In downtown St. Louis, construction is underway on Kiener Plaza, a centrally located city park and visitor hub surrounded by attractions like Busch Stadium, Citygarden, the Washington Ave. loft district, downtown business district, National Blues Museum (open in April), Old Courthouse, and the Gateway Arch. As part of the CityArchRiver project, the park has been redesigned to better connect to downtown’s urban fabric, be flexible for events year-round, and offer new urban park amenities. Work is scheduled to be complete in spring 2017.
Great Rivers Greenway, CityArchRiver Foundation, and the City of St. Louis are partners of the construction, future maintenance, programming, and events at Kiener Plaza. The project’s budget is $19 million and construction work will be completed by local contractors. The CityArchRiver project is a public-private partnership. Public funding for Kiener Plaza construction is provided by Great Rivers Greenway, through the Proposition P sales tax approved by voters in April 2013. Private funding is provided by CityArchRiver Foundation through private donations.
Construction fences will use parking lanes around Kiener Plaza, but work on the project will require minimal traffic lane closures. More information on downtown parking is available at www.GetAroundSTL.com/attractions/parking/. Parking will be available around the park when the project is complete.
Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), the landscape architects for the CityArchRiver project on the Arch grounds, the new Kiener Plaza plan is heavily influenced by citizen and stakeholder feedback on desired park improvements. Through open houses and online comments, CityArchRiver partners received public input regarding the need for accessibility, desire for informal seating like cafe chairs, a highly visible location for “The Runner” statue, and year-round programming. Designers incorporated this input to create an inviting, flexible, and attractive gathering space that engages the interests of downtown visitors, residents, and workers.
A variety of park areas will make Kiener Plaza comfortable and dynamic. “The Runner” statue fountain plus a large central lawn will create a place to gather and picnic with views of the Old Courthouse and Gateway Arch. The lawn can also be used for large events like concerts, movies, and festivals.
A fountain garden and play garden will encourage children to play – useful to families on road trips and downtown residents alike. Along Market St., Kiener Plaza will continue the wide shaded sidewalk that begins in Citygarden. Near Chestnut St., a woodland garden, bicycle parking grove, and shade garden with cafe seating will create urban amenities and cool spots for meals and relaxation.
When construction is complete on Kiener Plaza in 2017, Great Rivers Greenway, the City of St. Louis, and CityArchRiver Foundation will work together on maintenance and create programs and events to activate the space year-round.
Webcam – Click here or the image below to see the transformation unfold at Kiener Plaza.