St. Louis Citygarden
Location: St. Louis, Missouri (Address: 801 Market St.)
When to visit: Any time during daylight hours
Time needed: 15-30 minutes
A fun attraction I stumbled upon during my first visit to St. Louis a while back was the Citygarden. It’s a cool three-acre sculpture park within the downtown area with a view of the Gateway Arch. And it’s full of quirky and unique artwork.
The park’s motto is “Free to explore. Free to play. Free to feel inspired.”
What can you see at Citygarden? Whose work is featured? What are the hours and where can you park? Read on for answers to all your Citygarden questions.
The Art of Citygarden
The park itself isn’t particularly quirky, but the art within it sure is! I’m a big fan of the white rabbits, which were cast in bronze and then painted. They’re the work of Dutch artist Tom Claassen.
Here’s another cool one that makes a great photo opportunity. It’s ‘Eros Bendato,’ a work by Igor Mitoraj. I just call it the giant head that you can peek out through:
Perhaps the most famous artist represented in the park is Keith Haring, noted pop artist from the ’80s and inductee on the Rainbow Honor Walk in San Francisco. His piece is from 1987 and is called “Untitled (Ringed Figure.)”
They’ve got a lot more, including an LED video screen of two people walking, stainless steel structures, bronze birds and a 12.5-foot statue of Pinocchio by Jim Dine called “Two White Gloves, Big Four Wheels.”
Other artists whose park appears in Citygarden include Julian Opie, Mimmo Paladino, and Ju Ming.
This piece by Tom Otterness is called Kindly Geppetto. Created in 2001, it depicts Geppetto about to hammer a Pinocchio puppet.
This bright red piece, Aesop’s Fables by Mark di Suvero, features welded and bolted steel beams. di Suvero also has work featured in Washington DC’s Hirshhorn Museum.
All of the art is from 1979 or later, except for a few pieces: Tony Smith’s Night (1962), Fernand Leger’s Femmes Au Perroquet (1952), and the oldest piece, Aristide Maillol’s La Riviere, which was a series of pieces completed from 1938 to 1943.
Visiting the Park
My first visit to St. Louis Citygarden was a few years back, but these art pieces remain in the park, along with several new ones.
On my latest visit, I saw that more artwork had been added to Citygarden. Here’s a piece by Welsh artist Laura Ford simply called Bird. Ford is known for creating “playful and disturbing hybrid creatures,” and this one qualifies:
Here’s a 2010 piece by Erwin Wurm that I absolutely love. It’s called Big Suit and it’s just that – a big old pinkish suit with no body inside. I could totally see an actor rocking the Oscars stage in this outfit.
In addition to the art, the park has fountains, gardens, walking paths, grassy areas, and a children’s spray plaza. It’s a fun place to hang out during the summer.
Metered street parking is available near Citygarden. There are also parking garages in the area that charge $10 for a full day (sometimes less than that on weekends).
The park is designed for pedestrians, so they do not permit bikes, skateboards, Segways, and other moving devices.
The park is officially open from sunrise to 10 pm, the same hours as at St. Louis city parks. You can even take an audio tour of the park using Citygarden’s mobile app.
Take a look at the full Citygarden map if you’re looking for a specific piece. The St. Louis sculpture garden also has a striking Instagram page if you’re looking for more photos.
Dogs are permitted, but they must be on leashes. The park has a restaurant called Kaldi’s, in case you want to eat while you’re there.
A few years ago, to celebrate their 10th anniversary, Citygarden installed three new art pieces. The park also holds special events like free Wednesday lunchtime summer concerts, and Saturday morning summer yoga sessions.
While in the city of St. Louis, consider also visiting such attractions at the Budweiser Brewery Tour, the St. Louis City Museum, and the vibrant Delmar Loop neighborhood.
And for more interesting artwork, murals, and sculptures, consider driving Route 66 between St. Louis and Chicago!
What’s your favorite structure at St. Louis Citygarden?