Walnut Park East is a neighborhood located in northern St. Louis City that makes up the “eastern version” of the historic Walnut Park neighborhood territory. Bordered by surrounding neighborhoods of Walnut Park West, Goodfellow Terrace and Mark Twain, Walnut Park East covers nearly 0.67 total square miles of land and has a population, at the time of the 2010 census, of 4,130 residents. It is represented by one Aldermen sitting in the 27th Ward.
Although not much is known in regards to the overall history of Walnut Park and what lead to the eventual separation between Walnut Park East to Walnut Park West, the land that covers the two neighborhoods was originally held by the Spanish and granted to America through land transfers. Some of the most notable names within St. Louis held territory within the region, including Bryan Mullanphy, James L. Clemens and James Jennings. During the 19th century, much of the Walnut Park land and surrounding areas were utilized mainly for agriculture and meadow land for dairy farming.
In 1849, one the region’s largest farmland was held by local cultivator Charles E. Bircher and covered nearly 80 acres to contain a truck garden, pond, pasture and plenty of rural acreage. Forty years later in 1888, residential subdivisions began platting alongside the present-day region of the city of Jennings. Public transportation stretched to the Walnut Park area in 1893 when the Union Depot Railroad Company’s Bellefontaine branch extended out from Florissant Avenue to both Calvary and Grand Avenue.
Residents of Walnut Park East are served by the St. Louis Public School District.
Walnut Park East is home to three parks located within the northern and middle regions of the neighborhood. Covering two acres and opening to the public in 2004, Unity Park is located at the intersection of Riverview Boulevard and Thekla Avenue and contains two monuments serving as tribute to both World War II veterans and children of the neighborhood.
Originally known as Dwight F. Davis Park, a tribute to a progressive civic leader of the same name, the newly renamed Gregory J. Carter Park contains 9.6 acres of parkland, playgrounds, athletic fields for baseball, softball and soccer, multi-purpose courts, spray pools and a basketball court. The neighborhood’s third park Walnut Park opened to the public in 1974 and contains two basketball courts and a two-acre walking trail.
The neighborhood also has one of its own St. Louis Public Library branches in the Walnut Park Branch Library.