With a population of 27,540, Kirkwood is a medium-sized western suburb of Saint Louis, Missouri. Established in 1853, it was the first planned residential commuter suburb west of the Mississippi, and has deep ties to its railroad.
In fact, it was named after James Pugh Kirkwood, the engineer in charge of the railroad. Even today, you can see evidence of this past in the beautiful and historic Kirkwood Train Station in the heart of the city, which still operates today.
Living in Kirkwood
Because Kirkwood is a historic area, it has a lot of charm to offer. There are tons of parks in the area that are great for kids and adults, with playgrounds and recreational facilities. Excellent public schools, affordable housing, and great nightlife are part of the area’s dense suburban feel.
The downtown area also boasts plenty of interesting shops and restaurants. Especially if you’ve got kids, you won’t want to ignore The Magic House, a famous — and famously fantastical — children’s museum. It’s just one of the many institutions that make Kirkwood such a unique place to live.
Local Communities in Kirkwood
Kirkwood has plenty to offer in the way of attractions, like the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod International Center, an impressive feat of architecture you won’t want to miss. But what else is there to do in the area?
- Malls and plazas. Kirkwood Commons, The Galleria, West County Shopping Centre.
- Big Box Stores. Walmart, Target, Lowes.
You’ll find plenty of delicious chain restaurants around, but if you’re looking to keep it local you’ve got some exciting options as well.
- Oberweis. The regional king of classic ice cream.
- Joey B’s. This Italian-style bar and grill is a perfect spot for casual dining.
- Raccanelli’s. Technically a chain, this New York Style-pizza joint still serves up incredible slices.
- Spencer’s Grill. This iconic local diner never misses.
The Kirkwood School District is consistently ranked #2 in the state of Missouri, and comprises a number of elementary and high schools.
- Pre-schools and day-care centers. Lab School, Kirkwood KinderCare, Eloit Chapel School.
- Elementary schools. Tillman Elementary, Westchester Elementary, Keysor Elementary.
- Middle and Junior High Schools. Nipher Middle, North Kirkwood Middle.
- High Schools. Kirkwood Senior High School, Chaminade College Preparatory, St. John Vianney High School.
Nearby cities and towns
While Kirkwood has plenty of its own charm, it’s also surrounded by several other fascinating cities and towns, including Des Peres, Ballwin, Webster Groves, Ladue, Frontenac.
What someone should know when deciding to move to Kirkwood
Kirkwood is an excellent place to raise a family — it’s extremely safe and boasts the #2 ranked school district in the state. Plus it’s vibrant downtown area is always playing host to new attractions and events, like a regular fresh Farmers Market.
Apartments and condos in the area
- Parkside Place. This walkable complex offers pretty brick buildings and elegant landscaping.
- Kirkwood Bluffs Apartments. Located on the former site of a historic resort above the Meramec River, these apartments offer a uniquely secluded atmosphere.
- Kirkwood Station Plaza Loft Condominiums. With a central location and modern accommodations, these condos are hard to beat.
- Greenbriar Condominiums. With a clubhouse, pool, and fitness center, this living community offers an abundance of entertainment.
- Dee Koestering Park. Featuring walking trails and the historic Meramec Highlands Quarry, this park is truly a unique experience.
Attractions and landmarks
- Downtown Kirkwood Business District. The bustling downtown district features plenty of unique stores and restaurants to explore.
- Frank Lloyd Wright House. The Kraus House, built for a local couple in 1952, is one of the famous architect’s unique constructions.
- Laumeier Sculpture Park. This outdoor museum boasts stunning landscapes filled with massive contemporary sculptures.
- Museum of Transportation. If the town’s railroad history has you inspired, consider checking out the National Museum of Transportation in nearby St. Louis.
Notable parks, trails, and recreation areas
- Powder Valley Conservation. More than 100 acres of oak hickory forest make this educational nature center a gorgeous retreat.
- Kirkwood Park. Recreational centers abound at this manmade park covering nearly 100 acres of prime green space.
You’ve probably got a lot of questions about living in Kirkwood, so we’ve brought together a few answers to some commonly asked questions about the area.
Is Kirkwood, MO a safe place to live?
The short answer is absolutely yes. In fact, Kirkwood regularly ranks in the top five safest cities to live in Missouri, with a crime rate five times lower than the state average.
What is Kirkwood known for?
Besides being a wonderful place to live, Kirkwood is probably best known for its historic train station. Located in its vibrant downtown area, the station has been embraced by the town, which has a rich railroad history.
Is it expensive to live in Kirkwood, MO?
While the cost of living is around 18% in Kirkwood than the Missouri average, it’s only 6% higher than the national average. Most of the added cost of living comes from housing, as Kirkwood’s housing costs are around 33% higher than the national average.