St. Louis, Missouri
Lafayette Square Neighborhood
Urban Design Plan & Guidelines
Lafayette Square is a historic neighborhood in the heart of St. Louis. Building upon the history and intrinsic value of the neighborhood, the Urban Design Plan proposes solutions for vacant buildings and sites; access, circulation and parking; basic improvements to the streets, sidewalks and parks; neighborhood services and amenities; as well as other design and development issues raised by the community. The joint venture between the neighborhood and the City resulted in reasonable guidelines with visionary proposals. The Lafayette Park Master Plan reflects the interests, culture, and history of the neighborhood and park, while designing a place to experience the beauty and wonder of nature. Implementation of trails, maintenance, and management plans have recreated a park that is diverse, multi-purpose, and environmentally sound. The plans, TIF District, and continued involvement of the neighborhood organizations and residents has brought remarkable levels of investment. Lafayette Square has become one of the most desirable neighborhoods to live and work in the St. Louis region. Homes are continuously being restored and there has been an influx of new businesses, shops, and restaurants in the Park Avenue Business District.
A phased community participatory planning process occurred during 2000, to achieve the stated goal. Phase one included two community workshops to gather data that documented issues of concern and identified strengths and weaknesses of the neighborhood. Phase two concentrated on two workshops where information was synthesized and provided to the community for discussion and input. These sessions also covered urban design and development principles as well as potential design options. Phase three included a series of meetings with other stakeholders that included businesses, institutions, city agencies and other interested parties, again, to gather data, input, ideas, concerns and design and development principles. Phase four consisted of two final public workshops to review and come to a consensus on the final outcome. The plan was further developed and approved for submittal as the first neighborhood Tax Increment Financing District in the City of St. Louis.