The first pillars of a permanent public art exhibit paying homage to the former Mill Creek Valley neighborhood are rising at CITYPARK thanks to our club’s partnership with Great Rivers Greenway, Harris-Stowe State University, Counterpublic 2023 Civic Art Exhibition and STLMade artist Damon Davis.
Pillars of the Valley is the vision of nationally acclaimed post-disciplinary artist and East St. Louis native Damon Davis, located in CITYPARK’s southwest plaza on Market Street and part of a larger installation along a planned one-mile stretch of the Brickline Greenway. This powerful work honors and recognizes the 20,000 predominantly Black residents who were displaced from the once thriving Mill Creek Valley neighborhood in the name of urban renewal in the 1950s, along with 5,000 homes, businesses, schools and churches. Today, the only surviving building is on the Harris-Stowe State University campus.
With CITYPARK and the stadium district sitting in the footprint of Mill Creek Valley, we want to recognize the hard truths of the past by encouraging our fans and visitors to learn more and experience the history of Mill Creek Valley on matchdays and beyond, including recognizing the contributions of the people who lived there. In addition to Pillars of the Valley, the landscaping matches the plot lines of the buildings that once stood in that very spot, and plaques display the addresses of the former homes.
A reflection of our city’s past, this powerful tribute to Mill Creek Valley will help build connections and drive discussions around a more inclusive future for all of us. We look forward to launching more resources and information about Mill Creek Valley in early 2023, ahead of our inaugural MLS season.