The Southwest Area is well endowed with public recreation facilities befitting a primarily residential neighborhood. First of the public parks in this area to be acquired by the City was Francis Park. This 60.39 acre tract was donated to the City as a Christmas gift in 1916 by David Rowland Francis, former mayor, governor and president of the World's Fair in 1904. As the park and its surroundings then consisted of vacant rural land, it was not developed until St. Louis Hills was built up around it in the 1930's. Much of the work was done with the aid of Federal Relief Administration Funds. They constructed the long lily pool, football and softball fields, a wading pool, tennis courts, a shelter house, picnic grounds and walkways, as well as gardening and landscaping. Francis Park is bounded by Nottingham Avenue on the north, Tamm Avenue on the east, Eichelberger Street on the south and Donovan Avenue on the west. One of the largest parks in the Southwest Area is Willmore Park, which extends along the eastern edge of the River des Peres drainage works from a point near Gravois to Eichelberger Street, it then follows a rambling line to the west of St. Louis Hills Estates to Loughborough and Jamieson Avenues and thence southward along Jamieson and Hampton Avenues. Seventy acres of its 105 acre area were donated to the City by the Cyrus Crane Willmore Organization in 1946, the balance being land previously acquired by the City. It was named in honor of Willmore in 1947 and has since been improved with lakes, picnic grounds and recreational facilities.
Along the City limits on the western edge of the area is the River des Peres Park and parkway extending from Morganford Road to Lansdowne Avenue. This 145 acre park area was acquired by the City by purchase in 1934.
Lindenwood Park and playground, which is bounded by Jamieson, Pernod and Prather Avenues and Lindenwood Place, covers 14.08 acres and was purchased by the City in 1947 for $81,000.
Rosalie Tilles Memorial Park, on Hampton Avenue between Fyler and Marquette Avenues, is 29 acres in area and was purchased by the City in 1957 for $380,000. It is bounded on the east by the Campau subdivision which was platted in 1952. The park was purchased with money from the Rosalie Tilles Children's Playground and Park Fund, which was established from proceeds of the sale of a former City park of the same name in St. Louis County.
Image- Reflecting Pool in Francis Park about 1936.
Image- Playground and Pool in Willmore Park.
Image- A pleasant scene in Willmore Park.