It’s not the same trolley that Esther Smith would have ridden from 5135 Kensington Avenue to Forest Park, that one is long gone. Actually, so is the Smith’s family home at 5135 Kensington. It was torn down a couple of years ago. The house the boy next door lived in is still standing, however.
The new Forest Park Trolley is a fleet of colorfully decorated MetroBuses that began operating this spring. I was able to get photos of both sides of the trolley’s recently.
The trolleys travel through the entire park making stops at all the places passengers would like to visit. The trolley ticket is good for the entire day for as many stops the passenger wishes to make.
The whimsical characters seen in the windows represent the many park attractions the trolley visits.
On this side of the trolley you can see from front to back … one of the baby elephants from the ZOO … Arthur Ashe from the ARTHUR ASHE TENNIS CENTER … a Native American maiden from the MISSOURI HISTORY MUSEUM … an astronaut from the MACDONALD PLANETARIUM … William Shakespeare from SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK … an opera singing from the MUNICIPAL OPERA which actually does musical shows and seldom an actual opera … and finally LOUIS IX KING OF FRANCE — saint and namesake of the city. The statue showing him triumphant on horse is located at the top of Art Hill overlooking the Grand Basin.
This side of the trolley shows Amelia Earhart who was the subject of dramatic presentation for kids in the auditorium at the MISSOURI HISTORICAL MUSEUM … a giraffe from the ZOO … a golfer from one of the two GOLF COURSES in the park … a couple of kids from the WORLD CLASS CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUND next to the VISITORS’ CENTER which just happens to the original TROLLEY STATION for the 1904 World’s Fair … Andy Warhol from the SAINT LOUIS ART MUSEUM which is the only remaining building built for the 1904 World’s Fair … and T. Rex from the SAINT LOUIS SCIENCE CENTER AND MUSEUM … by the way he’s holding an ICE CREAM CONE which is one of the items which first appeared at the 1904 World’s Fair and went on to become World Famous.
And guess what, that doesn’t cover all of the sites in Forest Park that you should see as a tourist. And it isn’t possible to go through all of them in a single day. But you can drive past all of them on the Forest Park Trolley.
My one quibble about the trolley … if I had been putting the trolley program together, I would added a recording to the bus’ audio system that would go CLANG, CLANG, CLANG at every stop the trolley made.