Welcome to DutchtownSTL’s home for all things Marquette Park. We’ll keep you up to date on everything happening in the park, at the Marquette Recreation Center, the Field House, and at Thomas Dunn Learning Center.
Located in the northern portion of Dutchtown, Marquette Park sits on 17 acres that straddle Compton Avenue between Osage and Gasconade Streets. It is the largest park in the Greater Dutchtown area. The park was established in 1915 on the site of the former House of Refuge orphanage.
What’s Going On at Marquette Park?
We recently highlighted some of the amazing community-driven activities and developments happening at Marquette Park. We’ve also faced many challenges, which we discuss as well. But progress is being made, and the summer of 2021 has been a great time at Marquette Park. Read our article on the DutchtownSTL Blog.
Marquette Park Facilities and Amenities
Marquette Park Pool
Marquette Park is home to the South Side’s largest outdoor public swimming pool. The pool was refurbished and reopened in the summer of 2015. More recently, Allies of Marquette Park, a group affiliated with DT2 • Downtown Dutchtown, has raised $7,000 for new furniture at the pool. They have also lobbied city officials to remove the barbed wire from the fence around the pool to promote a more welcoming environment.
Soccer at Marquette Park
A full-size soccer field occupies the western portion of the park. On weekends, large groups of players from all corners of the globe take over the field for some informal competition. During the fall, the City Rec League operates soccer programs for neighborhood youth. Allies of Marquette Park are working to develop partnerships to improve the quality of the soccer facilities and promote soccer at Marquette Park.
The Marquette Park Field House
Recently renovated, the historic Marquette Park Field House sits atop a hill on the western side of the park. The Field House can be rented for events by calling the St. Louis Parks Department at (314) 289-5300.
Thomas Dunn Learning Center
Located in the southeast corner of the park at Gasconade and Minnesota, Thomas Dunn Learning Center was established in the park in 1991. Thomas Dunn offers classes and activities for all ages, offering an open art studio, demonstration kitchen, library, and computer labs. You can find classes and events at Thomas Dunn Learning Center here on DutchtownSTL.org.
Marquette Recreation Center
The Marquette Rec Center, on the east side of the park facing Minnesota Avenue, houses an indoor gym with basketball courts, as well as activity rooms and locker room facilities for the pool. Thomas Dunn Learning Center and the South Side Youth Council recently partnered to open The Place, a youth drop-in center located upstairs in the Rec Center.
In addition to all of the offerings featured above, Marquette Park features three tennis courts, a softball diamond, and a large playground. More recreation facilities are in the works. The park also offers plenty of space for relaxation, with benches lining the perimeter and extensive green space across its 17 acres. The hill upon which the Field House sits provides spectacular views of Dutchtown.
Community Events at Marquette Park
Movie Nights at Marquette Park
During the summer, DT2 and other sponsors bring Dutchtown Movie Nights to neighborhood families on a 22-foot inflatable big screen. Neighbors spread out across the hill in front of the Field House to get community resources, grab snacks from food tucks, and take in a family-friendly movie at dark.
For more information on Dutchtown Movie Nights at the park and elsewhere in the neighborhood, visit dutchtownstl.org/movienight.
Common Sound Festival
Dutchtown South Community Corporation hosts the Common Sound Festival in the park every autumn. The festival features music and dance from around the world, along with food and vendors from all over. The annual festival has a block party atmosphere, closing down Compton Avenue through the middle of the park.
Marquette Community Day
Every summer Marquette Community Day hosts an exciting back-to-school event at Marquette Park, offering backpacks, school supplies, haircuts, and more to get South Side kids ready for the new school year. The event also offers plenty of fun, with bounce castles, horse rides, live music, and barbecue. Read all about Marquette Community Day here on our blog.