Treasure at Faust Park

The St. Louis Carousel

The St. Louis Carousel was built in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by the Dentzel Company 1920.

Faust Park, St. Louis, MO Dentzel Company

 1837 Michael Dentzel was traveled the German Countryside in horse drawn wagons.  He’d set up his “hand carved machine.”  This portable machine of hand carved creatures led to the creation of The St. Louis Carousel.

Gustav Dentzel (Michael’s second son,) emigrated to America in 1864.  He brought America’s first Amusement Park Carousel by Ship.

The Company

The Dentzel Company grew steadily, hiring woodcraft masters to create life like church statues, ornamentation for fine homes and signature menagerie creatures for carousels.

1929

The carousel was installed in the Forest Park Highlands.

Forest Park Highlands was a favorite St. Louis Attraction for almost 70 years.  Opened in 1896, the park gave happy memories to countless folk until July 1963.  The park, constructed of wood, caught fire.  The flames were hot enough to reroute highway traffic.  There was no way to reconstruct and reopen the Highlands.

If you drive by the area today, you’ll see a community college and office buildings.

The St. Louis Carousel

 Mr. Howard C Ohlendorf and his wife, Irma gave many gifts to the County Park system.  Including land, park embellishments, repairs and a great home for the carousel.

The St. Louis Carousel now lives in it’s own climate controlled facility.  Curators care for the menagerie.  People can ride the carousel and attend parties. Photographers make special arrangements for wedding portraits.

After all these years, It is still well loved and considered The St. Louis Carousel.

Faust Park

Chinese Garden

The first day of Winter was surprisingly warm and seemed a great day to visit The Chinese Garden.  It’s official title is “The Margaret Grigg Nanjing Friendship Garden.”  Lovingly referred to as “The Chinese Garden.”  It is one small part of the Missouri Botanical Garden.  You can expect to find many posts about “The Garden” because it is one of my absolute favorite hangouts in St. Louis.

Missouri Botanical Garden/Nanjing Friendship GardenThe lush summer look has already disappeared, it’s easy to spot the two guardians along the path.  They grant us passage, with warnings, this is not a place tourists tread right now because construction is going on “behind the scenes.”  So, we can look around undisturbed.

"scholar garden" Missouri Botanical GardenThis garden is referred to as a “Scholar’s Garden.” It’s smaller and informal, a place people can come to share ideas, read and reflect . . . here’s our first peek inside . .

Extrodinary Craftsmanship / Chinese garden? Missouri Botanical gardenThe garden was built in Nanjing, then in 1996 five experts arrived from China to oversee the actual creation of our Friendship Garden.

Missouri Botanical Friendship Garden

This marble bridge was crafted in Nanjing China, assembled in St. Louis by experts from Nanjing Municipal Bureau of Urban Parks in 1996.

Inside there are marble bridges and beautiful stone mosaic walkways.

nanjing garden Missouri Botanical Garden

The entire blue stone walkway includes delicate inlay mosaic.

our hostThis fella kept close watch.

I could image reading, or writing at this stone table . . maybe sipping tea, listening to sounds of the day . . . peaceful, yes?

I could image reading, or writing at this stone table . . maybe sipping tea, listening to sounds of the day . . . peaceful, yes?

Nanjing Friendship GardenThese stones are nifty.  In this case they are called “Tai Hu Stone,” which tells us where they are from, but doesn’t explain what terrific garden companions they are.  Stones like these are often used in gardens, they are made of limestone, which is softer, so the elements have been able to leave their mark, color changes, holes and shapes give each stone unique character.  They seem to “speak” about place and time.  They can also be referred to as “Scholar Stones.”  One story referred to them as “Philosopher Stones,”  which makes me grin.  There are a few of them standing in this garden.  They are a nice presence.

Saying GoodbyePerhaps it is time to say goodbye for today, with a promise to return again in the future.

Thank you for visiting.

Missouri Botanical Garden – 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63110

City Museum

City Museum is so spectacular, even a watery deluge, the necessity of raincoats and staying indoors can not diminish the joy of our First Adventure.

City Museum in the rain

 This photo was taken through the window, looking outside.  We will want to revisit and try to take this stellar place in.  It’s completely wild.  I explored a cave, climbed stairs of all sorts, listened to a restored pipe organ, admired limitless mosaics (made by Sharon Von Senden – but that’s anther story)

City Museum Mosaics

There are free circus performances, shoelace factory items, early 20th Century ceramic works saved from old buildings,  places to climb, slide, hang out, rest, there is an unusual aquarium, and the rooftop, which does not open until June.

citywall

I climbed through a small door and found people spinning around in peculiar chairs, statues from Bob’s Big Boy Restaurant Chain, this awesome wall, then climbed a teeny spiral staircase and found:

citysurprise

There is so much to see, I suspect we’ll enjoy plenty of good times here.  I need to remind you to bring your inner calm, not only is the place pure sensory overload,  young people find delight here and the cacophony is remarkable.

I look forward to our next City Museum Experience.

City Museum –  750 N 16th St, St. Louis, MO 63103

We’ll Be Back 🙂