Meet me in Saint Louis : viewing historic integrity in a continuum of change through an analysis of Forest Park
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Work162 p.
ProgramMA in Historic Preservation
RightsTo view a complete copy of this manuscript please contact Goucher College Special Collections & Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 337-6075.
SubjectsLouisiana Purchase Exposition (1904 : Saint Louis, Mo.)
Historic parks -- Conservation and restoration -- Missouri -- Saint Louis.
Forest Park (Saint Louis, Mo.) -- History.
Historic preservation -- Theses
Nothing defined the United States between the Civil War and World War I like the world’s fairs. Intended to last less than one year, urban parks in varying locations were transformed into temporary wonderlands of architecture, landscaping, and exhibits that had significant impact on technology, popular culture, and consumer tastes for decades to come. Yet when the fairs were dismantled, cities around the nation were left with parks and open spaces they did not recognize. Many of these historically significant sites were transformed by notable landscape architects and returned to service as urban parks, retaining some elements of their fair roots. However, in the modern day, the alterations to the sites and their initial short-term vision create challenges for those seeking National Register of Historic Places recognition for what remains of a significant fair site. This thesis examines the importance of the remaining landscapes of the world’s fairs through an examination of Forest Park, Saint Louis, Missouri, site of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. It further examines the National Register requirements for historic integrity and the possibility of an expanded interpretation of the criteria. Through an evaluation of the significance of the fairs and the changing landscape of Forest Park, integrity is viewed through a continuum of change and a broad period of significance that take into consideration the importance and lasting value of the place. Through research gathered from secondary materials regarding world’s fairs, Forest Park maps spanning its 130 year history, documentary evidence from newspapers, photographs, and National Park Service documents, this thesis proves that in viewing historic integrity through a continuum of change, a layering of significant elements over time, Forest Park is eligible for placement in the National Register of Historic Places. The difficulties in recognizing sites intended for temporary rather than permanent installation lie in the administrative interpretation rather than in the existing language. Further, as it is not addressed in major National Park Service publications, new language is proposed for interpretation of National Register of Historic Places criteria regarding workmanship and materials as they relate specifically to landscapes.