Until recent years the Cabanne area was rather deficient in park space. Only a few minor triangles of street intersections such as Rose Hill Place at Plymouth and Etzel and ones at intersections of Etzel Avenue with Clara and Page, provided any open public space. These were acquired by the City in 1904, 1916 and 1921 respectively, and were less than one half acre each in extent. Beginning in the 1960's, largely through the West End urban renewal program and the West End Community Conference, several new additions have been made to the area's park acreage. These include Parkland Park, a new three-acre facility at Hamilton and Maple Avenues; the enlargement of Catalpa Park at Catalpa Place and the old Hodiamont streetcar right-of-way; and Amherst Park, a 3.8 acre recreational area at Hodiamont and Plymouth Avenues. Also developed was the Ruth C. Porter Mall, a landscaped area about 100 feet in width, which extends northwardly from Delmar and DeBaliviere to a terminus near Etzel and Blackstone Avenues.
The Ernest J. Russell playground at Goodfellow and Cabanne was donated to the City and was the site of Mr. Russell's residence, which had been designed by the noted architect Henry H. Richardson.
Visitation Park, on the east side of Belt Avenue between Clemens and Cabanne, is the former site of the Visitation Academy. This ten-acre tract was acquired by the City in 1961 prior to removal of the Academy to St. Louis County. The old Academy building was razed, but its former gymnasium building was retained for recreational use. In 1975, the City designated an area in the vicinity of the Park as the Visitation Park Historic District. As in the case of practically all of the Cabanne area, this district was built up primarily in the 1890's and World's Fair years. One of the architecturally significant sections of this historic district is Windermere Place, a private part of Survey 378 and was developed in its present form beginning in 1895 by Thomas Wright. Gates of ornamental iron and stone pylons guard its Union Avenue entrance. The houses were designed in a variety of styles, including both American and European influences, around the turn of the century. Its residents included many prominent St. Louisans, who lived there in a friendly neighborhood environment.
Image - Rose Hill Place Park at Plymouth and Etzel in 1917