Franz Park is a neighborhood located in the southern portion of St. Louis City bordered by the neighborhoods of the Hi-Pointe towards the north, Clayton-Tamm at the east, Ellendale near the south and the St. Louis County municipality of Richmond Heights at the west. Covering no more than 0.42 total square miles, Franz Park’s population, as of the 2010 census, is at 2,442 residents. The neighborhood, along with Clayton-Tamm, Hi-Pointe, Cheltenham and the eastern region of Ellendale, is located within the traditionally Irish section of St. Louis City known as Dogtown. It is represented by one Aldermen sitting in the 24th Ward.
Much like other neighborhoods within the Dogtown area, Franz Park expanded in the mid-1880s when clay mining job opportunities hit the region. Many Irish immigrants looked into settling with the area and raise families while working near the mining caves. The late 19th century was a booming period for the fire brick industry and many employees were residents who built homes around the many industrial locations. Further development of railroad systems around the neighborhood helped increase how residents moved into the area. Towards the end of World War II in 1945, many of the mines had closed as the clay mining business dissipated throughout the region.
Although many of the jobs generated by the necessity of fire brick had left, the working class within the area remained strong. Many new subdivisions were built over the old mining sites many houses within these neighborhoods were of a variety of architectural styles. The 1904 World’s Fair brought much attention to the community and population grew within Franz Park and surrounding regions.
Franz Park developed its name from Ehrhardt Franz when his wife, Sophia D. Franz, donated the park to the community in 1915 as a tribute to her husband.
Residents of Franz Park are served by the St. Louis Public School District.
Located within the heart of the neighborhood is the 5.32-acre Franz Park donated to the City in 1915 by Sophia Franz in tribute to her husband Ehrhardt Franz under the prerequisite a children’s playground be built within the land. Ehrhardt was a German immigrant who moved his family to St. Louis in 1871 and established a career as a wholesale merchandiser. The park includes a horseshoe court, soccer field, tennis court and softball fields.
The Franz Park Community Garden also can be found along Manchester Avenue.