Lafayette Park, located just southwest of downtown, is the oldest park in the city of St. Louis. It is square in shape, much like other town squares and urban parks from the early 19th century. The surrounding neighborhood is called Lafayette Square -- development began in the 1850s, but most of what is there today was built in the aftermath of a devastating 1896 tornado.
The neighborhoods south of downtown from Lafayette Square to Soulard and Benton Park are excellent examples of the Victorian-era American city, and are easily some of the most picturesque places in the St. Louis metropolitan area. On my last visit, I photographed most every building that faces Lafayette Park with the exception of two or three buildings on the southern end.