Architectural work on a master plan to renovate the pathways in Lafayette Park was completed in late 2009.
Although the basic path layout is inherently sound, a few important paths, particularly the ones leading to the grotto bridge, are completely missing and must be reconstructed. In other places the amount of paving has become excessive over the decades, and some of this paving will be replaced with grass.
In several spots the existing pathways have developed sinkholes and badly deteriorated surface coatings. After repair, these pathways, along with the new ones, will be surfaced with rolled and sealed limestone chips.
The more formal decorative plantings around the Washington and Benton statues and at the park entrances cry out for stronger definition to reinforce their attractiveness, and this will be accomplished by permanently edging those planting beds and developing decorating entrance paving.
The entire pathway renovation project is expected to cost $400,000-$700,000 and will be most likely be completed in phases over the next several years.
Project: Historic 1869 Fence Restoration
The Conservancy selected Robinson Iron Co. of Alexander City, Alabama to undertake the test phase of the fence restoration. Robinson Iron has removed six sections of fence from the southeast corner of the park along Lafayette Avenue running west from Mississippi Avenue. They were taken to Robinson’s workshops where they were taken apart so patterns could be made to replace broken and missing parts. The six sections have been completely restored and are in St. Louis awaiting reinstallation.
The intent of the restoration project is to restore the fence to its original 1869 design. The original fence was taller than the fence is now because the decorative and structurally important base plates were eliminated in the 1970s era reconstruction. Because of this, the 1970s era fenceposts cannot be used again to support the fence and new, longer fenceposts have been cast by Robinson.
The Conservancy selected Empire Fence Co. of St. Louis to install concrete bases to support the fence and work has started on this phase of the project. Empire will erect the fence when the concrete has cured sufficiently. The fence should be in place before the LSRC’s Holiday Parlor Tour takes place December 11th.