An invitation arrived this morning from the family of Ted Koplar:
“We invite the neighborhood to look up to the stars this evening to celebrate the beloved Ted Koplar. Similar to Ted’s life, an astounding display of fireworks (weather permitting) will light up and fill the night sky with bursts of illumination. Ted loved St. Louis and the Central West End he considered his home and family. In Ted Koplar fashion, find what sparks a light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world.”
To expand on Ted Koplar’s enormous imprint on the Central West End, I wanted to highlight a few events that have been held on Maryland Plaza. It was after the original fountain (ca. 1975), which was located in the center of the roadway, was replaced by the spectacular fountain designed by world-renowned WET Design that the expanded promenade became a magnet for neighborhood gatherings.
The photo above shows Ted Koplar, far right, Mayor Lyda Krewson (who was 28th Ward Alderwoman at the time), and Don Roe, St. Louis’ Director of Planning and Urban Design, in a 2014 post when the American Planning Association named the CWE one of 10 Great Places in the Country:Neighborhoods. Other notable events have included Movies on the Plaza, a Voltron appearance (Ted was its creator), the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, below, and the 4th of July Kids Parade.
The photo at top of post shows Ted with Nathan Ambus, a longtime associate who is responsible for keeping everything in top operating order on the Plaza.
For more on Ted Koplar’s life, here is an obituary published in STL Jewish Light.