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Steward Family Plaza



Thanks to a $1 million gift from The Steward Family Foundation, The Sheldon’s Plaza and Walkway will now be known as Steward Family Plaza! Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Benjamin Gilmartin, Steward Family Plaza will connect The Sheldon with Public Media Commons to the south and Washington Boulevard to the north, and is The Sheldon’s portion of ArtWalk, a pedestrian walkway linking Grand Center institutions together.

Steward Family Plaza will feature a three-story, 240-foot long vertical garden along the west wall of The Sheldon’s Emerson Galleries building. The project’s landscape architect, dLandstudio, Inc., in collaboration with Scott Woodbury, director of Shaw Nature Reserve (part of Missouri Botanical Garden), have designed the sculptural garden to flourish year-round, with native Missouri plants chosen specifically to survive St. Louis’ hot summers and harsh winters. The garden’s structure will be constructed from steel panels, laser-cut in an organic filigree pattern, donated by Kathy and Robert Williams, Jr. of Williams Patent Crusher.

The plaza will also include a new 10-foot tall sculptural sign designed by Cobalt Office in collaboration with Benjamin Gilmartin; a promotional video blade facing Washington Boulevard; bio-retention areas and bio-swales which will divert storm water to irrigate the landscaping, thanks to a Project Clear grant from the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District; and built-in benches and grassy knolls for lounging or resting.

The Plaza will also include named gathering areas, including the Engelhardt Family Terrace made possible by the Engelhardt Family Foundation, trustees Irl and Sue Engelhardt; and the Centene Gallery made possible by a grant from the Centene Charitable Foundation that will feature a loaned sculpture from the Gateway Foundation. The vertical garden also benefited from an Innovation Grant from the Regional Arts Commission and the support of many other generous donors.

Construction of Steward Family Plaza is scheduled to be completed this fall.

S.M. Wilson has been chosen as the general contractor for the project, with the support of local architects Powers Bowersox, DLANDstudio Architecture + Landscape Architecture, COBALT OFFICE, Randy Burkett Lighting Design, and M. Ludvik Engineering.

Click here to watch the plaza construction unfold! Watch a time lapse video of the entire process, or click on the date and time to pull up a calendar to view particular dates and times.

Click here to see our construction photo gallery on Facebook