Visitation Park is a St. Louis City neighborhood located in the northern region of the city. Its population, as of the 2010 census, is 960 residents and the neighborhood encompasses no more than 0.15 square miles. Visitation Park is bounded by the St. Louis City neighborhoods of Hamilton Heights to the north, Debalivere Place at the south, Academy to the east and West End towards the west. It is represented by one Alderman in the 26th Ward.
The neighborhood’s history dates back to the 19th century as most of present-day Visitation Park was included the large Cabanne neighborhood which housed land covering present-day Academy and West End. In the 1890s, 10 acres of the land was purchased by the sisters of the religious institution of the Academy of the Visitation, which is where the neighborhoods of Academy and Visitation Park drew inspiration for their names. Their new school was built on portions of this land which remained unoccupied for several years. Excitement leading up to the 1904 World’s Fair led the region to experience a boom period of settlement. Like many areas throughout St. Louis during the time of the Fair, the Academy experienced an abundance of visitors both local and international and many were so impressed they enrolled their daughters almost on the spot!
However, by the 1960s, Cabanne’s large single-family homes made many residents believe the neighborhood was too densely built and suffered from a lack of street parking and green space. Several residents looked for living outside of the neighborhood, followed shortly by the Academy of the Visiation which moved to its present location off Interstate 64. Eventually the Cabanne neighborhood was sold to the City of St. Louis and the nearly 70-year-old structure of the Academy was demolished to give way to the present day Ivory Perry Park, originally known as Visitation Park. With the purchase of the neighborhood, the City of St. Louis also initiated developmental plans for new housing throughout the boundaries of the newly christened Visitation Park throughout the 20th century.
Residents of Visitation Park are served by the St. Louis Public School District.
Originally known as Visitation Park until 1989, Ivory Perry Park covers no more than 0.29 acres of land. The park’s name acts as a tribute to a local civil rights activist Ivory Perry.
With history dating back to 1995, Union Avenue Opera is a local performing arts opera house that has had held three to five major productions a year since its establishment.