Mein hut er hat drei ecken was a song we sang in German class, even though my hat had no corners at all. Forest Park has, more or less, 4 corners, and today I haunted the southeast corner of the park. It is a corner with connections, history and even controversy. It contains an underground television studio, a coyote hideout, a tunnel under US Route 40, two children's playgrounds, a couple of lakes, a pedestrian bridge over US 40, Tennis and racquetball courts, and two open areas large enough to land a Klingon Bird-of-prey (keep the cloaking device on if you do this, though, as there is a lot of traffic in this area).
I like tramping through obscure places such as small towns with empty and decaying main streets, mountain fields where the Sasquatch roams, and little visited parts of Premier American Parks that are cut off from the rest of the park by major thoroughfares, so it did not bother me to walk the berms and gullies that lie apart from the majority of Forest Park acres, embedded between streets and highways of my home city.
Hudlin Park, the part of Forest Park south of Barnes Tower at the BJC Hospital / Washington University Medical Center, features tennis courts, playgrounds and racquetball courts built over an underground parking garage serving the hospitals. The parking garage was built in 1973 when the Hospitals first leased the approximately 10 acres of the park, and the lease was extended for the last time in 2007, expiring in 2096. BJC Hospital is currently paying the city $2 million dollars per year for this lease, which, considering the cost of real estate in the city, seems to be a real bargain.
There is a footbridge across US40/I64 that extends from the northwest corner of the Forest Park South East neighborhood (Saint Louis City has 79 neighborhoods) into the southeast corner of Forest Park itself, where there are two playgrounds adjacent to the Central Institute for the Deaf.
Walk over to Clayton Avenue, turn left, walk downhill to the pass under Kingshighway, and you are wandering the wonderful relatively uninterrupted acres of America’s Premier Urban park. Enjoy!