Saturday, April 21, 2012

“St. Louis Parks”

ST. LOUIS PARKS — a new book from Reedy Press — with photography by yours truly, including the photo on the cover:

St Louis Parks cover_high

This view shows the World’s Fair Pavilion atop Government Hill, in Forest Park, in the City of Saint Louis, Missouri. Teenagers are seen here enjoying the cool water of the fountain on a warm June day. I think this photo adequately captures the joy and simple pleasure that ought to be found in a pleasant park.

This book contains over a hundred of my photos of parks located within the City of Saint Louis. Click here to get your own copy of this book:

From the publisher, Reedy Press:
St. Louis Parks By NiNi Harris and Esley Hamilton, Foreword by Peter H. Raven 
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 NiNi Harris and Esley Hamilton take readers through the city and county, respectively. Starting with the establishment of Lafayette Park from thirty acres of common fields in 1836, Harris 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 Citygarden, and its interactive artwork, in the heart of downtown.

In the county, Hamilton highlights 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. The photographs evoke the unique character and history of the individual parks. They visualize the importance of green space for both escaping and coming together as a community.  
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.

Esley Hamilton has been working for the St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation as historian and preservationist since 1977. Among preservation-
ists 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.

Mark Abeln is a native of St. Louis and attended college at Caltech, in Pasadena, California. Mark started taking photography seriously after he took disappointing photos of an important subject. He spent the next years learning the art of photography, and his photos can now be found in numerous publications as well as on his website “Rome of the West.”

Steve Tiemann graduated from McCluer High School and went on to obtain his forestry degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia. Steve has enjoyed his career as a park ranger and park ranger supervisor with St. Louis County Parks for nearly thirty years. He tries to be in ready mode with a camera while patrolling on foot or bike.
Mr. Peter Raven is President Emeritus of the famed Missouri Botanical Garden.

This book’s publication date is May 1st. You can order a copy now:

You can also purchase my earlier book of photography, Catholic St. Louis: A Pictorial History:

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