Ruth Porter Mall Park: St. Vincent Greenway

The St. Vincent Greenway passes through Ruth C. Porter Mall Park between Delmar and Etzel in the West End Neighborhood of St. Louis. The park is named for Ruth C. Porter, a tireless activist dedicated to eradicating inequality and discrimination in St. Louis.

About Ruth Porter

A large portion of Ruth Porter’s work was focused on education. She introduced innovative leadership, tutoring programs and a new kindergarten at the Kinloch YMCA. Porter also co-founded the Kinder Cottage–a preschool whose concepts of early education pre-dated Head Start. She also established Community Resources, an organization that worked to integrate the city’s schools–a goal she felt went unrealized nearly a decade after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision.

In addition to education, Ruth Porter was also a tireless advocate for fair housing. Long after the Supreme Court ruled against the use of restrictive covenants that limited access to property based on race, real estate agents and lending institutions continued to practice discrimination in selling houses to Black people. As a founding member of the Greater St. Louis Committee for Freedom of Residence, Porter became its first Executive Director, championing the fight for open housing in a city where redlining and restrictive covenants kept many African American families segregated.

At great personal sacrifice, she dedicated her life to improving the world in which she lived and building bridges between people of every race and class. She left an indelible mark on St. Louis and her home, the West End neighborhood.

Where is Ruth Porter Mall Park?

Ruth Porter Mall Park is on the southern section of  the St. Vincent Greenway that stretches between the Missouri History Museum at Forest Park to Trojan Park in Wellston.  Ruth Porter Park is the linear greenspace that extends from Delmar to Etzel. Plan your visit to the St. Vincent Greenway & Ruth Porter Mall Park here.

Plans are underway to connect the northern and southern sections of the greenway that will create a seven mile continuous greenway between Forest Park, University of Missouri St. Louis Campus and the North Hanley Metrolink. Learn more here.