FPSE Neighborhood Entry Markers (2008-2009)
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.
- Produce a sign that would require low maintenance.
- Be unique to the St. Louis area.
- Use material that weathered well and fits into the landscape.
The natural choice was to utilize Cor-Ten steel. 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 – soon followed by design work for a second marker.
In early 2009, the second marker was installed at the northern boundary of the neighborhood at Tower Grove and Chouteau Avenues, but soon moved to the roundabout 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 draws upon the theme of what the neighborhood is known for: Historic buildings located next to great attractions such as the St. Louis Science Center and the St. Louis 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 and interesting quality of the artwork.
Grove Entry Marker (2010)
After 2 years of planning that 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 24 ft wide by 9 ft tall while suspended 30 feet in the air. The sign, along with the neighborhood, received positive media attention in the weeks following the installation:
- St. Louis Business Journal article, 2010
- theSource, Washington University in St. Louis article, 2010
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 along Manchester. The Grove CID contributed $10,000 toward creation of the sign.
Painted Fire Hydrants (2009)
Due in part to inspiration from the Hill neighborhood, WUMCRC teamed up with local artist Grace McCammond to turn an ordinary object into a masterpiece.
The fire hydrant art project consisted of two phases:
(1) Painting the fire hydrants along Manchester from Kingshighway to Vandeventer in the Grove district with the design based on The Grove logo.
(2) Painting the fire hydrants along the drive corridors of Forest Park Southeast (Taylor, Newstead, Tower Grove, Boyle, Chouteau, and Vandeventer) green and white with the design based on 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 further establishing the neighborhood’s identity and uniqueness.
Manchester Avenue Improvement (2010)
Throughout the summer, construction crews began work on street improvements along Manchester Avenue with old deteriorated sidewalks replaced with new, wider pedestrian-friendly sidewalks. In addition to the new sidewalks, crews installed three new public art pedestals.
The project aims to increase vehicular and pedestrian safety as well as strengthen district amenities. The work was completed by 2011. This development helps strengthen economic opportunity along Manchester Avenue and WUMCRC will continue to support the proximate street improvement projects.
Murals Around the Grove
The Grove is home to numerous public art installations and murals from local artists. Restaurants and businesses boast complex and historic paintings that showcase a pride and authenticity that is key to the identity of our neighborhood.
“I See You,” pictured below, was created by Grace McCammond from Signature Arts. This large installation is one example of the art pieces dotting the neighborhood buildings. As a final touch, she added gold reflective paint to the cougar’s eyes so they would glow from passing headlights of cars through the Manchester strip at night. McCammond has worked 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.