Katherine Ward Burg Memorial Garden

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The beautification of a half-acre site adjacent to the Eads Bridge. A charming plaza close to the Arch Grounds for use by the millions of tourists and local St. Louisans alike.

The Katherine Ward Burg Memorial Garden, named for the St. Louis photographer who cherished the riverfront, will function as the primary gateway for pedestrians traveling under the Eads Bridge from the nearby Arch Grounds. This new social destination, identified by its iconic trellis, is a beacon to attract people walking through the arches of the Eads Bridge and drawing them toward the new riverfront park, an ideal destination for the millions of Arch Ground tourists and St. Louisans.

This Garden has direct access to the Laclede’s Landing Metro Station located inside the bridge and makes for a more visible regional asset. The trellis is designed as a modern architectural icon, in respectful contrast to the historic architecture of the Eads Bridge. The pavilion is shifted to the far northwest corner of First Street and Lucas Avenue to improve its visibility and anchor the urban corner. This location, atop a stepped terrace, offers impressive views of the Eads Bridge and to the Mississippi River. The pavilion can accommodate numerous functions, including an information kiosk, bike rental or bike share, a dining terrace, public restrooms, and an observation deck, all celebrating the fantastic view toward the River.

Gently stepped terraces provide convenient ramp access from First Street down to Commercial Street. The terrace forms a small amphitheater, which could accommodate seating for small impromptu performances and movie nights on the Lower Plaza. The lower Plaza also provides ample space for fairs and farmer’s markets, to activate the southern end of the Commercial Street Corridor. This Plaza has the potential to extend east, to include the Commercial Street right-of-way, continuing the stepping terraces meandering down to Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd.

The Katherine Ward Burg Garden is the first step in the long-term plan to redevelop the Mississippi Riverfront in St. Louis. In the shadow of the Gateway Arch monument lies this small but mighty ‘Gateway to the St. Louis Riverfront,’ a new connection to the Mississippi River, where the city was founded. Located north of the historic Eads Bridge in Laclede’s Landing, the site sits close to the Arch Grounds, the Metrolink, and other Downtown destinations. It has the potential to act as a significant riverfront destination itself. 
A distinctive trellis upholds the northwest urban corner and serves as a modern architectural icon. It takes inspiration from the forms of the Gateway Arch and the arches of the Eads bridge while providing respectful contrast to the historic architecture of its surroundings. In conjunction with stepped terraces, curved seat walls, ADA accessible walkways, and a flexible lower plaza, the pavilion frames the design of this public park. An elevated platform characterizes the lower plaza and operates as a stage, with flexible lawn space and seating. Native and adaptive trees and planting break up the hardscape and provide necessary natural relief and shade to the area.
Gently sloped landscaping functions as an accessible ramp allowing access from First Street to Commercial Street while also guiding visitors towards the river.  The stepped terraces provide access between the upper and lower levels and form a small amphitheater, accommodating seating for small performances and movie nights on the lower plaza. The lower plaza connects with Commercial Street, making it the perfect grounds for fairs and farmer’s markets, activating the corridor’s southern edge. 
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Katherine Ward Burg Garden is at the vanguard of the greater North Riverfront Development and encompasses merits of the larger riverfront vision while exuding a scale small enough to fuel meaningful socio-cultural connections for St. Louis residents. 

CLIENT

Great Rivers Greenway

LOCATION

St. Louis, MO

SIZE

1/2 Acre

SERVICES

  • Landscape Architecture