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M-179: Fort Belle Fontaine

DATE: ca. 1930s - 1940s

CREATOR: Fort Belle Fontaine

SCOPE: The Fort Belle Fontaine Collection contains blueprints and drawings either made or used by the WPA (Works Project Administration) during its work in developing the site in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

The collection is divided into 8 series, each of which contains material of common subject focus and/or provenance. The series are as follows:

Series 1 Buildings

Series 1 consists of 10 subseries containing blueprints of buildings constructed at Ft. Belle Fontaine.

Series 2 Formal Garden

Series 2 is divided into 8 subseries containing blueprints used in the construction of the Formal Garden located at Fort Belle Fontaine.

Series 3 Masonry

Series 3 is divided into 21 subseries of blueprints for various masonry projects erected at the site.

Series 4 Landscape

Series 4 is divided into 3 subseries containing prints of landscaping projects developed at the Ft. Belle Fontaine site.

Series 5 Drainage

Series 5 consists of 2 subseries of blueprints outlining drainage systems developed during the park's construction.

Series 6 Topographical Maps

Series 6 contains of 1 subseries of topographical data used during preliminary plan for the park's construction.

Series 7 Maps and Plans

Series 7 is divided into 3 subseries of maps and master plans used during Ft. Belle Fontaine's construction.

Series 8 Completion Reports

Series 8 contains 1 subseries showing progress made during the park's development.

EXTENT: 39 boxes, approximately 20 linear feet of materials. An additional document pertaining to the history of the fort is housed in the safe.

HISTORY: This collection was acquired by the library in 1988. Ft. Belle Fontaine originally served as an early military outpost until 1826 when, due to the poor condition of the wooden buildings on the site, the military detachment was relocated to Jefferson Barracks. Today, Fort Belle Fontaine serves as a park in addition to it being the home of the Missouri State Boys Home which has occupied portions of the ground since at least 1904.

ACCESS: This collection is available for on-site use only in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. Some of the material in Special Collection M-179 may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, subject to condition. For collections marked limited access, researchers are advised to contact the library at least three business days in advance of their visit to submit a request to view the physical material.

Copies of the finding aid are available for download:

M-179 Fort Belle Fontaine (.rtf)

M-179 Fort Belle Fontaine (.pdf)

Researchers are advised to call ahead concerning changes in hours due to University intersessions and holidays. The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building.

In observance of security procedures, certain services may not be available shortly before the daily closing time.

Preferred Citation: When citing the material from this collection, the preferred citation is: From the Special Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.