Best Of 2009

Best Public Works Project: Citygarden

Citygarden was funded by the nonprofit Gateway Foundation, so some may not immediately think of it as a "public works" project. But don't forget that it was St. Louis leaders who first conspired to remake the previously forlorn green space and then picked an angel investor, so to speak, to execute a project the city couldn't afford. The result: an urban jewel that at least quadruples the value of St. Louis' public patrimony. Anyone who tries to argue otherwise is cuckoo. The downtown sculpture garden is contained in a two-block area bounded by Chestnut, Market, Eighth and Tenth streets. The Gateway Foundation's vision includes methodic landscaping and an array of artworks, not to mention three "fountains" that manage to combine an exquisite aesthetic with an element of interactivity. From each new point of entry into the garden — and there are many — visitors are greeted with a new revelation. It's fun to see so many people of such different stripes soaking up this public good, morning, noon and night.

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