Remembering Caroline Loughlin

Photograph by Jennifer Johnston

Photograph by Jennifer Johnston

Forest Park Forever has been saddened to learn of the passing of Emeritus Board Member Caroline Loughlin, who died last week at the age of 72. An obituary published in the Post-Dispatch on Monday can be read here.

Caroline had a remarkable impact on Forest Park and Forest Park Forever, serving as a Founding Board Member of our organization and Chair of the Board from 1990-92. She was also the co-author of Forest Park, the substantial work of history that chronicles the life of the Park from 1870-1976. The book was published in 1986, the same year as our organization’s founding.

In recent days we reached out to some of our Emeritus Board Members, who reflected on Caroline’s life and many contributions to St. Louis, the Park, and Forest Park Forever. Those conversations revealed someone who, earlier than many, was able to see and articulate the need for a master plan for Park renovation — and for a thoughtful process to make that plan happen. While Caroline could have a quiet presence, she was a frequent and effective public speaker on the deterioration of the Park, and how a public-private partnership could make restoration truly possible.

We also spoke with John Karel, Director of Tower Grove Park, who knew Caroline well and kept in contact with her during her more recent life in Cambridge, Mass. John remembers her as an eloquent, intelligent, generous and savvy advocate for urban parks, including Tower Grove Park and Audubon Park in New Orleans, the city where she grew up. Caroline was also deeply knowledgable about Frederick Law Olmsted, even playing a key part in the publication of the ambitious Olmsted Papers Project.

All of us at Forest Park Forever extend our condolences to Caroline Loughlin’s family and friends and share our gratitude for all that she contributed to Forest Park and Forest Park Forever.