The Missouri Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) honored three Great Places in Missouri in 2017: Tower Grove Park, St. Louis; 4th Street Corridor, Maryville; Downtown Kirkwood, Kirkwood.

APA Missouri recognized the 2017 Great Places in Missouri designees at a ceremony on February 1, 2017 at 11 a.m. in the State Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City. 

Tower Grove Park Festival of Nations

Tower Grove Park (St. Louis)

Tower Grove Park in St. Louis is the recipient of the Great Public Space in Missouri award. This 289 acre park has sustained its beautiful, historic and grand character over the last nearly 150 years. In the center of the City of St. Louis, Tower Grove Park provides many opportunities for active and passive recreation including walking paths, a playground, the Muckermann’s Children Fountain, organized sports facilities, many open lawn areas and an urban forest home to more than 7,000 trees. The park is host to events such as the neighborhood Tower Grove Farmer’s Market, Food Truck Fridays, the St. Louis Festival of Nations, St. Louis Symphony and Compton Heights Band concerts, lecture series, family outings, weddings and more. Tower Grove Park epitomizes a great public space as it encourages community gatherings, both planned and spontaneous, that people of all ages can enjoy, promotes a sense of community and reflects the character and heritage of St. Louis. 

Maryville 4th Street Ribbon Cutting

4th Street Corridor (Maryville)

The 4th Street Corridor in Maryville is the recipient of the Great Street in Missouri award. This six-block corridor connects two vibrant community focal points – downtown Maryville and Northwest Missouri State University. Improvements to the 4th Street Corridor were identified as a critical need in the Maryville Comprehensive Plan and the Downtown Strategic Plan.  Planning for the redevelopment of 4th Street began in 2012 as a partnership between the City and Northwest and included significant public input. Construction of the project was complete in mid-2015 and represents both a symbolic and physical signal of the strong town-gown relationship extending beyond campus borders. The 4th Street Corridor is a culturally significant area for the community, home to the Northwest Homecoming parade, Nodaway County Parade, Maryville Farmer’s Market and impromptu celebrations for athletic victories, public art, graduation and other community events. This Great Street project incorporated not only redevelopment of adjacent retail and housing, but takes a complete street approach with traffic calming, landscaping, safety lighting, and trail extensions to connect Northwest Missouri State University and downtown Maryville. 

Kirkwood Winter Festival

Downtown Kirkwood (Kirkwood)

Downtown Kirkwood is the recipient of the Great Neighborhood in Missouri award. This 16 block area along Kirkwood road, bound by Bodley, Woodbine, Taylor and Clay Avenues is a neighborhood that celebrates Kirkwood’s community character and heritage. Downtown Kirkwood is anchored by the Historic Train Depot which has been preserved and serves as a multi-modal station, providing an economic catalyst to the community. The neighborhood contains numerous public spaces including three city-owned pocket parks, the Kirkwood Farmer’s Market, Kirkwood Public Library, City Hall, Police and Fire stations. Redevelopment of brownfield has also created new mixed-use centers, such as the Station Plaza which serves as the venue for the Summer Concert Series and other events throughout the year.  Downtown Kirkwood is also home to events such as Earth Day at the Market, Mayfest, summer and winter firework festivals and various other walks and events. In addition to new development and events, downtown boast a diverse array of 100 specialty shops and restaurants. Downtown Kirkwood exemplifies a great neighborhood by incorporating the preservation of historic assets to maintain transportation options, while encourage brownfield redevelopment and including diverse housing choices.

2017 Great Places in Missouri

In case you missed it at the conference last week, check out this great video about our 2017 Great Places in Missouri. Nominations for the 2018 Great Places are now open! Go to for more information!

Posted by APA Missouri on Monday, October 23, 2017