In some important particulars connected with its origin and history, Tower Grove Park is different from the other pleasure grounds of the City of St. Louis. It originated from a donation of private property for park uses, was placed from its inception under special control by an act of the State Legislature, and its improvement was conducted under the personal supervision of the donor of the lands embraced within its limits. It may also be stated, that it was the first driving park opened to the use of the public, and that the plan and character of the improvements are dissimilar, in some respects, from those adopted in connection with the other large parks.
In view of these facts, and that the cost of the improvement was defrayed by public funds, it seemed desirable that a review of the history and improvement of the park should be presented to the citizens of St. Louis in a compact and convenient form, not only for the purpose of conveying information, but in the hope of deepening public interest in this and the other pleasure grounds which contribute so largely to the ornamentation of the city, the recreation of its citizens and the advancement of taste.
This volume owes its publication to these considerations. It is not in the form of an official report, because it contains some matter not properly embraced in a formal document of that kind, but the aim has been to supply complete information respecting the park, in a more attractive form that that of a mere statement of details, embracing also suggestions intended to illustrate the purpose and spirit of the enterprise.
The Commissioners trust the publication will meet the approval of the public, regretting that the edition could not be extended so as to admit of general gratuitous distribution.