1915 - 2003

Stuart M. Mertz

Born in Wayne, Pennsylvania, Mertz studied landscape architecture at Pennsylvania State University where he received a B.S. degree in 1937 and at Cornell University, graduating from the latter in 1938 with a B.L.A. He received the Prix de Rome the following year and spent the next two years traveling throughout Europe and Egypt.  

In 1940 he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he worked as a draftsman and designer in the offices of John Noyes for the fall of 1940. In 1941 he joined Harland Bartholomew & Associates, holding the title of chief designer at the latter from 1942 until 1949. (His tenure was disrupted from 1943 to 1945, when he served in the U.S. Air Force, conducting administrative and photography intelligence work.). His work at Bartholomew was varied from public housing and shopping centers to parks and playgrounds. This work took him throughout the country and Hawaii.

In 1949 Mertz founded his own firm, Stuart M. Mertz & Associates, concentrating on site planning and planting design. Over the following decades, the firm designed numerous public and private spaces in St. Louis and the region, from golf courses and shopping centers to hospital and school grounds. The firm improved upon or drafted the master plans of five neighborhood parks in St. Louis County, including John Allan Love County Park (45 acres), Greensfelder Memorial County Park (1,700 acres), and Sioux Passage Park (188 acres). Between 1955 and 1964, Mertz worked on sixteen city park sites providing varied design services that included renovating portions of historic Lafayette Park, adding playgrounds and ballfields. Later, in 1975, he supervised a Historic American Buildings Survey pioneering documentation of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Mertz lectured at Iowa State College, Texas A&M, Kansas University and Washington University and founded the Missouri Association of Landscape Architects with local landscape architect Robert E. Goetz. Mertz became a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1962. He passed away at his home in Redding, California, on August 4, 2003.