Relegated is the word you were looking for here. Your arguments here continue to be made at a third grade level.

        • jhoff1257

          I mean, you’re not wrong. I’m not really sure what you’re trying to say though. I think suburban sprawl and the eventual exurban business districts that come with it were pretty much inevitable for St. Louis and most other US cities.

          • Matthew W. Hall

            ..and I think that they were NOT inevitable. We have difference of opinion here. Read Crabgrass Frontier by Kenneth Jackson. He describes how the postwar suburban industrial complex was created by government and was not “natural” or “inevitable.”

          • jhoff1257

            I never said the suburban industrial complex was natural. I’m well aware of the governments role in it’s creation. It was because of those government policies that we got what we have today. It’s my opinion that as soon as the government created those policies suburban sprawl and places like Clayton became inevitable.

      • Whipple

        You are a mistake

        • jhoff1257

          That’s what my parents have always said. Having said that you’re still utterly wrong about Clayton, but I don’t suspect you’ll ever realize that.

    • moorlander

      Possibly. In what way?

      • Whipple

        In every way

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  • Eddie in NorCal

    That’s a great looking design. The cascading falls that connect the street level fountain with the lower pond are reminiscent of the water feature trailing off the Central Garden at the Getty Center. Thanks & congrats to Bob Chapman, another unsung St. Louis leader.

  • John

    Looks fantastic! It is a terrific enhancement to the park and the Clayton community.

  • Jon Bruner

    Cool. Thanks!