FPSE Neighborhood Entry Markers
In 2008, in an effort to help brand and distinguish the boundaries of Forest Park Southeast, WUMCRC and local artist Wesley Fordyce began conceptual work for a neighborhood entry marker. The goal was to produce a sign that would require low maintenance, be unique to the St. Louis area, and use material that weathered well and fit into the landscape. The natural choice was to utilize Cor-Ten steel due to its distinctive look and natural weatherization.The design and materials used, received unanimous approval from the neighborhood’s public infrastructure committee. In that same year the sign was fabricated and installed and soon after design work for a second marker began.
In early 2009, the second marker was installed at the northern boundary of the neighborhood at Tower Grove and Chouteau Avenues, but will move to the round about at the new Tower Grove off ramp on I-64. While the first design, incorporated the Gateway Arch into the background of the Forest Park Southeast themed buildings, the second sign, incorporated the theme of what the neighborhood has become known for; historic buildings located next to great attractions such as the Science Center and the Art Museum. Like the St. Louis Zoo’s sculpture on Hampton Avenue, these signs are made of Cor-Ten steel meant to naturally rust over time, adding to the unique, interesting quality of the artwork.
Grove Entry Marker
After 2 years of planning which included design, engineering, fundraising, and approvals; a $60,000, double‐faced entry marker now spans Manchester Avenue marking the eastern entry to the area. The marker was installed on October 12, 2010 and measures 24ft wide by 9ft tall and is suspended 30 feet in the air. The sign along with the neighborhood received a lot of positive press in the weeks that followed installation.
WUMC’s Brooks Goedeker served as the planning committees project manager. WUMC staff has also been played an active role in various neighborhood branding projects thought the Grove CID. The goal of the entry marker is to attract visitors to the area, as well as enhance the identity of the Grove as a diverse, appealing and pedestrian‐friendly experience. The entry marker compliments the $3.5 million streetscape enhancement that are currently underway on Manchester. The Grove CID contributed $10,000 towards fabrication of the sign. Planning is currently underway for a second entry marker to be located at the Western entrance to the area.
Painted Fire Hydrants
Taking a cue from the Hill neighborhood, WUMCRC teamed up with local artist Grace McCammond to turn the ordinary into something a little more special…art.
The fire-hydrant art project started in the summer of 2009 and consisted of two phases. The first phase involved painting the fire hydrants along Manchester from Kingshighway to Vandeventer in the Grove district with the design based upon the Grove logo. The second phase of the project took place along the drive corridors of Forest Park Southeast (Taylor, Newstead, Tower Grove, Boyle, Chouteau, and Vandeventer) with the fire-hydrants painted green and white with the design based upon the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood logo.
Overall 90 fire hydrants received a fresh coat of paint and design. The hydrant project was funded by WUMCRC with the goal of helping to further establish the neighborhood’s identity and uniqueness.
Manchester Streetscape Improvement
In the summer of 2010, construction crews began work on street improvements along Manchester Avenue. Old deteriorated sidewalks were replaced with new wider pedestrian friendly sidewalks . Currently, all of the sidewalks along the north side of Manchester have been replaced and the south side is close to completion. In addition to the new sidewalks, crews installed three new public art pedestals.
Once sidewalk work is finished, construction crews will begin installing lighting and other pedestrian amenities. The project is aimed at increasing vehicular and pedestrian safety as well as strengthening district amenities. Work is expected to be completed by spring 2011. The new street scapes will help strengthen economic development along Manchester Avenue. WUMC continues to play a supportive role on the Manchester street improvements project.
Murals Around the Grove
The newest mural in the Grove entertainment/business district is now complete! Grace McCammond from Signature Arts finished the mural in record time. As a final touch, she added gold, reflective paint, to the cougar’s’ eyes in hopes of them glowing off headlights of cars passing through the Manchester strip at night.McCammond already united with the youth from Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club, Adams Park Unit. With her guidance, they painted the cougar slash marks that will soon be installed on the black fence in front of the mural.