Carondelet Park’s Skateboard Park?

Spread the love

Every time I go to Carondelet Park and see the above site, this thought ticker tapes through my brain: “…skating rink…skateboard park… skating rink… skateboard park….”

Considering that St. Louis now has near-tropical winters that are jeopardizing the Forest Park skating rink, another rink is not a smart long-term investment. But a skateboard park is totally doable.

I know very little about skateboarding or ‘board parks, other than my eyes were always riveted to the kids wheeling about Keiner Plaza. But the laziest Internet search shows plenty of people know how to turn most anything into a skateboard park, so my gut reaction to this odd, unused space at Carondelet isn’t such a crazy idea.

So far, The St. Louis Parks Department has done a brilliant job of making Carondelet more attractive and useful to 21st century patrons (my eternal thanks to you for putting the water fountains back in working order), and there’s plenty more changes awaiting. Which reminded me that there is a Master Plan for the park, so let’s see what they have planned for this area.

On page 31 of the recommendations, they called for turning the “Bear Pit” into an “adventure playground” with a bear theme. As shown in the above photo (purloined from their Master Plan), to make this idea feasible to parents and security, the top half of the walls would be sheared off. Well, that effectively erases most traces of uniqueness and history, leaving behind what looks like an elaborate sink hole.

The adventure park is a nice idea, but it would then be just one of several new and/or updated playgrounds in Carondelet. Sure would be nice to have something a bit more unique in this curious spot, something that would truly be a must-see destination… skateboard park.

On page 34 of the Master Plan: “Consider diversifying the active recreational programming in the park to include other recreational sports.” Seems a skateboard park would qualify as such, yes?

I’m far too old to know about, or champion the cause, for skateboarders; I’m simply wishing that the city would do a little creative thinking and offer up something with more pizzazz than an “adventure park.” A Request For Ideas could be a great opportunity for the City to truly engage the kids by asking for their thoughts on how to develop this spot, a serpentine site ripe for daydreaming and fantastical tales.

8 thoughts on “Carondelet Park’s Skateboard Park?

  1. THe Bear Pits were for exactly what the name implied. The city used to keep 2-3 bears in Carondolet park as sort of a zoo exibit. When it became impractical to keep the city removed the bears and some other features and left the current day fixture. I am in agreement wit hseveral previous commenters LEAVE IT ALONE….. the bear pit is one of the few outdoor odities taht make carondlelte park special as opposed to just another local park. We have prenty of spots a skate park could be placed. Try Willmore or river des peres park. But leave the bear pits alone!

  2. I grew up in the south side and my imagination was all I needed too have a wonderful time playing at the bear pit.If they do anything with it then I think it should be used for what it was made for!That way when they can’t find or afford too pay some one to take care of the animals then clean it up and let children play in it like we’s not m/t space to (Imagination) SO LEAVE IT ALONE !SIGNED JWSjr…!

  3. why would you tear down soemthing great to build something that us kids would destroy i mean my brother skate and they leave it looking horible so dont take away something i want my kids to see!!!

  4. I like the idea of a bear pit better than a skate park. What was its original purpose?

  5. umm.. ya how about just leaving something historical to south saint louis alone!!!! =(

  6. the Y recently built a new skate park, but it costs money. but the bear pit looks like an awesome location … maybe even good enough to lure this 30-something onto a skateboard ….

  7. I agree that a skateboard park would be dynamite. However, the old people that vote and attend the neighborhood meetings surrounding the park would flip their wigs. I bet Heitert would too. I think there is still a stigma attached with skateboards, especially if you are over 45.

  8. Are there any outdoor rinks in the city? I’d really like to skate laps without pedestrian traffic and haven’t found anything like that outdoors. Even indoors the rinks are filled with shrieky 12 year olds. I’d like to find one that lets people skate laps for exercise while listening to their ipod or something. help help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.