An old neighborhood just to the Southwest of Downtown St. Louis, Lafayette Square was once among the wealthiest and most fashionable of St. Louis' neighborhoods, its large villas drawing the wealthy out from the downtown center. Lafayette Park, the last remaining of the old French common fields, was named after the Marquis de Lafayette, who visited St. Louis in 1825. After being badly damaged by a tornado in 1896, the neighborhood went into a long decline.
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