World’s Fair Pavilion

Forest Park, Saint Louis, Missouri

“…the rich and poor, the merchant and mechanic, the professional man and the day laborer, each with his family and lunch basket, can come and enjoy his own…all without stint or hindrance…and there will be no notice put up to ‘Keep off the grass.”

Remarks from Forest Park founders at the park’s dedication in 1876


The World’s Fair Pavilion was built in Forest Park in 1909 with proceeds from the 1904 World’s Fair. By the 1990’s the structure was suffering from decades of use and exposure. Forest Park Forever, a private nonprofit conservancy, raised $1.1 million to restore the beloved pavilion and increase its practical value.


Cohen Hilberry provided historic documentation, design and construction drawings and construction administration services for this project, which the Landmarks Association of Saint Louis gave their yearly “Most Enhanced Landmark” award. The approach to the pavilion was re-graded to provide a fully accessible transition between the interior and adjacent open areas. To preserve the historic structure, the eastern archways of the building were removed (thereby opening the building to its original state). Large sections of deteriorating plaster were replaced, and new lighting and power were installed. The twin towers of the building were dismantled and reconstructed. The tile roofing was reproduced and replaced, while new work included a pair of accessible restrooms and a catering kitchen.

By Numbers

1909 year of construction

1998 year of renovation

$1.1 million budget

Project type

Historic Preservation and Renovation.

Link to Forest Park Forever website

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1998 Landmarks Association “Most Enhanced”

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