|Artists rendering of proposed St Louis Zoo expansion
St. Louis, MO, USA (December 12, 2012) — The St. Louis Post-Dispatch discusses last night’s open house by the St. Louis Zoo about expansion plans on the former Forest Park Hospital:
“This fall, the St. Louis Zoo Association closed on its $6 million purchase of 14 acres just south of Highway 40, site of the old Deaconess Hospital.
“Tuesday night, St. Louis residents said what they wanted built there.
“One suggested a boutique hotel. One touted a trolley, to ferry guests into the zoo. One proposed a pedestrian bridge across Highway 40 (Interstate 64). Another suggested “a new home for the Rams.”
“But most held smaller ideas, reflecting hopes for their streets and neighborhood: A farmer’s market. A corner store. An ice cream shop. A local-food restaurant. Bike rentals. And, in several cases, a dog park.
“At the three-hour open house, the zoo’s hired planning and design team presented a half-dozen placards with dozens of ideas for the land — just ideas, they noted carefully — ranging from exhibits and attractions to traffic and research parks.
“They showed pictures of a grass-roofed greenhouse in California, a gigantic Ferris wheel in London, a hot air balloon that rises over the Philadelphia zoo, glass-walled aquariums, and the bulbous gardens of Marina Bay, Singapore.
“’Who knows if it will come to fruition?’ said Jim Wolterman, co-owner of the planning firm, SWT Design. ‘But the idea is to stimulate the imagination. Projects like these all started with visionary ideas.’
“The SWT photo montages suggested zip lines, suspension bridges, giant wooden playgrounds, vegetable gardens, trains, trams and hotels.
“;I think our attitude for tonight is, let’s not dream small. Let’s dream big,’ said SWT principal Ted Spaid. ‘I have seen things happen in this town I never thought would happen.’”