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Authors of "St. Louis Parks" Visit SLCL

Press Release

Monday, April 30, 2012 - 10:00a.m.


The St. Louis County Library Foundation is pleased to present local historians Esley Hamilton and NiNi Harris, the authors of “St. Louis Parks” on Wednesday, May 30, 7:00 p.m. at Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

The program is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase at the event from Reedy Press.

St. Louis has great parks and St. Louisans are passionate about them. "St. Louis Parks" delivers portraits of St. Louis City and County parks, both major and minor, that prove why these common spaces are crucial to the region’s way of life.

Acclaimed local historians Esley Hamilton and NiNi Harris take readers through the city and county, respectively. Starting with the establishment of Lafayette Park from 30 acres of common fields in 1836, the book covers the creation of gems like Tower Grove Park, the nation’s finest Victorian Park, and the dazzling, 1,293-acre Forest Park, while including City Garden, and its interactive artwork, in the heart of downtown.

In the county, the authors highlight one-of-a-kind attractions like the renowned Museum of Transportation and Laumeier Sculpture Park, the Butterfly House and St. Louis Carousel at Faust Park, a farm zoo at Suson Park, and the military museums at Jefferson Barracks. In both sections, the authors recognize the citizens, civic leaders, and architects whose work delivered to all St. Louisans picturesque landscapes, ball fields, tennis courts, natural savannahs, and grasslands filled with wildlife, and trails that lead runners through forests and by shimmering lakes.

Dramatic photography by Mark Scott Abeln and Steve Tiemann complement the essays.

Esley Hamilton has been working for the St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation as historian and preservationist since 1977. Among preservationists in the St. Louis region, Hamilton’s is a household name. He teaches the history of landscape architecture at Washington University and serves on the board of the National Association for Olmsted Parks

NiNi Harris’s earliest memory is of an early autumn evening, picking up acorns as she and her father walked along Bellerive Boulevard to Bellerive Park. Her great-great-grandfather’s first job when he arrived in St. Louis in 1864 was planting trees in a St. Louis park. This is her tenth book on St. Louis history and architecture.

Program sites are accessible. Upon two weeks notice, accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities. Contact St. Louis County Library by phone 314-994-3300 or visit