Saturday, January 19, 2008

Chouteau's Pond a St. Louis Legacy


City of St. Louis website lists the Chouteau Lake and Greenway under Development Activity

Tower Grove Park, Forest Park and the downtown St. Louis riverfront could all be connected if the Chouteau Lake & Greenway concept becomes reality. St. Louis-based developer McCormack Baron is planning a $400 million mixed-use development over the course of six or seven years. The result would be a 15 acre lake and up to 3,500 units of housing and commercial buildings. A "green loop" of landscaped park areas, bike paths and trails along the Mississippi River would connect the new district to the historic Soulard and LaSalle neighborhoods to the south, the commercial districts to the north and existing parks to the west. The feasibility of this project depends upon a variety of unresolved challenges including the ability to relocate railroad lines and the availability of public and private funds.
Chouteau's Pond, which was formed by the damming of Rock Creek near Ninth and Popular Streets, was originally called Taillon's Pond but renamed after Auguste Chouteau enlarged it. The pond, which was two miles long and half-moon shaped, was the city's chief recreational spot in the early 1800s. However, cholera epidemics in the mid-1800s were blamed on the lake, which by then had become polluted with garbage and industrial waste. The city filled in the lake in 1851 and it thus became the location for the first rail lines.
Chouteau Greenway will link the Mississippi riverfront in downtown St. Louis to Forest Park. An extension of the greenway will branch off to the south to connect to the Missouri Botanical Garden and Tower Grove Park.
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