Work is set to begin on a new recreational complex in O’fallon Park in North St. Louis that will be identical to the new rec center/YMCA in Carondelet Park in South City.   This is big news because according to the Post Dispatch this will be the first new project of its kind in North City in at least 40 years.  It will be interesting to see the popularity of this kind of a resource in this neighborhood.

For those who aren’t familiar with the area, O’fallon Park is bounded by I-70 on the north, West Florissant on the west, and Adelaide on the south.  The surrounding neighborhoods including Penrose, O’fallon, College Hill, and the North Riverfront across I-70 are characterized by poverty and abandonment.   The architecture in these neighborhoods, like most of St. Louis City east of Grand, is amazing.  Its overshadowed, however, by block on upon block of crumbing Single and Multi-family dwellings as well as numerous vacant lots.

Its no secret that poverty breeds crime.  This has to be taken as a positive sign for these neighborhoods and has the potential to spur new investment in the future.  Most of all it provides alternatives and opportunities for the kids in the neighborhoods so that they don’t have to be on the streets day and night.  It will undoubtedly open up new employment opportunities in the area which right now are sorely lacking.

According to yahoo travel the park has a rich history dating back to the 1870’s and has many amenities including a Boat House just like Forest Park!  Who knew?!

The 126-acre O’Fallon Park was dedicated in 1876 and named after Colonel John O’Fallon, a veteran of the War of 1812 and an assistant Indian agent to his uncle, William Clark (Lewis and Clark Expedition). Today, the park is home to five acres of fishing waters, plus a boathouse, four comfort stations, several picnic shelters, a playground, softball fields, barbecue areas, tennis courts, a basketball court and a small pool. It serves as a meeting ground for reunions, school outings and individual events. However, group permits are required.

There are gatherings and concerts in the park all summer long.  For information on events go to

See David Hunn’s article in the Post Dispatch for more information about the project by clicking the link below.