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A rededication of the Dr. H. Phillip Venable Memorial Park will be held on Saturday, September 18, 2021, in honor of the park’s namesake, Dr. Howard Phillip Venable. This community event will feature an official rededication ceremony as well as educational opportunities to tell the story of Dr. Venable. Previously scheduled for June, this event is now rescheduled for the fall as a safety precaution due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Howard Phillip Venable, an accomplished ophthalmologist, was chief of the ophthalmology department at Homer G. Phillips Hospital, which had been the only hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, for African Americans. In 1956, Dr. Venable and his wife, Katie W. Venable, purchased land in a new development located in Creve Coeur with the desire to build a new home for their family. This home was never to be lived in as his property was taken by eminent domain when the Venables refused to sell it first to their white neighbors and later to the City. The Venables fought a three-year battle in the Missouri courts, all to no avail, and the City later turned that land into a park.
A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available for residents, nonprofits, religious institutions, schools and businesses of any size who are looking to take an active role in honoring Dr. Howard Phillip Venable.
Donations from sponsors will help support the rededication event by funding travel costs for the Venable family, equipment rental and refreshments for the ceremony, and educational activities during the event. Sponsorships are also available to fund the commission and installation of a permanent memorial in honor of Dr. Venable that will be placed in the park at a later date. The memorial will have an educational component that will tell the story of Dr. Venable and educate park visitors of the past injustice. The City will be posting a call for artists to seek out qualified artists.
View the Venable Park Sponsorship Program.
Read more about Dr. Venable and the history of the park.