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Clayton Receives Major Gift for Shaw Park Entrance
Rendering of the new Chapman Plaza featuring a water cascade into the northern-most corner of the park at Brentwood and Forsyth in Downtown Clayton. Image courtesy of SWT Design.

Bob Chapman
Photo of Bob Chapman, Chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, courtesy of Barry-Wehmiller.
Clayton Holds Groundbreaking for Chapman Plaza in Shaw Park
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, October 26, 2016 - The Clayton Century Foundation (CCF), a Missouri non-profit organization that supports history, arts, parks and sustainability in the City of Clayton, is holding a groundbreaking ceremony for Chapman Plaza in Shaw Park, at 5:00 pm on Thursday, October 27, 2016.

The project, which was announced last April 2015, includes the transformation of the northeast corner of Shaw Park, made possible through a gift from the Bob Chapman family and Barry-Wehmiller Group, Inc.

Bob Chapman is Chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, a global capital equipment and engineering consulting company, with headquarters in Clayton across from Shaw Park. Many of his employees are frequent users of the park. Chapman is a resident of Clayton and has long recognized the value of Shaw Park as a place of beauty, respite and activity for both the Clayton community and the St. Louis region.

This project, with a total estimated cost of $4.5 million, is consistent with the City of Clayton's Downtown Master Plan and the 2013 Shaw Park Master Plan Overlay.

To assure the community that maintenance, repair and replacement of the overall Plaza project will be sustained without expenditure of public funds, the Donors have provided an additional pledge to CCF for all project maintenance costs over a 20-year post-installation period. The additional pledge of $2.5 million is based on a projected annual budget of $125,000, including an Improvements Fund for any repairs and replacements. Costs were projected by SWT Design, Inc., a noted local landscape architecture firm, based on their project experiences with the City Garden, Forest Park Forever and the National Park Service.

The Plaza will serve as the Shaw Park North pedestrian entryway, thereby providing a link for the park to Downtown Clayton. A Concept Plan includes café tables, a garden area and fountain, trellis colonnades and pedestrian-friendly improvements to the crosswalk connection at this major intersection. The Plaza will seamlessly connect to existing quiet, green spaces in the park.

A Plaza fountain will be the source of a water cascade into the northern-most corner of the park. Improvements will include a small pond that will provide not only aesthetic enhancement but also offer major storm water management. A pedestrian bridge, additional seating and extensive plantings will allow the North end of the park to become more accessible and inviting as a destination for workday lunches and weekend family picnics.

The Concept Plan was privately funded in 2013 and developed with input received during public meetings of the City's Parks and Recreation Commission, Board of Aldermen and CCF Board. Additional input was included from the City's Public Works Department.

Mr. Chapman has repeatedly expressed his enthusiasm for this undertaking, "Through the Chapman Plaza at Shaw Park project, we aim not only to enhance this gateway into the park, but also encourage others to share in our commitment to be a revitalizing force for good in our community."

In a release, J.J. Flotken, President of the Clayton Century Foundation, said "A gift of this magnitude to the Clayton community is unparalleled in modern times. The generosity and communal leadership showcased by Bob Chapman, his family and Barry-Wehmiller is truly overwhelming. The gift in excess of $7,000,000 over time ensures Chapman Plaza will look and function decades into the future as well as it does when it opens, independent of direct tax dollars."

Clayton Mayor Harold Sanger said, "The City's increased emphasis on creating new Downtown residential opportunities requires a truly walkable environment, with easy access to our retailers, restaurants, service providers and, of course, to our beautiful parks. This is perfect timing for the Chapman Plaza at Shaw Park project."

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The Folke Filbyter sculpture by Carl Milles is located in front of Clayton City Hall at 10 North Bemiston Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105.

Clayton, Missouri, the county seat of St. Louis County, is a thriving metropolitan area located west of Forest Park and north of Highway 64. The residential neighborhood along Wydown Boulevard, from the St. Louis city limits to Hanley Road, is noted for its elegant homes and innovative schools, including Washington University, Fontbonne College, Concordia Seminary.

Upscale condominiums and tall, contemporary office buildings frame the central business district of Clayton. This area, located between Maryland Avenue on the north, Shaw Park to the west and Forest Park Blvd along the south, is headquarters to many Fortune 500 companies.

Visitors and residents can browse through a fine selection of art galleries, bookstores and specialty boutiques. Several wine shops, jewelers, florists and music stores and numerous antique shops can be found. For business travelers and vacationers, Clayton offers outstanding accommodations and is only 15 minutes from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, and just 10 minutes from downtown St. Louis.

Dining in Clayton is a gourmet delight with over 65 restaurants. Spend a leisurely afternoon at one of many outdoor cafes or enjoy elegant dining by candlelight at a fine restaurant. Each year, the downtown Clayton area hosts special events including the 'Taste of Clayton' food festival, 'Parties in the Park', the 'Saint Louis Art Fair' and 'Gallery Nights in Clayton.'

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