Benton Park's site was originally set aside for a City cemetery at the time of the sale of land in the old St. Louis Commons in 1836. Benton Park was created by City Ordinance in 1866 after the founding of Bellefontaine and Calvary Cemeteries in North St. Louis made possible this transformation into a well shaded and popular pleasure area.
One of the principal attractions is an artificial lake and rustic bridge. In its early history it was difficult to maintain a supply of water in this lake because of its proximity to "English Cave". The lake was drained and all crevasses which had occasioned leakage were filled with concrete.
In recent years, Benton Park has been completely remodeled and landscaped with the City's neighborhood rehabilitation funds derived from the sale of City property, as part of the Cherokee Pilot Rehabilitation Area.