Playground Expansion Update
Under the leadership of Lafayette Square resident Julie Stone, and with the assistance of the LSRC and City of St. Louis Officials, this substantial expansion of the Lafayette Park playground was funded through grants and public funds totaling approximately $150,000 and completed in August 2007. Phase II of the project, which included planting of new shade trees. relocating the Cassilly frog sculpture, and replacing manufacturer signage with City of St. Louis approved wording was completed in 2009. Final project completion, which includes color and safety modifications and painting of some metal surfaces, has been approved by the St. Louis Parks Department and the Lafayette Park Implementation Advisory Board, and will be accomplished in 2010.
Color & Signage Modification
The bright primary colors of the expansion equipment tend to clash with the tan and green colors of the older equipment, installed in 1997 after much neighborhood discussion. Many park patrons asked if the bright colors could somehow be made more muted. A playground focus group was formed to explore solutions, but it met only once without reaching any consensus about how to proceed. Several people from that collapsed focus group then joined the Conservancy’s Playground Committee and continued to explore modification options to satisfy the largest constituency of park patrons.
The Playground Committee developed a proposal to modify colors by swapping a few plastic parts and painting some metal parts, and to reduce signage by replacing the two large manufacturer’s signs with one smaller sign in a more muted color. Public comments on this proposal were accepted in writing by the Lafayette Park Conservancy, and orally at pulbic meeting that took place on April 20, 2008. The proposal was approved in 2009 by the St. Louis Parks Department and the Lafayette Park Implementation Advisory Board (the LPIAB reviews all park projects for compliance with the park Master Plan). The color and signage modifications will be funded by private funds donated specifically for this purpose. Completion is scheduled for late 2010.