Kirkwood, Missouri

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Kirkwood is an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis, located in St. Louis County, Missouri. As of 2006, the city population was 26,936.[3] Founded in 1853, the city is named for James Pugh Kirkwood, builder of the Pacific Railroad through that town. It was the first planned suburb located west of the Mississippi River.[4][5]



Plans for a new community close to St. Louis began following the St. Louis Fire (1849) and the 1849 cholera outbreak that killed a tenth of the residents of downtown St. Louis. Kirkwood was the first suburban municipality built outside of the Saint Louis City boundaries.

Hiram W. Leffingwell and Richard Smith Elliott bought land 14 miles (23 km) from downtown in 1850 at about the same time James P. Kirkwood was laying out a route for the Pacific Railroad. When the railroad reached the community in 1853, the developers sold lots for the Kirkwood Association. Other Leffingwell developments were to include the construction of Grand Avenue and the establishment of Forest Park.[6]

The original town plat including quarter section blocks and families could be a block estate of 5 acres (20,000 m2). Deed restrictions prohibited industrial development.

The train station of Richardsonian Romanesque style was built in 1893. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), it has become a symbol of the town. It is the only station stop that Amtrak makes in the Missouri metropolitan area outside St. Louis. Among the four other buildings in the city listed on the NRHP is a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Ebsworth Park Foundation.

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