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The City of Creve Coeur invites the community to attend the rededication of Dr. H. Phillip Venable Memorial Park on Saturday, September 18, 2021. The community celebration will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the park, located at 10630 Country View Drive.
Master of Ceremonies Kelly Jackson of KSDK news will open the event, followed by a welcome from Mayor Robert Hoffman. Guest speakers will take the stage to share their reflections on Dr. Venable’s life and contributions to the community, including Dr. Will Ross, Professor of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, and members of Dr. Venable’s family, including nieces Rossalind Yvonne Venable Woodhouse and Victoria Cheryl Venable Fletcher and nephew Allen Wade Wright Venable.
Mayor Hoffman will commemorate the rededication of the park in recognition of Dr. Venable, joined by former Mayor Barry Glantz. The event will conclude with a storytelling performance by three-time Emmy Award Winner Bobby Norfolk.
Public parking will be available at Spoede Elementary School at 425 N. Spoede Road, and shuttle service will be provided between Spoede Elementary and the park. Please note that public parking will not be available at the park.
The rededication and community celebration was planned with guidance from the Venable family and the Venable Park Task Force, established in 2020 to provide recommendations to the City Council regarding the rededication event and future memorial to be incorporated into the park.
Dr. H. Phillip Venable served as chief of the ophthalmology department at Homer G. Phillips Hospital, which had been the only hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, for African Americans. In the late 1950s, Dr. Venable became the first African American to join the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine, as well as the faculty of St. Louis University School of Medicine.
The City originally acquired land for the park from Dr. Venable by the power of eminent domain in the late 1950s through an effort led by people seeking to exclude the Venables due to their race. In 2019, the City Council renamed the park as Dr. H. Phillip Venable Memorial Park, acknowledging and apologizing for the abhorrent actions of their predecessors.
To learn more about Dr. Venable or to make a donation, please visit www.crevecoeurmo.gov/VenablePark..