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Missouri—St. Louis—Back to the Grandeur of 1904

Two Fountain Restorations Hark Back to the St. Louis World's Fair
By Leslie McGuire, regional editor

Then and Now

No centennial was ever so magnificently planned and celebrated. Originally 1,370 acres of a low-lying wilderness of trees, swamps and thickets, Forest Park was transformed completely through the vision of three men: David R. Francis, Isaac Taylor and chief landscape architect George Kessler. The Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company hired 10,000 workers using horses, survey teams, blasting equipment and freight trains. They had to sculpt the land and move thousands of cubic yards of earth to reposition the River Des Peres, which threatened to flood the fair grounds. In addition to building the Grand Basin and surrounding canals, they constructed new sewer lines and an underground channel to move polluted water that eventually became part of the city’s infrastructure and sewer system.

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