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St. Joseph of the Future

Updated: Apr 7, 2021

In 1910, the newly formed Ad Club, a predecessor to the current Chamber of Commerce, set their sites on a city beautification project. St. Joseph had just achieved First Class City status the year before, and with its new City Charter in place, bringing visitors to town was on everyone's mind.

They enlisted the expertise of Charles Mulford Robinson, the father of the City Beautiful Movement. He visited St. Joseph, walked its streets, noting points of praise as well as areas which needed improvement.

Robinson noted four main areas of need. At the top of his list was the need for parks, playgrounds and boulevards, or what he called the "Park System." He also noted the desire of the city to find new locations for a Union Passenger Station, a new city hall, and a larger public library. He noted that all the major problems were culminations of many smaller issues.

Robinson also noted, that though St. Joseph was a beautiful city, it had a distinct rubbish problem.

To see more photos of St. Joseph from 1910, and read Charles Mulford Robinson's full report to the Ad Club, visit our Digital Archives!

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