A NEW GUIDE TO BALANCING MOBILITY AND HUMANITY ON MAIN STREET
Case Studies 

Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

*Nominee 

Keiner Plaza

St. Louis

MO

USA

Contributed by 
Teresita Cochran
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
January 30, 2002
December 14, 2017

Empty, uninviting, under-utilized... this plaza has all the hallmarks of a failed space.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

This place features paths that go nowhere in particular, on a two-block by one-block rectangle of land. It also features an under-utilized amphitheatre without sufficient cover from the hot summer sun, and two fountains whose water has bright aqua dye. It is bounded to the north by fast-food chain restaurants which close after the business day. What would make this plaza better? How about sufficient tree cover to create areas where people might be able to sit; summer cafes or sandwich shops so that they can get food and refreshments while outside; some appropriate signage about the history of the site and its connection to the old court house on the east and the Arch. Also, planned activities would bring people there regularly.

Access & Linkages

There is fast moving traffic on three of the four sides of this plaza, and no human-scale buildings around. Fast food restaurants bound the north side of the park without sufficient trash receptacles, and the connection to historical sites is underemphazed. This place might as well be a big reflecting pond, or a big beach.

Comfort & Image

There is no comfortable green space that takes into account the hot summers of St. Louis. There is a large Richard Serra sculpture which has been defaced numerous times and is not only uninviting, but dangerous in that vagrants hide behind the sculpture and use it as a urinal.

Uses & Activities

The only time I have seen evidence of people there is during the brief businesss lunch hour. There are no real gathering nodes, other than the huge amphitheater, which provides little or no protection from the weather.

Sociability

No one meets here that I have seen, except maybe for big rallies. Few if any people that go there to talk. Never have I seen people walk and make eye-contact, and the only age of people I have seen is middle-aged business people. No one counts this place as a landmark of St. Louis.

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Related Links & Sources

Keiner Plaza
Keiner Plaza
Keiner Plaza
Keiner Plaza
Keiner Plaza
Keiner Plaza
Keiner Plaza
Keiner Plaza

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

NOMINATE A PLACE

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A NEW GUIDE TO BALANCING MOBILITY AND HUMANITY ON MAIN STREET