Steinberg Ice Rink is being Reimagined

Thanks to the Steinberg Family back in 1957 St. Louis has the largest ice skating rink in the mid-west the Steinberg Skating Rink at Forest Park. After a trip to Central Park in New York Etta Eiseman Steinberg, then widow of Mark C. Steinberg, decided to go all in donating over half of the construction costs in his name. The Steinbergs have a long history of philanthropic work in St. Louis including Steinberg Hall of Arts and Archeology at Washington University and the Steinberg wing of Barnes-Jewish Hospital. 

In 1986 Forest Park Forever was created. This non-profit collaborates with the City of St. Louis and the Parks and Recreation Department to restore the park's features. It is run from private donations, corporate partners, members and volunteers. It is also how The Steinberg Ice Rink will be getting a new and exciting lift. 

Steinberg Reimagined has been in the works for awhile now but things are about to get moving. The ice rink hosted a Community Open House back in 2022 asking participants to come and have fun roller skating with food, drink and music and to give their opinion on a display showing the preliminary layout for Steinberg Pavillion. Since then thousands have given their input. You still have time to put your two-cents in.  Forest Park Forever has a preliminary draft online to pursue followed by a Phase III survey to fill out. If they could add lighting under the ice that would be pretty neat! 

So far the illustrations show a Steinberg that keeps it’s architectural truth from the 1950’s but now modern and sleek. The flat roof of the ice rink was meant to have been an observation deck and was never really used. Now it will be even more useful as a second floor with a restaurant, bar area and public outdoor terrace. There will also be a community living room open to the public. The takeaway here is that the ice rink will be an area to visit all seasons with the rink itself being a multi-use area in seasons that are not for skating. In summer they will have a splash pad for kids, the same area in the winter will be for warming up by the fire. They are wanting to include more environmentally responsible equipment, a new skate change area, warming room, larger rental space and rentable party rooms. A new rinkside cafe will be helpful for those not wanting to hobble around all over the palace on skates trying to get a snack!

Currently public skating is loads of fun with good crowds and long and late skating hours. They have skating aids for $10 a rental. They offer decent food; you can even grab a salad. Drinks also include alcoholic beverages albeit drinking and skating at the same time may not be the best idea! They run the zamboni regularly for a nice surface and the kids like to watch it. There are skating lessons from November to March or tutors for hire if ice skating is new to you!

Illustration Courtesy of Forest Park Forever

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