ST. LOUIS, MO — Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk visited St. Louis in September to help expanded on a creative space for a unique skatepark in a challenged area. He just posted a short documentary about his foundation’s the project to his Facebook page called, “Turning Corners. A St. Louis Skatepark Project.” The video has some amazing shots of the Gateway City and features vibrant urban revitalization.
Bryan Bedwell is an avid skater and passionate about transforming abandoned places. The documentary starts with him explaining what makes St. Louis so unique. The filmmakers visit an abandoned Catholic Church that he has turned into a place to skateboard in the north of the city. The focus then turns south, to a skate park project that wasn’t quite finished.
Right on the corner of Morganford Road and Osceola Street, the Peter Matthews Memorial Skate Garden is making life a lot easier for those who love to skate. Bedwell should know. He is head of the Kingshighway Vigilante Transitions, a group of skaters who built their first park under the Kingshighway Bridge to avoid street skating. The bridge demolition removed that sanctuary. Now, with the help of Tony Hawk and Mini, the new park is a legal place for skaters to engage in their sport.
In 2013 the nonprofit KHVT opened the first free skate park in the City of St. Louis. The park was built on a vacant lot and has grown to be the centerpiece of the community. In August the park got a $25,000 grant from Mini Cooper and the Tony Hawk Foundation.
They used the funds to expand the park and tonight Tony Hawk came to check it out for himself. Hawk was swarmed by people wanting autographs and selfies. He says these types of skating facilities are what this sport is all about.