Southwest Garden is a St. Louis City neighborhood located within the city’s southern region. Known for its horse head shape, Southwest Garden covers a total land area of 0.81 square feet and is surrounded by the Missouri Botanical Garden, Tower Grove Park and the neighborhoods of Tower Grove South and Shaw at the west, Clifton Heights at the east, The Hill and Forest Park Southeast at the north and Northhampton at the south. As of the 2010 census, the neighborhood’s population was at 4,885 residents. It is represented by one Aldermen sitting in the 10th Ward.
Southwest Garden’s origins date back to as early as the late 1830s when the major areas west of Kingshighway were filled with an abundance of clay sediments. Although there was a fair amount of clay mines, the “Great Fire” of 1849 and the banning of frame construction catapulted the necessity of the brick industry and present-day Southwest Garden and the Hill became an essential area for work. With the arrival of many immigrants looking for work in the mines, the number of residential regions grew. While many of Italian descent settled within the Hill, the area of present-day Southwest Garden was inhabited by many German immigrants, especially after the foundation of the St. Al’s Historic German Parish in 1892.
In the early 20th century, private developers began building lots surrounding the Botanical Gaden. As the region began accumulating more and more residence, the neighborhood’s name was changed in the late 1970s to the Southwest Garden which lead to the formation of the Southwest Garden Neighborhood Association (SWGNA). The association is in charge of the implementation of safety, home improvement, community and remodeling efforts for the neighborhood.
Two notable areas within Southwest Garden was placed into the National Register of Historic Places in early 2012 with the Reber Place Historic District on Arsenal Street and Shaw’s Garden District along Tower Grove and Shaw Avenue.
Residents of Southwest Garden are served by the St. Louis Public School District.
Located along the upper western portion of the neighborhood, the Kingshighway Branch of the St. Louis Public Library is one of 17 branches in the St. Louis Public Library system and the only one within the Kingshighway and Shaw regions.
Covering 13 and half acres is the Southwest Garden’s only park area of Sublette Park. Opened in 1915, it earned its name as a tribute to brothers William and Solomon Sublette, local fur traders who owned land within the area. The park includes a soccer field, playground for the little ones and plenty of trails.
World’s Fair Donuts is a small mom-&-pop spot known for its donuts and coffee and Park Avenue Coffee’s hill location is found within the neighborhood. Other notable dining and drinking areas include Trophy Room, the Hideaway, Jimmy Mack’s, Amigo Joe’s and the Cunetto House of Pasta.
The Missouri Botanical Garden’s library, Peter H. Raven Library, is located within the Southwest Garden neighborhood and is “vital to the Garden’s mission “to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment, in order to preserve and enrich life.”