Natural and Cultural Features of Kansas City, Part 9: Government District and East

Many of the city, county, and federal buildings of Kansas City are east of Main Street and between 11th and 15th Street (Truman Road). This includes the Power & Light District, which is a bar and restaurant area near the T-Mobile Center, a sports arena and entertainment venue. East of the Government District are several other historic sites and parks that are included for convenience, such as The Paseo and a park at 12th and Vine.

East 12th Street, 13th Street, and 14th Street

Chambers Building, 25 East 12th Street at Walnut (N39o5’59” W94o34’57”), dates to 1915. The commercial style structural steel building is 12 stories, with Gothic Revival elements at the terminating story. The building is listed because of its association with Charles A. Smith, 1866-1948, an early Kansas City architect. This is considered his most accomplished design still remaining. It is now the Chambers lofts and includes a restaurant at the street level.

Oppenstein Brothers Memorial Park, 12th and Walnut Streets, Kansas City (N39o6’1” W94o34’55”) is a Jackson County Park with the Star Disk (2008), a public art sculpture inspired by the ancient anaphoric clock. This can be positioned to line up with the current date. The disk shows the positions of stars overhead on that date. On the sidewalks surrounding the Star Disk are 15 life-sized flat bird sculptures representing native migratory birds that pass through Kansas City. These are the house wren, scissor-tailed flycatcher, yellow-billed cuckoo, common goldeneye, peregrine falcon, common snipe, ruby-throated hummingbird, green heron, hooded merganser, barn swallow, northern mockingbird, belted kingfisher, eastern kingbird, whip-poor-will, and rock pigeon. The clock is surrounded with redbud, maple, and golden rain trees. A historic marker memorializes the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association, established 1916. It was the forerunner of the National Restaurant Association which remained in Kansas City until 1927.

Argyle Building, 306 East 12th Street at McGee (N39o6’0” W94o34’46”) dates to 1906. It is a 10-story, U-shaped steel and reinforced concrete building with late Renaissance Revival style. The property type is described as Two-Part Vertical Block. Kansas City reinforced concrete buildings were among the earliest in the nation. This one was designed by architect Louis Curtis (1865-1924), who also designed the Standard Theatre (300 West 12th Street) and Boley Building (1130 Walnut Street). At this period in Kansas City history, the building was used as a medical office building and was exclusively leased to them at its beginning. At the time it opened, it was one of the largest office buildings downtown. The Katz Drug Company was founded based on a street-level store in this building. It went expanded to a chain of 47 stores in 5 states.

Prospect Plaza Park (N39⁰5’59” W94⁰33’9”) is 7 acres bordered by 11th Street, 12th Street, Olive Street, and Prospect Street. There is a playground, basketball court, and soccer field.

Sheffield Park (N39⁰5’55” W94⁰30’6”) is 11 acres on East 12th Street between Ewing Avenue and Winchester Avenue. It extends north to 10th Street. The park is on a hill overlooking the Blue River bottoms. There is a playground, picnic shelter, baseball field, basketball court, and soccer field.

Elmwood Cemetery (N39o5’47” W94o31’32”) is a 43-acre site at 4900 East Truman Road, dating to 1872 and operated by the Elmwood Cemetery Society. The north boundary is 12th Street, the east boundary is Van Brunt Boulevard, and the south boundary is Truman Road. It is the second oldest cemetery in Kansas City, after Union Cemetery, and houses the graves of Kansas City’s prominent early citizens. Many built architecturally distinct markers and vaults. The cemetery was designed by George Kessler, the architect of Kansas City’s parks and boulevards system, as a “rural cemetery.” These were built in response to the growing awareness of public health issues in the 19th century, which resulted in a push to move burial grounds outside of the main city into a rural area. As a rural cemetery, it was landscaped to be an area of peaceful beauty, with a park-like setting. The first rural cemetery was Mount Auburn, Boston, built in 1832. A variety of trees native to Kansas City were present on site at construction and remain. The southwest corner of the cemetery had a Jewish section, which today includes 2,000 graves. Structures on site include the public vault and crematorium (1897), entrance gate and fence (1900), Kirkland B. Armour Chapel (1904), the cemetery office (1925), and the Waldo Vault (1892).

Inter-State Building, 417 East 13th Street at Locust (N39o5’54” W94o34’40”), dates to 1915. The six-story reinforced concrete building is considered a textbook example of Chicago style curtain-wall construction and has Sullivanesque ornamentation. When the building first opened, a tenant was the Interstate Commerce Commission, and it is believed that is how the building received its name. Over the years it had a large number of tenants. It is currently (2021) the Holiday Inn Express.

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 1307 Holmes Street (N39o5’53” W94o34’29”), dates to 1887, and is considered an excellent example of Late Gothic Revival style architecture. The altar decorations, which date to 1887, were created in an endolithic process. This involved infusing color through marble by applying heat.  This is the most important altar made utilizing the endolithic process, which was lost when manufacturing techniques and formulas were destroyed by competing craftsmen.

Freeway Park (N39⁰5’46” W94⁰32’36”) is 2 acres on East 14th Street at Indiana Avenue. It is gated and now being used as a community garden.

Parks and Boulevards Historic District

Benton Boulevard between Gladstone Boulevard/St. John Avenue and Linwood Boulevard (2.9 miles) is part of the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District and was part of the original George Kessler 1906 Park and Boulevard system plan. The Grove Park (N39⁰5’38” W94⁰32’49”) is 11 acres on Benton Blvd at Truman Road. It includes a picnic shelter, playground, pool, baseball, and basketball facilities. It was part of the original George Kessler 1906 Park and Boulevard system plan. The park is bordered by Truman Road on the north, Benton Boulevard on the West, and Benton Plaza, a street on the south and east sides. Benton Plaza, a street on the south side of The Grove Park, is part of the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District.

The Paseo between Independence Boulevard and 18th Street (1.1 miles) is part of the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District. It was part of the original George Kessler 1906 Parks and Boulevard System plan and is the oldest, longest, and most prominent of the original boulevards. The Reverend John Wesley Williams Statue is at Paseo and Truman Road, commemorating a religious and civil rights leader of the 20th century. Contributing features to the historic district are:

  • The Pergola and the walkway to the Pergola between 10th and 11th Streets (N39o6’4” W94o33’49”), dating to 1900.
  • Central Walkway between 11th and 12th Streets (N39o6’0” W94o33’49”). The area was designated as the Black Veterans Memorial in 2010. According to a sign on 11th Street, “the plaza is dedicated to honor Black Americans who have served and are serving America with unsung distinction in our quest for freedom and peace around the world.” Roses and swamp white oak trees line the walkway.
  • Twelfth Street Terrace (N39o5’58” W94o33’50”), dating to the 1890s and the William T. Fitzsimons Memorial Fountain, dating to 1922. The inscription states that “This fountain is erected in memory of William T. Fitzsimons, 1st Medical Corp., U.S.A., killed in France Sept. 1917, the first American officer to give his life in the Great World War for liberty”
  • Oval concrete pedestrian walkway between 12th and 13th Streets (N39o5’55” W94o33’50”) contains a Spanish cannon facing south from 12th and Paseo, engraved with the mark of the royal arsenal at Seville, “Sevilla 24 de Abril de 1856, Sancho el Bravo.” It also has the royal cipher of Queen Isabel II. It was captured at Santiago, Cuba, in 1898 during the Spanish-American War. The armaments captured were distributed to the various states. This one arrived in Kansas City and was dedicated at this site in 1899. This is one of the few that was not melted down during scrap metal drives that took place during World War II.

Other features along the Paseo between 11th and 15th Streets are:

  • Virginia Apartments, 1100 Paseo (N39o6’1’ W94o33’52”), date to 1911. The four-story building exhibiting Beaux Arts Classicism is considered an example of apartment development at the north end of the Paseo.
  • McMahon Apartments, 1106 Paseo (N39o6’1” W94o33’52”), date to 1913. The three-story building with a prominent front porch extending the full height and width of the building exhibits Beau Arts Classicism and is considered an example of apartment development at the north end of the Paseo. It is vacant (2021).
  • New England Apartments, 1116 Paseo (N39o6’1” W94o33’52”), date to 1905. The four-story building with twin, full-height brick porches exhibits Beaux Arts Classicism and Prairie School influences. It is considered an example of apartment development at the north end of the Paseo. The building is vacant (2021).
  • Circle Apartments, 1200 Paseo (N39o5’57” W94o33’53”), date to 1902. The four-story building exhibiting Beaux Arts Classicism was built on a crescent design that curves around the corner. There are two full-height porches. It is representative of apartment development at the north end of the Paseo. The building is vacant (2021).
  • Goin’ to Kansas City Plaza (Paseo Green Park) (N39⁰5’59” W94⁰33’46”) is 5 acres on Paseo at East 12th The plaza is shaped like a grand piano, symbolic of Kansas City’s 12th and Vine entertainment center which fell victim to urban renewal in the 1970s. The 1952 song, Goin’ to Kansas City, was recorded by Wilbert Harrison, Little Richard, the Beatles, and James Brown. It was designated as Kansas City’s official song in 2005. The park commemorates 12th Street, from Quality Hill to Vine, as the entertainment center of Kansas City. In addition to clubs and entertainment venues, the street housed Truman’s men’s clothing shop in the 1920s, hotels, and theaters (Standard Theater, 300 West 12th Street, is still extant). In the clubs east of Troost, both Black and white patrons freely mixed. At 12th and Vine, the Lonestar, Orchid Room, Castle Theater, Jockey Club, and Boulevard Room were famous venues and hosted Red Foxx, Billie Holiday, and the Ravens. To the west toward downtown were the Reno Club, Sunset Club, Green Leaf Gardens, and Bar-Lu-Duc, which hosted Charlie Parker.
  • Maine Apartments, 1300 Paseo (N39o5’52” W94o33’53”), date to 1901. The three-story building exhibiting Beaux Arts Classicism contains a full-height front porch. It is representative of apartment development at the north end of the Paseo. The building is vacant (2021).
  • Missouri Apartments, 1304 Paseo (N39o5’52” W94o33’53”), date to 1901. The three-story building exhibiting Beaux Arts Classicism contains a full-height front porch. It is representative of apartment development at the north end of the Paseo. The building is vacant (2021).

Walnut, Grand, and McGee Streets

Mercantile Bank and Trust Building (Wall Street Tower), 1101 Walnut Street (N39o6’3” W94o34’54”), dates to 1973. The 20-story building expresses Modern Movement architecture. It is considered Mesian in style with spare rectilinear sections. But the most dramatic part of the building is building is an enormous structural “space transfer” truss which forms the three-story bottom of the tower. The truss tapers at the bottom and transfers the weight of the tower into columns and the three-story base. This tapered feature makes the structure distinctive and unique in Kansas City. A retail plaza is sunken below the street level. The building earned the 1976 Distinguished Building Award from the American Institute of Architects, Chicago Chapter. The lower level houses The Clubhouse Experience restaurant.

Boley Building, 1130 Walnut Street (N39o6’0” W94o34’57”), is a six-story building dating to 1909. Known as the coolest office in Kansas City, it features the first-ever use of a metal-and-glass curtain wall and rolled steel columns. It is an example of Chicago-style design. It anticipated the next curtain wall building, the Halladie Building in San Francisco, by 10 years and other similar 1950s-era buildings by 40 years. Today it is occupied by Andrews McMeel Universal, an independent global media company, and serves as the company’s headquarters.

Jenkins Music Company Building, 1217 Walnut Street (N39o5’58” W94o34’54”), includes a six-story wing which dates to 1911 and an eight-story addition dating to 1931. The building is considered to have Late Gothic Revival and Art Deco design elements. Jenkins was the largest manufacturer of guitars and mandolins in the country and one of the most distinguished publishers of sheet music in the country. It operated until 1973 when sold. The building is currently loft space.

Professional Building, 1101 Grand Boulevard (N39o6’3” W94o34’50”), dates to 1929. The 16-story structure was the earliest example of the Modernistic style in Kansas City. Others that followed were City Hall, Jackson County Courthouse, Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City Power & Light Building, and Bryant Building. It was designed as a medical building for the use of doctors and dentists. The façade is Art Deco. It is today the Professional Building Lofts.

Bryant Building, 1102 Grand Boulevard (N39o6’3” W94o34’52”), dates to 1930. The 26-story, Art Deco style building is considered an adaptation of Eliel Saarinen’s 1922 Chicago Tribune Tower design. It contains highly stylized geometric brass grilles at the walls of the entrance. Window and door enframements have grape leaf and geometric relief on the brass. Plaster friezes have a sunflower motif. The building is named after John A. Bryant, a doctor in early Kansas City. The land where the building was built was owned by his heirs when the building was constructed. Today it is occupied by Netrality Data Centers.

Gate City National Bank Building, 1111 Grand Boulevard (N39o6’2” W94o34’50”), dates to 1920. The 6-story, Neo-Classical style building includes classical and modern features, including terra cotta ornamentation. The structure is now the Ambassador Hotel, an Autograph Collection Hotel.

Trader’s National Bank Building, 1125 Grand Boulevard (N39o6’0” W94o34’50”), is a 21-story Modern Movement Office Tower. The parking garage dates to 1956 and the office tower to 1962. This was the first commercial high-rise in Kansas City to express Modern Movement design. The reinforced concrete roof and the curtain wall set a new record in Kansas City for their height. It is now The Grand luxury apartments.

Palace Clothing Company Building, 1126 Grand Boulevard (N39o6’1” W94o34’52”), dates to 1924. The seven-story building is richly ornamented in terra cotta and tapestry brick. It is considered the most impressive example of Chicago-style architecture in Kansas City. Palace Clothing, which sold men’s clothing, became the largest clothing store of its kind in the West. It closed in 1964. The building is currently vacant (2021).

Bonfils Building, 1200 Grand Boulevard (N39o5’59” W94o34’53”), dates to 1925. The two-story Venetian Renaissance Revival Building was constructed during an eclectic period of terra cotta construction. It was built as a speculative building by Frederick Bonfils, an owner of the Denver Post, which became one of the largest newspapers in the U.S. He also owned the Kansas City Post (1909-1922), which was tied to the Pendergast political machine. From 1940 to 1983, the building housed the Wonderland Arcade.

Rosemann and Associates, P.C., occupies the 1524 Grand Avenue Building (N39o5’42” W94o34’53”), which dates to 1928. The consulting architecture company notes that this was the first downtown renovation to achieve LEED certification. There is a green roof. The two-story, reinforced concrete, commercial building has a terra cotta façade. It was listed as a pristine example of a terra cotta-clad two-part commercial block building type. The building has Neoclassical design elements. During its life, the building housed vending machine, liquor store, and the Automotive Trades Association. The longest tenant was Central Card Company, 1966 to 2003.

Louis Curtis Studio Building, 1118 McGee Street (N39o6’1” W94o34’48”), dates to 1908. The three-story commercial building was built by Louis Curtiss, an early modern architect who lived in the building and was the owner. Curtis included reinforced concrete and glass curtain wall architecture. The building is vacant (2021). His best-known design is the NRHP-listed Boley Building on Walnut Street. Other buildings designed by Curtis are houses on 55th Street and Roanoke Drive in Kansas City, buildings in the Quality Hill and Westheight Manor Historic Districts, buildings in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, and railroad depots across the West.

Natural and Cultural Features of Kansas City, Part 8: Convention Center and Quality Hill areas

For the purposes of this post, the convention center area is roughly bordered by Broadway, 11th Street, 15th Street, and Main Street in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The Quality Hill area is to the west of Broadway and the bluff, between 11th and 15th Streets. The properties described are on the National Register of Historic Places or are city park lands.

Convention Center Area

Aladdin Hotel, 1213 Wyandotte Street (N39o5’58” W94o35’7”), is an Italian Romanesque Style building and dates to 1925.

Continental Hotel, 106 West 11th Street at Baltimore (N39o6’4” W94o35’5”), is an 18-story building constructed in the Late Gothic Revival style and dates to 1924. It was originally constructed as the Kansas City Athletic Club and is currently vacant (2021).

Fairfax Building (Brookfield Building), 101 West 11th Street at Baltimore (N39o6’3” W94o35’5”), is a 12-story Art Deco building that dates to 1930. It is named after the Fairfax Airport, located in today’s Kansas City, Kansas. The building served for decades as a transportation company hub, with railroad and airline ticket offices and the offices of major railroad companies. Today it is the Hotel Indigo (floors 1-9) and the Fairfax Lofts (floors 10-12).

Kansas City Club Building, 1228 Baltimore Avenue (N39o5’56” W94o35’5”), dates to 1918. It operates as the Hotel Kansas City, a Hyatt Hotel. The 14-story, Late Gothic Revival building includes terra cotta embellishments. It housed the premier social club of Kansas City, established as a gentlemen’s club in 1882 by 42 co-founders. Meetings of the club began at the Coates House (1005 Broadway). The club was a meeting place for the wealthy in the Kansas City area. It eventually became large enough and financially able to construct its own building. The original building contained a bowling alley in the basement. Other floors included dining rooms, library, dormitories, pool, gymnasium, Turkish baths, and handball courts. Harry Truman was invited to play poker at the hotel; but did not become a member until he was President, when he was given an honorary membership.

Kansas City Power and Light Company Building, 1330 Baltimore Avenue at 14th Street (N39o5’51” W94o35’5”), dates to 1931. It was built for the offices of Kansas City’s major electric utility, which occupied the building until 1991. The 36-story building is considered one of the best examples of Art Deco architecture in the U.S. It is capped by a spectacular six-story illuminated tower. This made it the tallest building west of the Mississippi River from 1931 until 1962, when the Seattle Space Needle was completed. Display windows on 14th and Baltimore Streets showcased new electronic appliances. An interior auditorium featured demonstrations of electricity and how appliances could improve lives. A dramatic sunburst design, symbolizing the power of light and energy, is above the east façade entrance. Variations of the sunburst reappear elsewhere in the building.  Today it has been redeveloped as the Power & Light KC Apartments, which feature a rooftop pool. The Grand Hall at Power & Light is an event space that also operates in the building.

Kansas City Southern Railway Building, 114 West 11th Street at Wyandotte (N39o6’4” W94o35’7”), dates to 1913. The 8-story, commercial-style building was used by the company from 1914 to 2002 and is significant in transportation history. Kansas City Southern was a most successful hometown railroad that began with a 40-mile line between Argentine and Independence, connecting all major railroads in town and supplying switching to packing houses, grain elevators, mills, and the stockyards. The railroad began expansions in 1891, constructing track from Kansas City to Hume, Missouri, then Pittsburg, Kansas, and Joplin, Missouri. Through mergers, the rail lines were extended to the south. To finance further expansions, stock was sold in Holland, and towns along the rail line extension were named after investors. This includes DeQueen, Arkansas; Mena, Arkansas; Vandervoort, Arkansas, Bloomberg, Texas; Hornbeck and DeRidder, Louisiana; Amsterdam, Missouri; and Nederland, Texas. The railroad founded Port Arthur, Texas. The railroad line crosses the Mexican border at Laredo and continues south to Michoacan, Veracruz, and Mexico City. The railroad became profitable based on oil and timber transportation. A notable local construction feature is the 100-foot-high railroad viaduct on 63rd Street in Kansas City. In 2021, the company was sold to a Canadian railroad company.

Loew’s Midland Theater, 1232 Main Street (N39o5’56” W94o35’0”) and Midland Building, 1221 Baltimore Avenue (N39o5’56” W94o35’3”), dates to 1927, and was the third largest movie theater in the U.S. at the time of its opening, with 4,000 seats. It was built as an opulent and flamboyant movie palace. It was the first theater with a cantilevered loge, a mezzanine-level seating area. It was also the first complete cooling, heating, and ventilation system of any theater in the U.S. The orchestra platform was elevating, a novelty for Kansas City. Opening night on October 28, 1927, was the cultural event of the year. The Second Renaissance Revival Style building has Second Empire and Commercial style elements. The movie theater is 6 stories and the office building is 12 stories. It is currently the Arvest Bank Theater, used for music, movies, plays, and live events.

Lowe and Campbell Sporting Goods Building, 1509 Baltimore Avenue south of Truman Road (N39o5’44” W94o35’3”), dates to 1925. The six-story, Classical Revival style building used the first floor for retail, the second floors for offices, and floors 3-6 for manufacturing and warehousing. The company was founded in 1912 by George Lowe and D. Keedy Campbell. The company merged with Wilson Sporting Goods in 1931 and continued to operate in this building until 1961, when it moved to 66th and Troost. The sporting goods industry derived many of its products from the meatpacking industry. Hides were used for balls and entrails were used for tennis rackets. Wilson became the largest producer and distributor of athletic goods in the United States, emphasizing golf, tennis, football, basketball, and baseball. Currently the building is vacant but the rooftop is being used for an event space (2021).

Mainstreet Theatre, 1400 Main Street (N39o5’49” W94o35’1”), dates to 1921 and the golden age of grand movie palaces. It was a Junior Orpheum Theater, which catered to the working class. The Chicago architectural firm of Rapp and Rapp designed the theater, and as the largest of all Junior Orpheum theaters built by the firm, it is considered the most significant expression of the firm, which designed 400 theaters in the U.S. In addition to movies, the 3,250-seat venue presented vaudeville (variety) shows and traveling shows. A Byzantine dome covered with golden tile towers over the entrance at 14th and Main. The building is vacant (2021).

Hotel Muehlebach, 1200 Baltimore Street (N39o6’0” W94o35’5”), is a 12-story Beaux Arts style building which dates to 1914 and is operated as part of the Marriott Hotel. The Presidential Suite at the hotel served as Truman headquarters during his Vice Presidential and Presidential Campaigns from 1944 to 1953. It is operated as part of the Kansas City Marriott Downtown hotel.

New Yorker Inn (Hotel Bray), 1114 Baltimore (N39o6’1” W94o35’5”), is a 9-story Jacobethan-style building dating to 1915. The tall and narrow building houses a coffee shop on the ground floor and the New Yorker Suites in the rest of the hotel.

Phillips Hotel, 106 West 12th Street at Baltimore (N39o6’0” W94o35’5”), is a 20-story Art Deco and Jacobethan-style structure dating to 1929. It is operated as a hotel of the Curio Collection by Hilton and houses the Tavernonna Italian Kitchen.

President Hotel, 1327 Baltimore Avenue at 14th Street (N39o5’51” W94o35’3”), is a 15-story building constructed with Jacobethan elements and dates to 1925. The Drum Room Cocktail Lounge has operated since 1924. It is part of the Hilton Hotel chain. A Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission Historical Marker faces 14th Street.

Standard Theatre, now the Folly Theatre, 300 West 12th Street at Central (N39o6’1” W94o35’14”), dates to 1900. The Neo-Renaissance style building has a Palladian motif with arch windows. It is the oldest and most important Kansas City area theatre and has been a hub of activity in Kansas City theatrical circles for years. When it opened in 1900, the fare was burlesque comedy and vaudeville, opera, and comic opera. Saturday evenings featured prize fights and wrestling. After 1923, traditional plays of Eugene O’Neill and Shakespeare were presented, but the theatre closed during the Depression. It reopened in 1941 with striptease shows.  The Folly Theatre now features jazz, concerts, and dance.

West 11th Street Historic District consists of three buildings at the corner of West 11th Street and Central Street (N W). At the time of construction, the architects collaborated in design of the three buildings to make a unique classical architectural look. The American Hereford Cattle Breeders Association, 300 West 11th Street, is a three-story, Neo-Classical Revival Building, constructed in 1919. Today it is occupied by the Financial Holding Corporation. Ararat Shrine Temple, 222 West 11th Street, was constructed in the Neo-Classical Revival style in 1926. There are five arched openings on the ground floor. Today it is occupied by the Kirk Family YMCA. The W.R. Pickering Lumber Company Building, 301 West 11th Street, is a Second Renaissance Revival style building constructed in 1925. Pickering was an early 20th century lumber company that operated sawmills in Louisiana, Texas, and California. In Louisiana, the company owned more than 70,000 acres in Vernon Parish and operated mills in Pickering, Cravens, and Barham. In Texas, the company owned 120,000 acres in Sabine, San Augustine, and Shelby Counties, and operated a mill in Haslam, near the Texas-Louisiana state line. The company operated in Louisiana and Texas until 1930 when it exhausted its timber supply. Over 73,000 acres of the Texas property was incorporated into the Sabine National Forest. In California, the company operated a mill in Standard, California, near Sonora, in Tuolumne County. The company stopped operating in California in 1931. However, in the late 1930s, the company was resurrected as Pickering Lumber Company and continued operating its California mill until 1963. The Standard mill is now owned and operated by Sierra Pacific Lumber Company. Part of the company’s landholdings was sold to the state of California in 1953 for incorporation into Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Today the building is used by Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company.

Quality Hill Historic District

Quality Hill Historic District (N39o6’0” W94o35’25”) includes 18 buildings dating from 1856 to 1929, bordered by Broadway, 10th Street, 14th Street, and Jefferson Street. The focal point is Pennsylvania Avenue. Most houses and apartments are brick with stone or terra cotta ornamentation. Quality was another name for Republican, as the district housed Union sympathizers during and after the Civil War. The corner of 12th and Washington in the district was the original site (1860) of St. Teresa’s Academy, which is now located at 5600 Main Street.

Buildings on West 11th Street:

Montague Hotel, 412 West 11th Street, is a four-story, Neo-Romanesque style building, dating to 1889. It is now apartments.

Normandy Apartments, 501 West 11th Street, date to 1928.

LaHoma Hotel, 510 West 11th Street, dates to 1913, and is a Neo-Classic style building.

The Chimes (Quality Hill) Apartments, 511 West 11th Street, are Spanish Colonial Revival style and date to 1927.

Double Townhouse (Endicott Flats/Girls Club Association, 612 West 11th Street, dates to 1889 and is built in the Victorian Eclectic style.

Buildings on West 12th Street:

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 416 West 12th Street, dates to 1882. The ornate Roman Catholic Church is topped with a central spire of 23-karat gold leaf. Design is English Rocco-Romanesque. There has been a Catholic church in this vicinity since 1826. A historic marker describes Reverend Bernard Donnelly, who arrived in 1845 to serve at the church. A historic marker erected by the Choteau Society commemorates the site of St. Francis Regis church, or Choteau’s Church, which served the French community in the West Bottoms from 1799 to 1844. Adjacent to the church was a cemetery. As Kansas City grew, the cemetery was abandoned and some burials were moved to Mount St. Mary cemetery at 23rd and Jackson Streets. In 1986, construction at 11th and Jefferson Street uncovered 16 additional burials that were missed during the first removal.

Surrey Court Apartments, 520 West 12th Street, dates to 1927. It is built in the early Twentieth Century Modern style.

Cordova Hotel, 523 West 12th Street, dates to 1889.

Buildings on West 13th Street:

Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 415 West 13th Street, dates to 1888. It is of Norman Gothic design and is richly embellished with Tiffany windows and a Tiffany rood screen.

Buildings on Jefferson Street:

C.A. Brockett Residence and Carriage House, 1025 Jefferson Street, dates to 1874. It houses the Youth Volunteer Corps.

Duplex at 1213 Jefferson Street dates to 1901. It is considered a “builder’s vernacular” style.

Buildings on Pennsylvania Avenue:

Saxon Flats, 1005 Pennsylvania Avenue, dates to 1900. The three-story building is Georgian Revival style.

David Slater Residence and Carriage House, 1020 Pennsylvania Avenue, dates to 1887. It is a Queen Anne style house.

Major William Warner Residence, 1021 Pennsylvania Avenue (N39o6’6” W94o35’27”), use the rank of the Union officer who owned it as part of the name. It is separately listed on the NRHP and dates to 1880. It is considered the “Builder’s Vernacular” style. Today it is occupied by the Working Families Friend and Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO.

Girls Club Association Dormitory, 1028 Pennsylvania Avenue, dates to 1928. It is a Spanish Colonial Revival style three-story brick building embellished with floriate terra cotta panels.

Isaac F. Guiwits Residence, 1029 Pennsylvania Avenue, dates to 1889. It is considered “Builder’s Vernacular” in style.

Mrs. George N. Blossom Residence, 1032 Pennsylvania Avenue, dates to 1888. It is a Victorian Eclectic style building and considered one of the last grand residences remaining on Quality Hill.

J.G. Conkey and Caroline F. Reeder Residence, 1308 Pennsylvania Avenue, dates to 1886. The Queen Anne style house is currently used by the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation.

Within the historic district, The Riverfront Heritage Trail passes through the Historic District, following Pennsylvania Avenue southbound, then turning west on 14th Street; and Washington Street northbound, turning west on 11th Street.

Mulkey Square Park (N39⁰5’54” W94⁰35’39”) is 9 acres on Summit Street, north of I-670, between I-670, 12th Street, and I-35.  The park is a site on the Riverfront Heritage Trail. A playground and ballfield are in the park. The Hereford Bull Statue in the park was originally at the Hereford Association at 715 Kirk Drive (West 11th Street). When the association moved in 1997, the bull was donated to KC Parks and was relocated to Mulkey Square. The park is part of the original West Terrace Park. West Terrace Park from 7th Street south to 17th Street was part of the George Kessler 1906 Parks and Boulevard System plan.

 

Natural and Cultural Features of Kansas City, Part 7: West Bottoms

West of downtown, in the river floodplain at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, was the early industrial heartland of Kansas City. Following the construction of railroad bridges across the Missouri River, the businesses that established here were most railroad-related, providing manufacturing and warehouse space for goods that were available across the western United States.

Riverfront Heritage Trail is a 15-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail connecting Berkley Riverfront Park of Port KC (N39⁰7’5” W94⁰34’20”), City Market (N39⁰6’35” W94⁰34’57”), Westside (N39⁰5’15” W94⁰35’34”), Huron Park in Kansas City Kansas (N39⁰6’51” W94⁰37’31”), and the West Bottoms (N39⁰6’35” W94⁰36’50”). The trail continues in Kansas City, Kansas, as Jersey Creek Trail from 5th Street (N39⁰7’24” W94⁰37’18”) west to Westheight Park (N39⁰7’24” W94⁰39’41”). The trailhead at 8th Street and Madison Avenue (N39o6’22” W94o35’41”) provides access to the Lewis and Clark Viaduct, which the trail follows across the Kansas River. Exhibits at the trailhead describe the Western U.S. transcontinental rail routes and the role of Kansas City. Kansas City was the beginning of the Kansas-Pacific route via Denver. Competing was the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad route via Albuquerque. Also at the trailhead is the Exodus Family public art exhibit, describing a hypothetical group of slaves crossing the West Bottoms on their way to the free state of Kansas. An electric vehicle charging station completes the trailhead.

Near the trailhead are two buildings on the National Register.

  • Faultless Starch Company Building, 1025 West 8th Street between Madison and Santa Fe Streets in the West Bottoms (N39o6’19” W94o35’44”), dates to 1903. The company still operates at the building today. Faultless Starch Company grew to be one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of dry white starch. The company was helped in its marketing by attaching primers for learning to read to its products in Texas and by hiring Huey P. Long as a salesman in the Southeastern States. This was prior to his more famous career as governor of Louisiana.
  • Sewell Paint and Glass Company Building, 1009 West 8th Street between Santa Fe Street and Madison Avenue in the West Bottoms (N39o6’20” W94o35’43”), dates to 1903. The 5-story brick building with Romanesque Revival features was the home of one of the major manufacturers and distributors of industrial paints, varnishes, and lacquers in the early 20th Today it is the Faultless Event Space.

A spur of the Riverfront Heritage Trail begins at North James Street (N39o6’38” W94o36’52”) and connects to the trail just east of the Lewis and Clark Viaduct. The trail is managed by Kansas City River Trails, Inc. (kcrivertrails.org). The trail passes adjacent to the West Bottoms-North Historic District.

West Bottoms-North Historic District (N39o6’10” W94o36’15”) consists of buildings dating to 1880. The buildings are brick, from one to seven stories. This area became a hub of activity after the completion of the Hannibal Bridge in 1869, which funneled railroad traffic to the floodplain at the junction of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. The district reflects the growth of Kansas City as a manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution center in the late 19th and early 20th century. Kansas City began as a hub for wholesale and warehousing since it was an outfitter for the western trails. It continued in these roles as a railroad hub. The area was devastated by, but recovered from, disastrous floods in 1903 and 1951.

West 9th Street buildings in the historic district:

  • Kemper-Paxton Mercantile Company, 1427 West 9th Street, dating to 1901
  • Abernathy Furniture Company, 1501-1523 West 9th Street, 910-912 Liberty Street, and 915-925 Wyoming Street, dating to between 1880 and 1917, now the West Bottoms Flats

St. Louis Avenue buildings in the historic district:

  • Fire Insurance Patrol No. 2, 1310 St. Louis Avenue, dating to 1890
  • Police Station No. 2, 1312 St. Louis Avenue, dating to 1901
  • Samuel Freeman Livery, 1316 St. Louis Avenue, dating to 1880
  • Seavey and Florsheim, 1317 St. Louis Avenue, dating to 1902
  • Multi-tenant building, 1321 St. Louis Avenue, dating to 1909
  • Bliss Syrup and Preserving Company, 1329 St. Louis Avenue, dating to 1897, now Rangel Distributing
  • Sherwin-Williams Paint Company, 1400 St. Louis Avenue, dating to 1903, now Dynatron Elevator, Inc.
  • Swift and Company, 1401 St. Louis Avenue, dating to 1888
  • 1404 St. Louis Avenue, dating to 1967
  • Security Building, 1405 St. Louis Avenue, dating to 1909, now occupied by Cook Brothers Insulation
  • McManus-Heryer Brokerage, 1408 St. Louis Avenue, dating to 1922
  • Biggs and Koch Company, 1415 St. Louis Avenue, dating to 1885, now occupied by Cook Brothers Insulation
  • Newby Transfer and Storage, 1422 St. Louis Avenue, dating to1900
  • Trumbull and Company, 1426 St. Louis Avenue and 925 Liberty Street, dating to 1899
  • Ryley, Wilson and Company, a Romanesque Revival grocery warehouse, 1502 St. Louis Avenue, dating to 1887
  • Bayles Vehicle Top and Trimming Company, 1522 St. Louis Avenue, dating to 1903, now operating as the Wood Lot
  • Hogue Mercantile Company, 1600 St. Louis Avenue, dating to 1930

Union Avenue buildings in the historic district:

  • G. Peppard Seed Company, 1400 Union Avenue, dating to 1889, now Doc’s Caboose
  • Geiser Manufacturing, 1408 Union Avenue, dating to 1900

Wyoming Street buildings in the historic district:

  • Imperial Casket Company, 920 Wyoming Street, dating to 1928, now TRX Great Lakes
  • Bemis Brothers Bag Company, 921 and 937 Wyoming Street, dating from 1904 and 1920, respectively
  • Dehoney Hay and Grain Company, 938 Wyoming Street, dating to 1913

Other West Bottoms buildings outside the historic district are on 12th Street, Hickory Street, Mulberry Street and Union Avenue.

  • Ridenour-Baker Grocery Company, 933 Mulberry Street, bounded by Mulberry Street, St. Louis Avenue, Santa Fe Street, and Union Avenue in the West Bottoms (N39o6’10” W94o35’56”), is separately listed on the NRHP and is adjacent to the historic district; it dates to 1910. The building was a commercial office and warehouse property and was an early example of reinforced concrete construction. The company was a wholesale distribution business that operated in the West Bottoms beginning in 1858 and continuing until 1936. In addition to wholesaling, the company also manufactured and packaged coffee, spices and peanuts. It sold products under the label FFOG, for First Fruit of the Garden.
  • A. Murdock Manufacturing Company Building, 1225 Union Avenue at Mulberry (N39o6’8” W94o35’58”), dates to 1887. The building is significant for its contribution to the expansion of the railroad freighting industry in Kansas City. The Romanesque Revival building was built for a company that manufactured and distributed coffee, tea, and spices. Due to a sprinkler system, it was the only building in the vicinity to survive a devastating 1918 fire. It operates today as the Murdock Lofts.
  • Perfection Stove Company Building, 1200 Union Avenue at Santa Fe Street (N39o6’10” W94o35’55”), dates to 1919. It is listed on the National Register as an intact example of the commercial distribution office and warehouse associated with the railroad-related historic resources of Kansas City. The Cleveland Metal Products Company built the building as a warehouse and regional distribution center for its line of oil stoves and heaters. Perfection Oil Cook Stove was the company’s signature product. The building is currently vacant. To the east of the Perfection Stove Company building was the site of Union Depot. A historic marker on Union Avenue near Forrester Road describes the train station, which opened in 1878 and connected the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroads. It was the largest building west of New York at the time it opened; it featured a clock tower 125 feet high. Over 180 trains per day arrived. It was nearly destroyed with the 1903 flood; it was replaced in 1914 with present-day Union Station on Pershing Road.
  • Crane Company Building, 1105 Hickory Street in the West Bottoms (N39o6’5” W94o36’4”), dates to 1905. The six-story building is listed because of its association with the railroad freight industry in Kansas City. It was designed by Louis Curtiss. From 1905 to 1951, the building was occupied by the Crane Company as a warehouse, used for storing industrial grade plumbing supplies used in water treatment and the power industry. It also housed valves and fittings for the rail and airline industry. According to an article in Fortune, July 1936, “you can’t run a railroad or build a dam, operate a paper mill or lay a sewer, dig an oil well or heat a hospital, or launch a battleship or even take a shower without using one of the more than 40,000-odd products that are made by Crane Company.” The building is currently occupied by Tekki Web Design, Blue Bands Apparel, Christina Koski Art, and Christ the King Church, an independent Catholic parish.Creamery Package Manufacturing Company Building, 1408 West 12th Street, West Bottoms (N39o6’4” W94o36’7”), dates to 1886. The four-story, Romanesque Revival style building featured spaces for offices, machinery, and warehousing. The building is significant in commerce, related to the Kansas City railroad freight industry. The building was the first branch office for the Chicago-based Creamery Package Manufacturing Company, which occupied the building from 1887 to 1895 and from 1921-1964. The company manufactured containers for dairy products—creameries, cheese factories, milk dealers, ice cream, refrigeration, and egg cases. A fire in 1895 caused the company to leave. It then rented the building to other railroad-related businesses before returning in 1921. In 1964, the company was sold to St. Regis Pulp and Paper Corporation. The building is currently occupied by Fillmore Vintage, selling antique clothing and furniture.

    Albert Marty Building, 1412 West 12th Street, West Bottoms (N39o6’4” W94o36’8”), dates to 1886. The five-story Romanesque Revival style structure was built by a real estate developer and was first occupied by agricultural implement companies. These were the first companies to arrive in the West Bottoms when it became a railroad hub. By 1878, Kansas City dominated the agricultural implement market. From 1914 to 1961, the Gustin-Bacon Manufacturing Company, a supplier to rail and automotive industries, occupied the building. The company produced pipefittings, valves, rubber hosing, and fiberglass including insulation. It was said that every railroad relied on their products in the 1950s. It is currently occupied by an antiques business.

  • Charles Frances Adams Jr. Building, 1311 West 13th Street, West Bottoms (N39o5’58” W94o36’2”), dates to 1894. The 5-story, Commercial Style, Two-Part Vertical Block building is between Hickory and Mulberry Streets. The building served agriculturally related companies as warehouse space and manufacturing. It was adjacent to railroads that could ship goods throughout the West and Southwest. The first occupant was the Buford and George Manufacturing Company, which made the Browne Sulky Plow. This plow was popular because it could be ridden on instead of walking behind a team of horses. The company also manufactured saddles and harnesses and horse-related supplies. In 1903, Buford and George was purchased by John Deere Plow Company, which expanded the business to include a harness factory. In 1907, the John Deere Company spun off the Velie Saddlery Company, and the building was used for saddlery and harness manufacture. Velie discontinued operations in 1913, but other agricultural companies continued in the building until 1964.
  • Central Industrial District/West Bottoms Green Infrastructure Project, Liberty Street at 14th Street south of I-670, includes a boardwalk with native plants, permeable paved multi-event space, and public walking trail.

 

Natural and Cultural Features of Kansas City, Part 6: Garment District and Case Park

The western portion of downtown includes Case Park and the Garment District. Case Park is a National Historic Trail site and it overlooks the West Bottoms. To the east of Case Park is the Quality Hill Center Historic District and the Wholesale Historic District (Garment District).

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

Ermine Case, Jr., Park (N39⁰6’11” W94⁰35’34”) is 2 acres and part of the 31-acre West Terrace Park. The park extends from 7th Street south to 11th Street, west of Pennsylvania Avenue, Jefferson Street, and Summit Street. The traffic circle and overlook at 8th Street and Jefferson Street is known as Clark’s Point. This is one of only a handful of locations along the lower Missouri River that can be documented as a place that Lewis and Clark stood. They climbed this bluff in 1806 on the return journey and noted that it would be a good place to build a fort. They also gathered pawpaw fruits here. In 1804, on the western journey, they saw an immense flock of Carolina parakeets near here. In the center of the traffic circle is the Corps of Discovery statue by Eugene Daub, depicting William Clark, Meriwether Lewis, York, Sacagawea, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau (her baby), and Seaman (Lewis’ dog). The statue contains an inscription, “of courage undaunted and a fidelity to truth,” along with a quote from Thomas Jefferson, “I could have no hesitation in confiding the enterprise to him.” A rock wall at Clark’s point was constructed by the Works Progress Administration in 1941.

Also at Clark’s Point are markers erected by the Chouteau Society, describing the French settlement and heritage of the area. The Missouri River from St. Louis to north of Kansas City was initially mapped by Etienne Veniard, Sieur de Bourgmont, in 1713. He noted the low range of hills on the south side of the river near the confluence with the Kansas River. In 1724, Bourgmont visited a Kansa village site near present-day Fort Leavenworth and also journeyed toward Santa Fe. In 1742, Verendryes explored the Missouri River to near its headwaters in Montana. Fort de Cavagnial (1744 to 1764) was a French trading post at the village of the Kansa. Le Page du Pratz published a 1758 map and narrative which described the river, and Indians told the French of the Great Salt Lake, Bitterroot Mountains, and the Snake and Columbia Rivers. The Kansa later moved to the mouth of the Kansas River, and Francois Choteau set up a trading post, Chez Les Canses, at what was called Kawsmouth. Because news of the Louisiana purchase from France may not have reached throughout the Louisiana territory, Lewis carried a French passport.

At 10th and Jefferson Street within the park is a Choteau Society marker describing Chez Les Canses, or Chouteauville settlement. In 1799, French-speaking traders and farmers moved from the French Colonial area of present-day Illinois to the present-day Kansas City area. One settlement was at Randolph Bluffs, near the Missouri River confluence with Rock Creek (Chouteau Bridge-State Route 210 area) on the north side of the Missouri River, and a second was at French Bottoms, now called the West Bottoms. The West Bottoms settlement was French speaking until at least 1840; and consisted of strip farms on either side of Turkey Creek. The community was served by a French Catholic church of St. Francis Regis near the present-day intersection of 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. The settlement was eradicated by the flood of 1844.

Within Case Park is the James Pendergast Memorial statue, erected in 1913 in Mulkey Square Park and moved later to this location. It is surrounded by picnic tables. The monument was erected by his younger brother, Thomas Pendergast, who ran county politics at the time. It overlooks the West Bottoms, where he operated a saloon and began the Pendergast political machine.

A plaque by the Equal Justice Initiative’s Community Remembrance Project was located in the park until 2020, when it was vandalized. The historic marker memorialized the 1882 lynching of Levi Harrington by a mob of several hundred white people in Kansas City, for the crime of shooting a police officer. The next day another man was arrested for the killing. No one was held accountable for the lynching.

Case Park includes the off-leash West Terrace Dog Park at the north end. Adjacent to the dog park near the corner of 8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue is a sculpture by Stacey Sharpe, called Air Play. Near 10th Street is a playground, including a structure called the Bamboo Jungle. West Terrace Park from 7th Street south to 17th Street was part of the original George Kessler 1906 Parks and Boulevard System plan. Case Park is crossed by the Riverfront Heritage Trail, which enters the park at 9th and Jefferson Streets and leaves at 10th and Summit Streets. The park adjoins the Quality Hill Historic District and Quality Hill Center Historic District.

Riverfront Heritage Trail is a 15-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail connecting Berkley Riverfront Park of Port KC (N39⁰7’5” W94⁰34’20”), City Market (N39⁰6’35” W94⁰34’57”), Westside (N39⁰5’15” W94⁰35’34”), Huron Park in Kansas City Kansas (N39⁰6’51” W94⁰37’31”), and the West Bottoms (N39⁰6’35” W94⁰36’50”). The trail continues in Kansas City, Kansas, as Jersey Creek Trail from 5th Street (N39⁰7’24” W94⁰37’18”) west to Westheight Park (N39⁰7’24” W94⁰39’41”). The trail is managed by Kansas City River Trails, Inc. (kcrivertrails.org). The trail passes through the Wholesale District Historic District and Quality Hill Center Historic District on 9th Street and Quality Hill Historic District on Pennsylvania Avenue and Washington Street. It passes adjacent to the West Bottoms-North Historic District.

Quality Hill Center Historic District

Quality Hill Center Historic District (N39o6’15” W94o35’30”) includes 4 apartment buildings on Jefferson and Pennsylvania Avenues between 8th and 10th Streets, dating to 1951 (817, 905, and 929 Jefferson Street, Quality Hill Towers) and 1958 (910 Pennsylvania Avenue). The apartments are typical of Modern Movement architecture. Three parking lots are considered contributing structures. The apartments were constructed as the first urban renewal project in Kansas City, under urban renewal legislation passed by the state and local government. The district adjoins the Quality Hill Historic District to the south of 10th Street. The Riverfront Heritage Trail passes through the historic district on 9th Street. Adjacent to the Historic District are the separately listed Pennbrooke Apartments, 604 West 10th Street at Pennsylvania Avenue (N39o6’10” W94o35’29”), which date to 1926. By the 1920s, Quality Hill was declining as people were moving out of the area downwind of the packinghouses and railroad yards. Architect Nelle Peters was commissioned to design this three-story, brown brick building for working class and middle-income dwellers as part of an attempt to revitalize the neighborhood. Ermine Case Jr. Park adjoins the historic district to the west.

Garment District

Wholesale District (Garment District) Historic District includes 61 buildings in the vicinity of Broadway Boulevard at 7th and 8th Streets. It was a center of manufacturing for clothing, pharmaceuticals, furniture, printing, and hats between 1874 and 1931. After World War I, Kansas City became a national textile manufacturing center. The upper floors of buildings on Broadway were used for sewing space, with the garment industry centered on 8th and Broadway. Buildings on 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Streets, Bank Street, Broadway Boulevard, Central Street, and May Street are in the historic district.

Buildings that may be observed on 7th Street include McPike Drug Company Building at 306 and 312 West 7th Street (West, 1904; East, 1917). The Kansas City Paper House at 318 West 7th Street is now the West 7th Street Lofts. At 7th Street and May adjacent to the historic district is the Roaster’s Block barking lot, a small off-leash area.

On 8th Street are:

  • Phoenix Hotel, 300 West 8th Street, dating to 1888, a Neo-Romanesque building, operating as the Phoenix Restaurant
  • Exchange Hotel, 301 West 8th Street, dating to 1889
  • Armour and Volker Building, 306 West 8th Street, dating to 1902, a Second Renaissance Revival building now operating as the Soho Lofts
  • Lewis Printing Company, 307 West 8th Street, dating to 1930
  • Burnham-Hanna-Munger Manufacturing Company Building, 313 West 8th Street, dating to 1903, which is a monumental Commercial/Second Renaissance Revival style building, now Lucas Place
  • Bond Shoe Company, 312 West 8th Street at May Street, a Second Renaissance Revival building dating to 1899
  • Noyes-Norman Shoe Company, 412 West 8th Street at Bank Street, dating to 1907
  • Barton Brothers Shoe Company, 423 West 8th Street, dating to 1900
  • Garment District Place (N39⁰6’17” W94⁰35’24”) is a ¾-acre park on West 8th Street between Washington Street and Broadway, within the boundaries of the historic district. The park contains benches, picnic tables, and bicycle rental, along with a grove of honey locust trees. The Needle Sculpture in the park is in memory of the wholesale textile and garment industry that flourished in this area. Just to the south of the park at the corner of Broadway and 8th Street is a branch of the Kansas City Museum, and across Broadway at the corner of 8th Street is the Historic Garment District Museum.

On 9th Street are the building at 408 West 9th Street, an Italianate Building dating to 1889, now the Los Corrals Restaurant; and Easter Brothers Restaurant, 418 West 9th Street, dating to 1901, now the Peanut Downtown Restaurant. At the northeast corner of Broadway at 9th Street is the Descent of Civilization sculpture (Bison Memorial). This serves as a memorial to the great herds of plains buffalo, a reminder of what was compromised in the development of our great nation and is now lost from the landscape, according to Marc Swanson, the artist. The memorial includes a quote from William T. Hornaday, zoologist (1854-1937), “the primary cause of the buffalo’s extermination, and the one which embraced all others, was the descent of civilization, with all its elements of destructiveness, upon the whole of the country inhabited by the animal.” The Riverfront Heritage Trail passes through the district along West 9th Street.

On 10th Street is the Adler Building, 314 West 10th Street, a Neo-Classic Revival building dating to 1908; and the Missouri Interstate Paper Company Building, 412 West 10th Street, dating to 1909.

On Broadway Boulevard are:

  • Montgomery Ward Company Building, 626 Broadway, dating to 1902, now the Mid-America Regional Council offices
  • Reicher and Sons, Robinson and Sons Building, 628 Broadway, dating to 1904, now Mid-Amerida Regional Council offices
  • Maxwell-McClure Notions Company, 704 Broadway, dating to 1900
  • J. Roe Hat Company, 708 Broadway, dating to 1902
  • Faxon, Horton, and Gallagher Company, 712 Broadway, dating to 1903, is a Second Renaissance Revival Style building, now the Popham Law Firm
  • Harvey-Dutton Dry Goods Company, 800 Broadway, dating to 1903, now the Kansas City Museum annex.
  • Burnham-Hanna-Munger Dry Goods Building, 801 Broadway, dating to 1901, which is a monumental Commercial/Second Renaissance Revival style building, now the Historic Garment District Museum
  • Butler Brothers Company, 804 Broadway, dating to 1909, now Butler Brothers Lofts
  • Goldstandt-Powell Hat Company, 806 Broadway, dating to 1902
  • Kansas City, Fort Scott, and Gulf Railroad Building, 816 Broadway, a Victorian Eclectic Style building dating to 1889
  • Gatlin Building, 819 Broadway, a Second Renaissance Revival style building dating to 1910
  • Thayer Building, 820 Broadway, a Victorian Eclectic Style Building dating to 1883, now the Crossroads Preparatory Academy
  • Liebstradter Millinery Company Building, 905 Broadway, dates to 1902 and is now the Mulberry Lofts
  • Adler and Company and Kelly-Williams Company Building, 908 Broadway, dates to 1903.
  • Jay and King Hat Company Building, 909 Broadway, dates to 1904
  • Hershberger and Rosenthal Company Building, 915 Broadway, dates to 1909.
  • George P. Ide and Company, Inc., 920 Broadway, is now the Jewell Lofts, named after the builder
  • Rothenberg and Schloss Building, 930 Broadway, dates to 1912 and is now the Opera House Lofts.
  • Fitzpatrick Saloon Building, 931 Broadway, dates to 1911 and operates as the Majestic Restaurant.
  • Frankel, Frank & Company Building, 1000 Broadway, dates to 1905. It contains the Garment House on Broadway and the Broadway Bistro.
  • Lorraine Apartments, 1012 Broadway, is a Georgian Revival building dating to 1901 (vacant, 2021).
  • Estill Hotel, 1018 Broadway, is a Georgian Revival building dating to 1897 (vacant, 2021).

On Central Street are:

  • Commercial Building, 600 Central, dating to 1909
  • Barton Brothers Shoe Company, 609 Central, dating to 1895, Second Renaissance Revival style
  • Burnham-Munger Manufacturing Company, 612 Central, dating to 1892
  • Builders and Traders Exchange, 616 Central, dating to 1889, a rare surviving example of High Victorian Italianate architecture

On May Street is Burd and Fletcher Company, 701 May Street, dating to 1916; Lechtman Printing Company, 715 May Street, dating to 1915.

Coates House Hotel, 1005 Broadway Boulevard at 10th Street (N39o6’8” W94o35’17”), dates to 1886, is separately listed on the NRHP, and is adjacent to the Wholesale District. The hotel is an example of a late 19th century luxurious urban hotel. The original hotel on the site was built in the 1860s, on the foundation of an 1861 federal fort. The hotel was named after Kersey Coates, a Pennsylvania quaker who moved to Kansas City in 1854. The 1886 hotel was an early project of the architect Henry Van Brunt, who moved to Kansas City from Boston to open a practice. The hotel was visited by President Grover Cleveland in 1887 and Benjamin Harrison in 1890. In 1912, the first meeting of the Sertoma International (Co-Operative Club) was held. It is now the Quality Hill leasing office.

 

 

 

Natural and Cultural Features of Kansas City, part 5: Library District

Library District (West 9th Street-Baltimore Avenue Historic District (N39o6’10” W94o35’5”)) consists of more than 20 NRHP-listed buildings, dating to 1880. These early commercial buildings were constructed at the busiest intersections in the city during the late 1800s. Buildings are on West 9th Street, West 10th Street, Baltimore Avenue, Main Street, and Wyandotte Street. Notable buildings are:

National Register-Listed Buildings on West 9th Street:

  • New York Life Building, 20 West 9th Street (N39o6’14” W94o35’3”), is a Neo-Renaissance Building dating to 1887. It is considered Kansas City’s first skyscraper and the city’s first building with elevators. It is separately listed on the NRHP. There is a bronze sculpture of an eagle over the main entrance. The eastern insurance company built the building hoping to take advantage of Kansas City emerging as the future center of commerce in the West. It is now the Catholic Center.
  • Bunker Building, 100 West 9th Street and 820 Baltimore Avenue (N39o6’14” W94o35’3”), dates to 1880, and is separately listed on the NRHP. The building is described as Victorian Eclectic, an amalgam of Romanesque, Gothic and Neo-Classic elements. It was originally the home of the Western Newspaper Union, which later moved to 304 West 10th Street (which is also on the NRHP). It is now Univision KC and partly vacant.
  • Wood’s Building, 101 West 9th Street, dates to 1881. It is now the Milwaukee Deli and Banksia Australian Restaurant.
  • Lyceum Building, 102 West 9th Street, dates to 1895.
  • Kansas City Dime Museum, 110 West 9th Street, dates to 1885. It began as a museum of freaks and curiosities and later became Kansas City’s first art gallery, the Western Gallery of Art, a forerunner of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
  • Old New England Life Mutual Insurance Building, 112 West 9th Street (N39o6’14” W94o35’6”), a Renaissance Revival style building dating to 1887. It was also the earliest example of fire-proof construction in Kansas City. It is separately listed on the NRHP and is now KC Loft Central.
  • Savoy Hotel and Grill, 219 West 9th Street at Central Avenue (N39o6’12” W94o35’11”), separately listed on the NRHP, which was constructed from 1890 to 1906. It is a member of the Historic Hotels of America and now operates as part of the 21c Museum Hotel group. Its lobby is noted for a leaded stained-glass dome 12 feet in diameter. The restaurant includes stained glass, dark oak woodwork, and historic murals by Edward Holsleg. It is the oldest restaurant in Kansas City.

National Register-Listed Buildings on West 10th Street:

  • First National Bank, 14 West 10th Street, now the Kansas City Public Library, was constructed in 1904. It contains Neo-Classic, Neo-Grecian, and Chicago style elements.
  • Land Bank Building, 15 West 10th Street between Baltimore and Main (N39o6’7” W94o35’1”), is a Renaissance-style building which dates to 1923. It housed the offices of the Kansas City Joint Stock Land Bank, which gave federal loan guarantees to farmers under the Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916. It is adjacent to the historic district and is separately listed on the NRHP. It is now the Hanover Lofts.
  • New England National Bank, 21 West 10th Street, is a 14-story building which dates to 1907. A carved stone eagle is above the arch of the main entrance.
  • Dwight Building, 107 West 10th Street, is 10 stories and dates to 1902. It was the first steel-frame building constructed in Kansas City. It is the Hispanic Business Center and Library Lofts East
  • Burnap Stationery Company, 111 West 10th Street, is a 6-story building dating to 1909. It was one of the largest retail office supply companies in the U.S.
  • Board of Trade Building, 127 West 10th Street, is a 13-story building dating to 1923. It housed businesses specializing in grain, railroads, insurance, and chemicals. It is now the Board of Trade Lofts.
  • The parking garage with an entrance just north of 10th street was the site of the Hotel Baltimore, where the Future Farmers of America was founded in 1928. The section fronting West 10th Street contains a graphic of books.
  • Western Newspaper Union Building, 304 West 10th Street at Central Street (N39o6’9” W94o35’14”) dates to 1900; it is to the west of the historic district. It was the site of the largest auxiliary newspaper company in the United States. This type of business sold pre-printed content to small-town newspapers in surrounding states. This typically focused on national news to supplement the local news content. The basement of the building housed large printing presses needed to meet demand of 200 or so small-town newspapers in Missouri, Kansas, and nearby states. At the corner of 10th and Central, northeast corner, is a park bench with a statue of Mark Twain.
  • Fire Department Headquarters, 1020 Central Street (N39o6’5” W94o35’14”), dates to 1905. This was the home of Kansas City’s Fire Department and Fire Station #2 until 1980. Beaux Arts Classicism architectural style includes ribbed Doric columns in the front of the building. The building is separately listed on the NRHP and is south of the historic district. It now houses offices for Folly Theater.

National Register-Listed Buildings on Baltimore Avenue:

  • La Rue Printing Company, 810 Baltimore, dates to 1910, and includes Chicago-influenced elements.
  • Lane Blueprint Company, 908 Baltimore, is a Neo-Classical style building dating to 1905.
  • Carbide and Carbon Building (Union Carbide Building), 912 Baltimore, is an Art Deco and Moderne Style building dating to 1930.
  • Kansas City School of Law Building, 913 Baltimore, is a Jacobethan and Chicago-Influenced building dating to 1926. The law school was attended by Harry Truman and many former mayors and justices of the state supreme court. It is currently the Kansas City Public Library annex.
  • University Club Building, 918 Baltimore, is a Neo-Classical building dating to 1922. It currently operates as the Kansas City Club.
  • Finance Building, 1009 Baltimore, includes Chicago-style influences and dates to 1908. It is used for lofts today.

National Register-Listed Buildings on Wyandotte Street:

  • Frankel, Frank, and Company Building, 811 Wyandotte Street, dates to 1899. Frankel, Frank, and Company was a millinery wholesale business. It later housed a succession of businesses, including carpet, dry goods, rubber, and drugs. The building is currently Trozollo Communications Group.
  • Baker-Vawter Building, 915 Wyandotte Street (N39o6’12” W94o35’7”), dates to 1920 and is separately listed on the NRHP. The building was designed by the prominent Kansas City architectural firm of Hoit, Price, and Barnes. Baker-Vawter was a national manufacturer of accounting ledgers and inventory and filing systems. It adjoins the West 9th Street-Baltimore Avenue Historic District.
  • Graphic Arts Building, 934 Wyandotte Street (N39o6’9” W94o35’9”), is separately listed on the NRHP and is to the west of the historic district. The building contains Arts and Crafts terra cotta elements. The building of the Kansas City Graphic Arts Organization began as a center for commercial printing. The building housed printing presses. Thompson Paper Company, which occupied space in the building, counted as its clients Walt Disney and Hallmark Cards. Other tenants were suppliers of paper and ink, printers, and engravers. Photographers and filmmakers also were tenants. The building dates to 1915 and is now lofts.

National Register-Listed Buildings on Main Street:

  • Executive Plaza Office Building (The Flashcube Apartments), 720 Main Street (N39o6’17” W94o35’1”), is separately listed on the NRHP and is adjacent to the historic district. It is considered an exceptionally significant example of Late Modern style architecture and dates to 1974. It was built as a speculative office building by the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation. It is adjacent to the Historic District. The distinctive external architectural feature is a reflective glass curtain wall. This curtain wall is considered a significant example of the feature. The reflective glass on the building gave it the nickname “the flashcube.” There is no added ornamentation on the curtain wall. A landscaped plaza on Main Street is on the roof of a storage building which is below street grade. On the north side is an elevated pedestrian walkway which is considered a contributing structure to the historic property.
  • Ten Main Center, 920 Main Street (N39o6’9” W94o35’0”), is separately listed on the NRHP and dates to 1965. Designed by Los Angeles architect Charles Luckman, the 21-story office tower and 7-story garage introduced a new style of architecture to Kansas City, that of Modern Abstract Monumental style, notable for use of pre-cast concrete panels that form a curtain wall. The building was the first urban renewal project of the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority, a city agency set up to manage Kansas City’s federally funded urban renewal areas. The Central Business District is one of these urban renewal areas. The first tenants were Employers Reinsurance Corporation, Ash Grove Lime and Portland Cement Company, and Marshall and Brown Architects. The Sky on Main apartments are in the building. Across Main Street from the building are the Commerce Trust Company Historic District and Commerce Tower, also on the NRHP.
  • George B. Peck Dry Goods Company Building, 1044 Main Street (N39o6’4” W94o35’1”), is separately listed on the NRHP and is adjacent to the historic district; it dates to 1914. It is one of the few remaining dry goods companies that anchored the heart of the downtown retail district and operated as a department store for 70 years. Today it is BOK Financial.

 

Natural and Cultural Features of Kansas City, Part 4: Financial District

Financial District includes includes buildings in the Commerce Trust Company Historic District and buildings along Grand and Walnut Streets. In the same general area, additional National Register-listed buildings in the area of Ilus Davis Park to the east are included in the discussion. This post covers 6th through 10th Street properties. Also, parks and National Register sites to the east of the Financial District between 6th and 10th Streets are described.

Commerce Trust Company Historic District (N39o6’10” W94o34’57”) includes bank structures between 9th, 10th, Walnut, and Main Streets. The district is considered a unique example of a large, unified complex of connected buildings in the city’s Financial District and urban core. The District includes three contributing structures (National Bank of Commerce, Commerce Tower, Commerce Garage) and a Sunken Garden adjacent to the Commerce Tower on Main Street, which is today used as a private playground.  National Bank of Commerce (Commerce Trust Company), 922 Walnut Street (N39o6’9” W94o34’56”), dates to 1908, and is also separately listed on the NRHP. The building is an American Movement, Beaux-Arts-style building with terra cotta ornament. It is 16 stories and considered one of the best examples of early skyscraper design. Also included in the district is the Commerce Garage, a 7-story Modern Movement parking garage now occupied on the lower level by CVS Pharmacy. Commerce Trust Company merged with the National Bank of Commerce in 1921 and survived the bank runs of the Great Depression to become the greatest banking dynasty in the history of Missouri. A bronze and copper clock adorms the southeast corner of the building and was installed in 1953. Commerce Tower, 911 Main Street at 9th Street (N39o6’11” W94o34’57”) is separately listed on the NRHP and dates to 1964. The tower is 32 stories and constructed in the Miesian style (after architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe), with a wide entrance plaza and concrete-clad appearance with glazed curtain walls. Typical of the style, the first two stories are slightly recessed at the base. It was the largest private office building in Missouri at the time of its construction. Commerce Trust Company left the building in 1985. Tenants today include luxury apartments and Park University.

NRHP-listed Buildings on 7th Street in the Financial District:

  • Kansas City Western Union Telegraph Building, 100 East 7th Street at Walnut (N39o6’20” W94o34’53”), is on the NRHP and dates to 1920. It houses the Pawn and Pint and Homestead Café.
  • Buick Automobile Company Building, 220 Admiral Boulevard (7th Street) at McGee Street (N39o6’20” W94o34’47”), is on the NRHP and dates to 1908. It was the first facility to be designed as an auto showroom and the first Buick dealership in Kansas City. Tudor Revival in style, it is now the Buick Lofts.
  • Kelley-Reppert Motor Company Building, 422 Admiral Boulevard between Page and Locust Streets (N39o6’20” W94o34’39”, is on the NRHP and dates to 1920. The Colonial Revival building with terracotta ornamentation was built to house a Ford auto dealership. Today it houses Savion, a renewable energy company.

NRHP-listed Buildings on 9th Street in the Financial District:

  • Grand Avenue Temple, 205 East 9th Street, is described under buildings on Grand Avenue
  • Pickwick Hotel, Office Building, Parking Garage, and Bus Terminal, 301 East 9th Street, 901 McGee Street, 300 East 10th Street, and 906 Oak Street (N39o6’11” W94o34’45”) dates to 1930. The Pickwick Hotel is a 10-floor, Art Deco facility representative of urban commercial buildings in the mid-20th It was frequented by Harry Truman in the 1930s.
  • The former Kansas City Public Library, 500 East 9th Street at Locust (N39o6’13” W94o34’37”), dates to 1895. It is now the Ozark National Life Building. The Second Renaissance Revival-style building symbolized the growing intellectual and cultural consciousness of 19th century Kansas City. The building housed major science and art collections, which became part of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kansas City Museum. The prominent frieze at the top of the building contains the names of 19th century authors and statesmen—Webster, Cooper, Hawthorne, Morse, Whittier, Benton, Maury, Irving, Lowell, Emerson, Holmes, Bryant, Agassiz, Longfellow, Bancroft, Motley, Prescott, Stowe, Alcott, Franklin, Hawthorne, Morse, and Whittier.
  • The Blackstone Hotel, 817 Cherry Street at 9th Street (N39o6’14” W94o34’33”), is vacant. The Colonial Revival Building dates to 1925 and is a rare example of a second-tier urban hotel. These served salesmen and were less ornate than the grand convention center hotels in the early 20th It was part of a hotel district extending along 9th, Locust, and Oak Streets, all of which are now gone. The hotels competed with, and ultimately lost out to, tourist courts and motels in the latter part of the 20th century.

Ilus Davis Park (N39⁰6’8” W94⁰34’40”) is 5 acres to the north of City Hall, between 9th and 11th Streets and Oak and Locust Streets. Trees are crabapple, red oak, and ginkgo. In the northeast corner of the park at 9th Street and Locust Street is the Bill of Rights Statue, erected in 1991 by the Judicial Conference of the United States, Committee on the Bicentennial of the Constitution. It includes 50 pairs of hands, representing freedom in each of the 50 states and all Americans of different race, sex, and religion who created and still impact the building block of the constitution, the Bill of Rights. Between 10th and 11th Street facing Oak Street is the Native Sons and Daughters of Greater Kansas City monument. The five-pointed star-shaped monument contains 10 panels, representative of the 10 counties in Kansas and Missouri that make up the greater Kansas City region (Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, and Wyandotte in Kansas; and Cass, Clay, Jackson, Lafayette, Platte, and Ray in Missouri).

  • Panel 1, Grandeur, is represented by the Country Club Plaza, dating to 1922.
  • Panel 2, Early Culture and Explorers, is represented by the Chouteau Trading Post on the north bank of the Missouri River near present-day Chouteau Parkway, Kaw Point, Fort Osage, and mountain man Jim Bridger.
  • Panel 3, Westward Expansion, is represented by the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California Trails,1833 Westport, and 1838 Town of Kansas.
  • Panel 4, Transportation, is represented by Grinter’s Kaw River Ferry and the Hannibal Railroad Bridge, the first Missouri River bridge.
  • Panel 5, Agriculture, is represented by the 1857 River Market and Longview Farm
  • Panel 6, Entrepreneurs, is represented by the Strang Line, 1906.
  • Panel 7, Arts and Education, is represented by the Jazz District.
  • Panel 8, Science and Research, is represented by area hospitals and Garmin.
  • Panel 9, Sports, is represented by the Negro National Baseball League
  • Panel 10 describes the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas City organization.

In the southwest corner of the park is the Ilus Davis Fountain on 11th Street. Ilus Winfield Davis (1917-1996) was mayor from 1963 to 1971 and President of the Board of Police Commissioners from 1971 to 1977.

City Employees Memorial is in the park on Locust Street between 10th and 11th Streets. The four columns honor public servants who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

NRHP-listed Buildings on Grand Boulevard in the Financial District:

  • S. Courthouse and Post Office, 811 Grand Boulevard (N39o6’14” W94o34’49”), dates to 1939. It was the site of the Swope Park Swimming Pool desegregation lawsuit in 1952, led by Thurgood Marshall. It is now the Courthouse Lofts.
  • Scarritt Building and Arcade, 818 Grand Boulevard (N39o6’13” W94o34’52”), is an early 11-story Chicago School skyscraper dating to 1906. The building implements the architectural concepts of Louis Sullivan. The entrance to the Scarritt Building is on Grand but it is connected to an arcade with an entrance on Walnut. The arcade is considered a unique example of the turn-of-the-century preoccupation with light, with two skylighted areas (light wells) in the center of the building. The main building contains an indentation designed to catch light from the south.
  • Grand Avenue Temple, 205 East 9th Street and Grand Avenue Temple Office Building, 903 Grand Boulevard (N39o6’12” W94o34’50”), date to 1909. The temple is considered the Mother Church of Methodism in Kansas City. The Temple is a Greek Revival building with a 1912 church organ. The office building is 12 stories and Neo-Classical in style. It was thought that the office building could help pay off the debt of church construction and supply supplemental funds for the church’s work. Both are early examples of reinforced concrete construction.
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (former location), 925 Grand Boulevard (N39o6’10” W94o34’50”), dates to 1921. The 21-story classical revival building is one of 12 buildings constructed as part of the national system of Federal Reserve banks. Facing Grand Boulevard are two two-story carved stone panels with female figures representing industry and commerce. The Spirit of Industry figure holds a sheaf of wheat and a hand spinning device (distaff) to represent agriculture. The Spirit of Commerce figure wears a coat of mail to signify security and holds the torch of progress and symbol of Mercury, god of commerce. Each figure stands above an eagle holding a shield emblazoned with 10-J, symbol of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The building is currently vacant (2021).
  • A. Long Building, 928 Grand Boulevard (N39o6’10” W94o34’52”), is a 14-story Italian Renaissance building which dates to 1906. It was the first skyscraper in Kansas City and was the home of Long-Bell Lumber Company, the world leader in the wholesale lumber market in the 20th century. The company got its start selling timber to settlers on the treeless western prairies. Long represented the lumber industry at the White House conference on environmental conservation in 1980 and promoted reforestation. The company merged with International Paper Company in 1956.
  • Dierks Building, 1000 Grand Boulevard (N39o6’7” W94o34’52”), is a modern movement skyscraper which dates to 1909, when the first five stories were constructed as the Gates Building. Dierks Lumber and Coal purchased the building in 1927 and expanded it to 17 stories. There is art deco detailing on the upper stories. Today the building is the Grand Boulevard Lofts.

NRHP-listed Buildings on Walnut Street in the Financial District:

  • Gumbel Building, 801 Walnut Street (N39o6’15” W94o34’54”), is 6 stories and dates to 1904; it was one of the earliest tall-reinforced concrete buildings constructed in the U.S. This method used twisted iron rods to strengthen concrete. At the corners are square piers with ornate terra cotta work, topped by Roman eagles. Ornate Italianate copper cornice tops the building, which is currently a Hampton Inn.
  • Waltower Building, 823 Walnut Street (N39o6’13’ W94o34’54”), dates to 1929 and is an early skyscraper (12 stories). It was built right before the stock market crash and could not attain full occupancy. Today it is the Waltower Loft Apartments.
  • Fidelity National Bank and Trust Company Building, 909 Walnut Street (N39o6’11” W94o34’54”), dates to 1931. The 35-story building, crowned by two towers, is the centerpiece of the Financial District. It is considered an excellent illustration of the Art Deco style of architecture and a signature work of the prominent Kansas City architects Hoit, Price, and Barnes. The building’s grandeur illustrates the bank’s importance in the nation. At the time it was built, Fidelity was the 100th largest bank in the United States. Unfortunately, the bank could not survive the depression and failed in 1932, one year after its signature building was completed. It is now apartments and commercial office space operated by Simbol Commercial.
  • National Bank of Commerce, 922 Walnut Street (N39o6’9” W94o34’56”), is described under the Commerce Trust Company Historic District.
  • Kansas City Title and Trust Building, 927 Walnut Street (N39o6’4” W94o34’54”), dates to 1922. The seven-story building was constructed in Commercial Block style with terra cotta ornamentation to handle valuable title documents. The firm approach to title insurance focused on the security of title documents, and the building was constructed to house the documents in fire-proof space. It is now United Missouri Bank.

NRHP-listed Buildings on Oak Street in the Financial District:

  • Hoover Brothers Building, 922 Oak Street (N39o6’9” W94o34’43”), dates to 1914. The two-part Commercial Block style building is three stories. It housed the Hoover Brothers School Supply Company, which distributed supplies in the southwestern U.S. The company was sold in 1995. The building is vacant (2021).
  • Stine and McClure Undertaking Company Building, 924 Oak Street (N39o6’9” W94o34’44”), dates to 1912 and was constructed in the Second Egyptian Revival style. The building was designed by Kansas City architect John McKecknie, who practiced in Kansas City’s boom years of the early 1900s. He was known as an innovator in concrete construction. The Egyptian Revival Style would go on to become most popular in the 1920s and 1930s, and this building anticipated this trend. The Egyptian preoccupation with the dead made the style appropriate for a mortuary company. The building is currently the Gatsby event space.
  • Insurance Building/Consumers Cooperative Association Building, 318 East 10th Street at Oak (N39o6’8” W94o34’43”), dates to 1920. CCA became Farmland Industries, the largest farmer-owned cooperative. The building is currently vacant.

East of the Financial District:

A.B.C. Storage and Van Company Building, 1015 East 8th Street between Harrison and Troost Avenues (N39o6’14” W94o34’13”), is on the NRHP and dates to 1908. The reinforced concrete building is an example of the fireproof commercial warehouse property type. It represents the rapid growth and diversification of the commercial storage industry in Kansas City. The company developed a moving and storage empire in Kansas City and was the headquarters for Oscar W. Thomas, founding chairman of Allied Van Lines. Allied Van Lines was a carrier agency, in which local firms booked business as agents of the company. The company operated at this location until about 2000. It is now Storage Mart.

Admiral Plaza Park (N39⁰6’17” W94⁰34’39”) is 1 acre bordered by 8th Street, Admiral Boulevard, Locust Street, and Oak Street, just south of I-35/70 at the State Route 9 junction. It is to the north of the U.S. Courthouse. A park bench at the corner of 8th and Locust Streets honors 32 trees planted in the park in 2008, honoring 32 years of leadership by the Centurions leadership development project of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Benton Boulevard between Gladstone/St. John Avenue and Linwood Boulevard (2.9 miles) is part of the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District and was part of the original George Kessler 1906 Park and Boulevard system plan. On Benton are the National Register-listed Dorson Apartment Building, 912-918 Benton Boulevard (N39o6’6” W94o32’41”), which dates to 1906. The Dorson Apartments are a 3-story brick building, listed on the National Register because it is the oldest surviving example of the Kansas City Porch Style apartments. Majestic Apartments, 701 Benton Boulevard (N39o6’15” W94o32’38”), date to 1909 and are listed on the National Register as an example of the Square Brick Colonnade Apartment type. Stacked porches flank the central entrance, and Renaissance Revival square brick porch columns are a feature.

Harmony Park (N39⁰6’4” W94⁰32’47”) is 1 acre bordered by East 10th Street, Agnes Avenue, Bellefontaine Avenue, and 11th Street. There is a playground on Bellefontaine Avenue at 11th Street.

Hazelle, Inc., Building, 1224 Admiral Boulevard at Tracy Avenue (N39o6’20” W94o34’2”), is a three-story Tudor Revival style former synagogue dating to 1920, but the building was put on the National Register because of its association with Hazelle Hedges Rollins and her marionette business, which operated out of this building from 1958 to 1975. Marionettes are dolls that move through the manipulation of strings. Rollins created a niche within 20th century American puppetry by mass producing puppets for the education of children. In the mid-1970s, 50 employees produced marionettes, hand puppets, and accessories. The company became the largest puppet manufacturer in the world, producing 250,000 puppets annually. Rollins also received four patents for puppet design. The company closed in 1984 after her death. The Puppetry Arts Institute, 11025 East Winner Road, Independence, acquired the parts inventory and organizes puppet workshops. Other marionettes were donated to the Kansas City Museum, the University of Kansas, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution. The building is currently vacant (2021).

Margaret Kemp Park (N39⁰6’9” W94⁰34’18”) is 3 acres on East 10th Street, bordered by Harrison Street, 9th Street, and I-70. There is a ¼-mile trail and a playground. Across the street from the park is the National Register-listed Kansas City Masonic Temple, 903 Harrison Street (N39o6’11” W94o34’14”), which dates to 1911. The building is built in the Beaux Arts and Classical Revival style with opalescent art glass windows. It is owned by the Kansas City Masonic Historic Preservation Society.

Dr. Johnstone Lykins Square Park (N39⁰6’12” W94⁰32’3”) is 5 acres on East 8th Street, bordered by Myrtle Avenue, Jackson Avenue, and 7th Street. The park has athletic fields for baseball, basketball, and soccer, and includes a playground on 8th Street.

National Cloak and Suit Company, 5401 Independence Avenue at Hardesty Street (N39o W94o), dates to 1920. The main building and the powerhouse are on the National Register. National Cloak and Suit Company provided fashionable clothing to the rural housewife during the 1920s. The building was a mail-order house that served 22 states west of the Mississippi River. The company was taken over by another clothing warehouse and distribution company, National Bellas Hess and Company, which operated at the site until 1941. The U.S. government bought the site in 1941 and operated it and 22 acres of additional buildings as the Kansas City Quartermaster Depot until 1953. Once cleaned up of trichloroethylene-contaminated soil and groundwater, redevelopment of the site will be undertaken by the Hardesty Renaissance Economic Development Corporation.

9th and Van Brunt Athletic Fields Park (N39⁰6’4” W94⁰31’30”) is 12 acres. The park contains a playground, walking trails, baseball diamond, and soccer field. The viaduct traversed by Van Brunt Boulevard on the west side of the park is painted with flags of American countries.

The Paseo between Independence Boulevard and 18th Street (1.1 miles) is part of the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District. The Paseo is Kansas City’s oldest, longest, and most prominent boulevard. It was part of the original George Kessler 1906 Parks and Boulevard System plan. The Women’s Leadership Fountain, Paseo and 9th Street, was completed in 1899. Contributing features to the historic district are:

  • Central walkway between 9th and 10th Streets (N39o6’9” W94o33’49”), including the August Robert Meyer Memorial. Meyer was the first president of the Parks Commission of Kansas City. The Paseo as a park-like boulevard was the vision of Meyer. It is named after the Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City. A statue of Meyer is just north of 10th The statue contains the following poem:

Houses and shops are man’s

But grass and trees and flowers

Are God’s own handiwork.

Undaunted this man planned and toiled

That dwellers in this place

Might ever freely taste the

Sweet delights of nature.

  • The Pergola and the walkway to the Pergola between 10th and 11th Streets (N39o6’4” W94o33’49”), dating to 1900.
  • Along the Paseo between 9th and 11th Streets are apartments constructed along the north end of the Paseo in its early days. These were listed on the National Regiser because they are an example of apartment development on the north end of the Paseo, as part of Kansas City’s oldest, longest, and most prominent boulevard. The Kessler Apartments, 924 Paseo (N39o6’8” W94o33’51”), date to 1896, and feature a two-story front porch on the south and east sides. Ellsworth Apartments, 928 Paseo (N39o6’8” W94o33’51”), date to 1906 and feature full-width front porches. Maryland Apartments, 930 Paseo (N39o6’7” W94o33’51”), date to 1901. The building was influenced by Beaux Arts Classicism in its architecture. Maples Apartments, 1401 East 10th Street at Lydia Avenue (N39o6’6” W94o33’53”), date to 1906, and are less than a block off the Paseo, constructed to be part of the Paseo apartment complex. The Parkview, 1000 Paseo (N39o6’6” W94o33’51”), dates to 1913; the five-story building has been used as both a hotel and apartments since it was constructed. Its architectural style is Beaux Arts Classicism with Prairie School influences. Generous Henderson House, 1016 Paseo (N39o6’4” W94o33’51”), dates to 1899. It is one of the few surviving examples in Kansas City of the Second Renaissance Revival architectural style and was the home of a prominent doctor who practiced in the city from 1880 to the 1920s.

Wiltshire Apartment Hotel, 703 East 10th Street at Holmes Street (N39o6’7” W94o34’29”), dates to 1928. It was built as middle-income and working-class apartments. The building contains Spanish Colonial Revival style ornamentation.

 

Natural and cultural features of Kansas City, Part 3: Central–City Market and Old Northeast

National Historic Trail Sites
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

River Bluff Park (N35o6’30” W94o35’28”) is on Beardsley Road between 4th Street and the I-70 underpass on the Riverfront Heritage Trail. A public art display includes two dugout canoes moored to an island and a wayfinding marker. The shape of the stairs at the overlook is designed to resemble a waterfall. At the 4th Street end of the park are quartz stone pavers that were part of the first paved street in the town of Kansas.

Santa Fe, Oregon, and California National Historic Trails

Westport Landing, listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Town of Kansas Site, is at the north end of Main Street at the Town of Kansas bridge (approximate location N39o6’40” W94o35’0”),. The French visited and described the area as early as 1713. In 1790, Auguste Chouteau was given trading rights in the area with the Kanza Indians. Lewis and Clark passed by the area in 1804 and 1806. They gathered pawpaw on their return trip in 1806. Chouteau’s Landing, a fir trading post on the Kansas River from 1818 to 1838, Kit Carson and John James Audubon passed through the area. Chouteau’s wife, Berenice Chouteau, lived in the town of Kansas until her death in 1888.

Settlement began in 1832 when Francois Chouteau built a warehouse to store westbound steamboat goods. In 1833, the Town of Westport was founded. In 1834, Westport Landing was established to receive steamboat deliveries. Westport landing was the beginning of the Santa Fe Trail beginning in the late 1830s. It was also used later as a starting point for the California and Oregon trails. Westport Landing is a site on the California, Oregon, Santa Fe, and Lewis and Clark National Historic Trails. At the site, a rock ledge was used for riverboat landing.

Other Parks and Historic Sites

Bellefontaine Avenue Historic District, 500-524 Bellefontaine Avenue between Independence Boulevard and Thompson Avenue (N39o6’25” W94o32’50”), consists of 10 houses dating to 1889. They are an example of speculative middle-class residential construction in the 1880s. All were constructed by a single builder and repeated a similar Queen Anne design. To the east is Scarritt Point South Historic District, which includes structures on the east side of Bellefontaine Avenue; and the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District (Kessler Park), which is to the rear of the houses.

Belmont Boulevard Bikeway is 0.8 miles from Saida Avenue at Indian Mound (N39⁰7’4” W94⁰30’33”) south to Independence Avenue (N39⁰6’18” W94⁰30’52”).

Benton Boulevard between Gladstone/St. John Avenue and Linwood Boulevard (2.9 miles) is part of the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District.

Berkley Riverfront, 1298 Riverfront Road (N39o7’5” W94o34’17”) is a development project of PortKC, a state agency. The 17-acre park component is between the Kit Bond Bridge and the Heart of America Bridge, featuring hiking trails, an esplanade, sand volleyball courts, fitness courts, a wetland restoration, and picnic tables. West of the ASB Bridge, Riverfront West includes the Town of Kansas Bridge and an elevator and stairs provide access to the City Market area. The Armour-Swift-Burlington (ASB) Bridge on the BNSF Railroad is 1.2 miles long and was constructed in 1911. It is one of only a few multimodal vertical lift truss bridges in the world. There are two decks, one for freight railroads and another for vehicles (no longer used for vehicles). To allow river traffic to pass, the lower deck raises through the use of 25-ton counterweights. The Riverfront Heritage Trail passes under the ASB bridge and contains an exhibit about the bridge at a viewpoint west of the bridge. To the west of the ASB bridge is a 10-acre prairie restoration.

Budd Park (N39⁰6’42” W94⁰31’21”) is 26 acres on St. John Avenue at Brighton Avenue. The park dates to 1891. It was part of the original George Kessler 1906 Parks and Boulevard System plan. There is a playground, shelters, tennis courts, rogue courts, small swimming pool, and 0.7-mile loop trail circling the park. The Budd Park Explanade extends for two blocks west of the park to Van Brunt Boulevard and contains the American Legion Memorial Fountain, dedicated in 1921. An inscription on the monument is attributed to Theodore Roosevelt: “All daring and courage, all iron endurance, of misfortune, all devotion to the ideal of honor and the glory of the alliances, for a finer and nobler type of manhood.”

Phillip E. Chappell House, 1836 Pendleton Avenue (N39o6’47” W94o33’30”), dates to 1888. It was listed on the NRHP as an intact representative of the Queen Anne Style of architecture, using brick instead of wood. Chappell was a former mayor of Jefferson City, State Treasurer, and President of Citizen’s National Bank.

Chestnut Parkway Bikeway is designated for a 0.8-mile section of street between Independence Boulevard (N39⁰6’23” W94⁰32’54”) and Kessler Park (N39⁰6’47” W94⁰32’54”).

Cliff Drive and Spirit of KC Scenic Byways Trail is 1.8 miles, from Paseo at Missouri Avenue (N39⁰6’34” W94⁰33’46”) to the City Market at Holmes Street and 3rd Street (N39⁰6’40” W94⁰34’34”). It is partly in Kessler Park. The trail begins in Kessler Park along Paseo and passes Garrison Square Park before ending at 3rd Street four blocks east of the City Market. The trail passes Garrison Square Park and the National Register-listed Joe Vaccaro Soda Water Manufacturing Company Building at 5th and Harrison Streets.

Columbus Square Park (N39⁰6’29” W94⁰34’28”) is 4 acres bordered by Missouri Avenue, Charlotte Street, Holmes Street, and Cherry Street. I-70 is to the south. There is a memorial garden at the east entrance. Features include bocce ball courts, picnic tables, a playground, and trails. Trees include Siberian elms, redbud, ash, pines, and red cedars.

The Concourse (N39⁰6’44” W94⁰32’44”) is 6 acres on Benton at St. John Avenue. It is on the NRHP as part of the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District. The Concourse and the stone comfort station east of Gladstone Boulevard are contributing structures to the historic district. West of Gladstone Boulevard is the Concourse Hill Slide, playground, exercise equipment, tennis courts, and basketball courts.

Garrison Square (N39⁰6’41” W94⁰34’8”) is 3 acres bordered by East 4th Street, East 5th Street, Forest Avenue, and Troost Avenue. The park includes the Garrison Community Center, a soccer field, and playground. The Cliff Drive and KC Scenic Byways Trail passes adjacent to the park on 5th Street.

Gladstone Boulevard between Indian Mound and Independence Boulevard (2.1 miles) is part of the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District. It was part of the original George Kessler 1906 Parks and Boulevard System plan. The Gladstone Boulevard bridge over Anderson Avenue (N39o6’42” W94o32’45”), dating to 1897, is a contributing feature to the Parks and Boulevards historic district. It is a 60-foot iron arch span with massive stone masonry abutments. Exterior arches and handrails are also iron. The Thomas Hart Benton Memorial in the traffic circle at St. John Avenue and Benton Boulevard (N39o6’47” W94o32’42”), dating to 1915, is also a contributing feature. Between Walrond Avenue and Askew Avenue, Gladstone Boulevard is within the Scarritt Point North Historic District. Between the Anderson Avenue Bridge and Independence Boulevard, Gladstone Boulevard is within the Scarritt Point South Historic District.

Harrison Street Skate Park is at 4th and Harrison Streets (N39o6’41” W94o34’24”).

Ferd. Heim Brewing Company Bottling Plant, 507 North Montgall Avenue, between Guinotte and Rochester Avenues (N39o7’12” W94o32’56”) dates to 1901. The Heim family initially operated a brewery in East St. Louis beginning in 1869, then purchased a brewery in Kansas City in 1884, after selling the East St. Louis brewery. They operated a brewery in Kansas City from 1884 until 1918, when the company closed due to the coming prohibition. Only the bottling plant is on the National Register. The bottling plant was originally connected to the brewery by a 300-foot-long tunnel east of Chestnut Street Trafficway, no longer extant. Heim was the largest brewery west of St. Louis before prohibition. Today J. Reiger and Company, another casualty of prohibition, has been resurrected by new owners and operates a whiskey, gin, and vodka distillery in the building. Tours are available.

Heim Electric Park (N39⁰7’20” W94⁰32’51”) is 4 acres bordered by Chestnut Trafficway, Rochester Avenue, and Chestnut Avenue. A football field with goalposts, playground, and picnic tables are present. Parking is on Chestnut Avenue south of Nicholson Avenue. An underpass under Chestnut Trafficway leads to Montgall Avenue.

Holy Rosary Historic District (N39o6’32” W94o34’23”) is an Italian immigrant neighborhood dating to 1898, including 17 buildings on Campbell Street and East Missouri Avenue in Columbus Park, centered on Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church.

Independence Boulevard between Paseo and Benton Boulevard (0.8 miles) is part of the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District. 7th Street east from West Terrace Park, including Admiral Boulevard, Highland, and Independence Avenue to Benton Boulevard was part of the original George Kessler 1906 Parks and Boulevard System plan. Along Independence Boulevard is the National Register-listed Independence Boulevard Christian Church, 606 Gladstone Avenue at Independence (N39o6’21” W94o32’47”), dates to 1904. The church is a significant example of the Beaux Arts style of architecture; and was the first example of this style constructed in Kansas City. The style focuses on formality, symmetry, and lavish ornament as taught at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Independence Plaza (N39⁰6’24” W94⁰33’19”) is a 2-acre city park on both sides of Independence Boulevard between Park Avenue and Brooklyn Avenue. It was part of the original George Kessler 1906 Parks and Boulevard System plan.

Indian Mound Park (N39⁰7’6” W94⁰30’34”) is 12 acres on Gladstone Boulevard and Belmont Boulevard, anchoring the east end of Kessler Park. It is listed on the NRHP as part of the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District. Indian Mound is a contributing feature to the historic district. An overlook looks east to the Blue River valley industrial area. There are picnic tables in the park.

Kansas City Cold Storage Company Building, 500 East 3rd Street at Heart of America Bridge, State Route 9 (N39o6’40” W94o34’42”), dates to 1922. This company took advantage of Kansas City’s status as a rail hub to build the largest cold storage business in the world. This building was where ice was made, and fruits and vegetables stored for national distribution. It is now the Cold Storage Lofts.

Kessler Park is 303 acres, extending from Paseo at I-29/35) (N39⁰6’48” W94⁰33’51”) to Belmont Boulevard (N39⁰7’8” W94⁰30’29”) and encompassing north-facing bluffs overlooking the Missouri River floodplain. It was formerly North Terrace Park; and is part of the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District and was part of the original George Kessler 1906 Parks and Boulevard System plan. Cliff Drive State Scenic Byway is 3.8 miles, extending from Gladstone Boulevard at Elmwood Avenue (N39⁰6’52” W94⁰31’33”) west to Paseo/Lexington Avenue (N39⁰6’47 W94⁰33’39”). The road contains overlooks to the north with views of the Missouri River floodplain. Overlooks are at Prospect Point (N39o7’2” W94o32’57”) and Scarritt Point (N39o7’3” W94o32’45”) among other places. Rock bluffs along Cliff Drive add scenery and are used by rock climbers. The road is currently open only to bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Cliff Drive is a contributing feature to the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District, as is the Cliff Drive Arch Bridge over Chestnut Trafficway (N39o6’45” W94o32’54”). Other roads within the park contributing to the historic district are East Outlook Point Drive, Cliff Drive (N39o6’53” W94o33’24”) to St. John Avenue (N39o6’49” W94o33’8”); and East Reservoir Drive, East Outlook Point Drive (N39o6’53” W94o33’14”) to Lexington (N39o6’40” W94o33’8”). North Terrace Lake (N39o6’44” W94o32’58”), a 2-acre fishing lake on Cliff Drive and Water Works Reservoir (N39o6’52” W94o33’6”) are contributing features to the historic district. At the junction of Gladstone Boulevard and St. John Avenue (N39o6’49” W94o32’44”) are the Colonnade and JFK Memorial, also contributing features to the historic district. At the east end of Kessler Park, a stone parapet wall on North Belmont Boulevard (N39o7’8” W94o30’31”) is a contributing feature. The Kessler Park Trail system, suitable for mountain biking and hiking, is 5 miles of trails between Lexington/Paseo east to Indian Mound. Cliff Drive and Spirit of KC Scenic Byways Trail, a paved shared-use path, begins in Kessler Park at Paseo and Missouri Avenue, follows Paseo Avenue to the Cliff Drive entrance at Lexington Avenue, then turns north to descend the bluff and connect with Dora Street just east of I-35. It continues west under I-35 to Lydia, then south to 5th Street. It continues west to the Old Town Historic District. The Gladstone Boulevard Trail extends 1.7 miles between The Concourse (N39⁰6’48 W94⁰32’40”) and Belmont Boulevard (N39⁰7’3” W94⁰30’32”).

Maple Park (N39⁰6’41” W94⁰33’34”) is 16 acres on Lexington Avenue between the Paseo, Missouri Avenue, and Maple Boulevard, adjoining Kessler Park. It is on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District. The park contains a soccer field and volleyball court. Adjacent is the Pendleton Heights local historic district, which is the oldest surviving neighborhood in Kansas City, featuring intact pre-1900 houses. The local landmark Tiffany Castle is on Garfield Avenue within Pendleton Heights.

Nicholson Park (N39⁰7’25” W94⁰32’15”) is 2 acres at 3601 East Nicholson Avenue at North Monroe, in the East Bottoms. A constructed wetland is circled by a walking trail.

Northeast Athletic Fields Park (N39⁰6’49” W94⁰30’21”) is 19 acres at 6500 East St. John Avenue at Bennington. There are a playground and three ballfields.

Old Town Historic District (N39o6’30” W94o34’55”) consists of 80 buildings, including the Public Market (City Market). It is the original Kansas City town site. Boundaries are Second Street to the north, Missouri Avenue on the south, Delaware Street on the west, and Locust Lane on the east. Contributing structures are on 2nd Street, 3rd Street, 4th Street, 5th Street, Delaware Street, Grand Boulevard, Main Street, Missouri Avenue, Oak Street, and Walnut Street. Delaware Street provides a street scene reminiscent of the 19th century, with several pre-1890 structures. The Pacific House Hotel, 401 Delaware, housed Union troops during the Civil War. The original town square of 1846 became the City Market in 1857. In the 1870s this area famously hosted Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and Doc Holliday. Also in this area were the original city hall and county courthouse buildings. East of Delaware between 3rd Street and 5th Street is the City Market, owned by the City of Kansas City. City Market Park is on 3rd Street east of Delaware. It contains benches, under shingle oak and honey locust trees. Since the city’s founding, the area has been a farmer’s market and continues the function today. Beginning in 1888, the city constructed brick market buildings; however, the current buildings were constructed in the 1930s. On the east side of the district on Oak, 3rd, and 4th Streets are several buildings associated with Muehlebach Brewing Company. Today the Kansas City Streetcar provides access to the district, with a loop running along 5th Street, Grand Boulevard, 3rd Street, and Delaware Street within the district. Kansas City Water Department Building, 201 Main Street (N39o6’39” W94o35’0”) is separately listed on the National Register. It operated from 1904 until 1923 and was the earliest extant public works building of the city water department. Studna Garage, 415-419 Oak Street (N39o6’34” W94o34’45”), is separately listed on the National Register and dates to 1922. It was a public parking garage for autos and trucks, also offering repair and fuel services. The garage provided services for a railroad freight area of the city. It is on the NRHP and is currently occupied by the offices of Tetra Tech. Townley Metal and Hardware Company Building, 200-210 Walnut Street (N39o6’38” W94o34’58”), is separately listed on the National Register and dates to 1895. It is representative of the wholesale hardware jobbers trade and was one of the nation’s largest wholesale hardware distributors. The company went on to become one of the founders of the Sentry Hardware brand in the 1960s. The company was sold in 1982. The building is used for the Old Townley Lofts. The Steamboat Arabia Museum (N39o6’34” W94o34’53”) is in a non-contributing structure within the historic district. It is expanding and may move elsewhere by 2026. The Helping Hand Institute Building, 523 Grand Boulevard at Missouri Avenue (N39o6’29” W94o34’48”), dates to 1915. Founded in 1894, the Helping Hand Institute provided food, shelter, medical care, personal aid, counseling, and employment for homeless men. From 1915 to 1950, it served 435,000 people. Businesses affiliated with the institute were the Industrial Paper Stock Company and a quarry business for paving streets. Its benefactor was Kansas City’s wealthiest businessman, William Volker, who donated $10 million over 36 years. It merged with Goodwill Industries in 1978. The Riverfront Heritage Trail passes through the historic district on Main Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets and along West 3rd Street from Main Street west to Wyandotte Street.

Prospect Avenue from Lexington Avenue south to Independence Avenue was part of the original George Kessler 1906 Parks and Boulevard System plan.

Richards and Conover Hardware Company Building, 200 West 5th Street at Wyandotte (N39o6’29” W94o35’8”), dates to 1902. It was built to house the inventory of the nation’s oldest and largest wholesale hardware company. The company operated from 1857 until 1999. Today the building is used for residential lofts. The Riverfront Heritage Trail passes the building on Wyandotte Street.

River Bluff Park (N35o6’30” W94o35’28”) is on Beardsley Road between 4th Street and the I-70 underpass on the Riverfront Heritage Trail. A public art display includes two dugout canoes moored to an island and a wayfinding marker. The shape of the stairs at the overlook is designed to resemble a waterfall. At the 4th Street end of the park are quartz stone pavers that were part of the first paved street in the town of Kansas. It is a site on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

Riverfront Heritage Trail is a 15-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail connecting Berkley Riverfront Park of Port KC (N39⁰7’5” W94⁰34’20”), Old Town Historic District (N39⁰6’35” W94⁰34’57”), Westside (N39⁰5’15” W94⁰35’34”), Huron Park in Kansas City Kansas (N39⁰6’51” W94⁰37’31”), and the West Bottoms (N39⁰6’35” W94⁰36’50”). The trail is managed by Kansas City River Trails, Inc. (kcrivertrails.org). The trail passes

Riverfront Park (N39⁰8’15” W94⁰32’19”) is 955 acres extending from North Olive Street at East Front Street to the Union Pacific Railroad east of I-435. A boat ramp on the Missouri River is on Riverfront Road west of North Choteau Trafficway.

River Market Dog Park is on East 5th Street at Locust Lane (N39o6’35’ W94o34’40”).

Scarritt Point North Historic District (N39o6’55” W94o32’30”) includes the finest houses of early Kansas City, with Corinthian Hall (1910), home of the Kansas City Museum, 3218 Gladstone Boulevard, being one of the jewels. The Kansas City Museum is separately listed on the National Register as the R.A. Long House. There are 63 contributing buildings, dating to 1887. The district boundaries are Kessler Park on the north and west, Windsor Avenue on the south, and Askew Avenue on the east. Houses on Askew Avenue, Bales Avenue, Gladstone Boulevard, Indiana Avenue, Norledge Avenue, and Windsor Avenue are included in the historic district. The Edward Lucky Scarritt House (1898), 3500 Gladstone Boulevard (N39o6’56” W94o32’24”), Edward A. Stevens House (1902), and the William Chick Scarritt House (1888), 3240 Norledge Avenue (N39o7’2” W94o32’33”) are separately listed on the NRHP. Gladstone Boulevard through the District is part of the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District, as is Kessler Park (North Terrace Park, which adjoins the district on the north and west.

Scarritt Point South Historic District (N39o6’32” W94o32’42”) includes Judge’s Row along Gladstone Boulevard south of The Concourse city park. There are 121 buildings contributing, dating to 1887. It is generally bordered by Bellefontaine Avenue on the west, Independence Boulevard on the south, Benton Boulevard on the East, and Anderson Avenue on the north. Houses on Anderson Avenue, Benton Boulevard, Gladstone Boulevard, Lexington Avenue, Smart Avenue, and Thompson Avenue are within the historic district. It adjoins the Bellefontaine Avenue Historic District. Gladstone Boulevard and Benton Boulevard within the Historic District are part of the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District, as are the adjacent Concourse Park and Anderson Avenue Bridge.

Town of Kansas Site is at the north end of Main Street at the Town of Kansas bridge (approximate location N39o6’40” W94o35’0”), north of 2nd Street, on the Riverfront Heritage Trail. The town site was between the river and 2nd Street between Delaware and Grand Streets. A historic marker at the north end of Main Street describes the founding of Kansas City at the site.

The French visited and described the area as early as 1713. In 1790, Auguste Chouteau was given trading rights in the area with the Kanza Indians. Lewis and Clark passed by the area in 1804 and 1806. They gathered pawpaw on their return trip in 1806. Chouteau’s Landing, a fir trading post on the Kansas River from 1818 to 1838, Kit Carson and John James Audubon passed through the area. Chouteau’s wife, Berenice Chouteau, lived in the town of Kansas until her death in 1888.

Settlement began in 1832 when Francois Chouteau built a warehouse to store westbound steamboat goods. In 1833, the Town of Westport was founded. In 1834, Westport Landing was established to receive steamboat deliveries. Westport landing was the beginning of the Santa Fe Trail beginning in the late 1830s. It was also used later as a starting point for the California and Oregon trails. Westport Landing is a site on the California, Oregon, Santa Fe, and Lewis and Clark National Historic Trails. At the site, a rock ledge was used for riverboat landing.

The town prospered with the Mexican War from 1846 to 1848. In 1848, thousands went through Westport Landing on the way to the California gold rush. Beginning in 1855, the town of Kansas began taking down the bluff and by the 1870s, Main Street, Delaware, Walnut, and Market Streets had cut through the bluffs to the riverfront.  Also in the 1850s, hordes of people rushed through the city to establish the state of Kansas as either pro-slavery or abolitionist. The Gillis House Hotel, built in 1850 between Delaware and Wyandotte Streets on the bluff, housed many travelers after they disembarked at Westport Landing. In 1850, the Town of Kansas was chartered by Jackson County. Just west of Westport Landing was the first railroad bridge across the Missouri River. The Hannibal railroad bridge was completed in 1869. In 1889, the name was changed to Kansas City.

Traber Lafayette Garden (N39⁰6’46” W94⁰33’35”) is 1 acre on Pendleton Avenue, adjacent to and south of Kessler Park and north of Maple Park. This area is not currently being maintained as a garden (2020).

Joe Vaccaro Soda Water Manufacturing Company Building, 918-922 East 5th Street at Harrison Street (N39o6’38” W94o34’21”) dates to 1921. The building was part of the Kansas City Italian immigrant “colony.” In the building, the Vaccaro meeting hall provided a social gathering place and became the largest and most active reception hall in the Italian community of Kansas City. The Cliff Drive and Spirit of KC Scenic Byways Trail passes the building on 5th Street. The building is used for the Soda Lofts.

 

Natural and Cultural Features of Southern Kansas City, Part 2: Leawood, Overland Park, Prairie Village

southern KC Grandview Leawood

above link is to an orientation map of the area

This post includes parks in Kansas east of Metcalf Avenue and south of 71st Street.

National Historic Trail Sites

Santa Fe Trail Park (N38o59’54” W94o37’38”), 7727 Delmar Street in Prairie Village, features a disc golf course amid swales from the original Santa Fe Trail, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A National Historic Trails panel overlooks the trail ruts.

Weltner Park (N38o59’17” W94o36’31”) is at State Line Road and 78th Street in Prairie Village. National Historic Trail panels describe this location as the historic Nine-Mile Point, located 9 miles and 10 chains south of the mouth of the Kansas River. The first survey of the state line in 1823 indicated that the Santa Fe Trail crossed the state line at this point, after heading west from Swope Park area. The Santa Fe Trail was also surveyed a couple of years later, in 1825.

Johnson County Park

Meadowbrook Park (N38o57’42” W94o38’47”) is 80 acres on Nall Avenue at Somerset in Prairie Village. There are three miles of paved trails and three lakes, along with picnic shelters and a clubhouse.

Leawood

133rd Street shared-use trail extends from High Drive west to Nall Avenue.

137th Street Trail extends from Chadwick Road west to Nall Avenue.

143rd Street Shared-Use Trail extends from Aberdeen Street west to Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park.

Brook Beatty Park (N38o58’18” W94o36’57”) is on Lee Boulevard south of Meadow Lane and opposite of the 86th Terrace intersection. The small park has a playground adjacent to a stream. Trees include sycamore, redbud, and baldcypress.

City Park (N38o55’52” W94o37’6”) is 78 acres at 10601 Lee Boulevard just south of I-435. The park includes an aquatic center, soccer fields, tennis courts, baseball fields, and sand volleyball. The Indian Creek Greenway crosses the park.

Gezer Park (N38o53’13” W94o37’44”) is 10 acres at 133rd Street and Mission Road. A parking lot is on 133rd Street opposite Pawnee Lane. The park reflects the geography of Israel and is named after the Gezer Regional Council in Israel that participates as a sister city to Leawood. The park includes water features representing the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, and Jordan River. Other features are a vineyard, Havdalah Gardens, and the Golan Heights. A replica of the Gezer Calendar, dating to 1600 BCE, which was excavated from the Tel Gezer archaeological site, is also in the park. A walking trail which circles the park passes many of the features, including a playground. Trees include London planetree, columnar juniper, eastern white pine, dawn redwood, shingle oak, and swamp white oak. A shared-use path along 133rd Street borders the park.

I-Lan Park (N38o54’5” W94o38’53”) is 11 acres at 125th Street and Nall Road, including 2 shelters, a playground, and a restroom. The park commemorates the sister city partnership of Leawood with I-Lan, a city and county in Taiwan. A bridge in the city in Taiwan has been named the Leawood Bridge. There is a Chinese-themed shelter and a public artwork, the Cloud Gate. The Tomahawk Creek bicycle-pedestrian trail and a bicycle-pedestrian loop are in the park.

Indian Creek Greenway extends from the Missouri State Line upstream to Mission Road, where it continues west into Overland Park. The greenway is part of the American Discovery Trail.

Ironwoods Park (N38o51’38” W94o37’28”) is 111 acres at 147th Street and Mission Road. In the park are the Prairie Oak Nature Center, Oxford School House, and walking trails. The paved walking trails are in two loops making a figure 8. A spur walking trail leads from the playground west to Mission Road. A second spur is a shared-use path extending from the amphitheater parking lot north to Norwood Street near 143rd Street. To the south of a pond is the unpaved Raccoon Hollow Nature trail, which is about 100 yards long. Historical panels at the park describe the Black Bob Shawnee Reservation and the Oxford Schoolhouse.

The Black Bob Shawnee Reservation was 33,400 acres, located in Indian Territory (present-day Kansas) west of New Santa Fe. The Shawnee were removed from east of the Mississippi and established a town near the Coffee Creek and Wolf Creek confluence, which is today north of 179th and Antioch. Lands of the reservation were allotted to individual tribal members before the Civil War. After the Civil War, reservation lands were occupied by whites, leading to legal disputes. In the 1870s, President Rutherford Hayes ordered the Shawnee to move to Oklahoma.

The Oxford Schoolhouse was moved to Ironwoods Park from Mission Road and 135th Street, just to the north. The park was part of the historic Oxford Township, which was bordered by 95th Street on the north, 167th Street on the south, Black Bob Road/Lackman Road on the west, and the Missouri state line on the east. The township is famous for the Oxford Fraud, which took place during the Kansas statehood organization in 1856. In the election of 1857, there were 1,628 pro-slavery votes cast in the township. Most of the names were revealed to be part of an old Cincinnati directory. The Secretary of State would not certify the election and Kansas threw out the votes. This angered southern Democrats, causing a split in the Democratic Party, and leading to the election of Lincoln, the candidate of the Republican Party, in 1860.

Lee Boulevard Trail extends from Mission Road east to Leawood City Park, passing the Leawood Wastewater Facility.

Leawoof Dog Park (N38o55’59” W94o36’42”) is 8 acres accessible from Leawood City Park by crossing the bridge on the Indian Creek Greenway Trail.

Tomahawk Creek Greenway is 4.1 miles, extending from the Indian Creek Greenway at College Boulevard southwest to I-Lan Park. The trail continues into Overland Park. A spur leads from Tomahawk Park east to the intersection of 123rd Street and Mission Road.

Tomahawk Park (N38o54’40” W94o38’2”) is on 119th Street between Mission Road and Tomahawk Creek Parkway. It includes a playground and a section of the Tomahawk Creek Greenway.

Town Center Drive Shared-Use Trail extends from Nall Avenue to Tomahawk Creek Parkway.

The Herman J. and Ella B. Voights House (private), 2405 West 103rd Street (N38o56’30” W94o37’10”), is listed on the NRHP as an example of prairie-style architecture. It dates to 1923.

Overland Park

110th Street Trail leads west from Nall avenue to Lamar Avenue, passing by the Overland Park Convention Center.

135th Street Shared-Use Trail extends from Nall Avenue west to Lamar Street.

137th Street Shared-Use Trail extends from Chadwick Road in Leawood west to Lamar Avenue in Overland Park.

141st Street Shared-Use Trail extends from Lamar Avenue west to Metcalf Avenue.

143rd Street Shared-Use Trail extends from Aberdeen Street in Leawood west to Metcalf Avenue.

159th Street Shared-Use Trail extends from Mission Road west to Metcalf Avenue.

Beth Torah Park (N38o54’4” W94o39’27”) is 12 acres between Lamar Avenue and 127th Street. A greenway bicycle-pedestrian trail follows an unnamed tributary to Tomahawk Creek and passes the confluence with Tomahawk Creek. Access is from Lamar Avenue. Trees include hackberry, walnut, bur oak, chinkapin oak, black oak, sycamore, elm, and ash.

Creekside Park (N38o50’45” W94o39’7”) is 20 acres at 15599 Nall Avenue, between Nall Avenue and Lamar Avenue. Near Nall Avenue is a playground. One paved greenway trail extends from Nall Avenue or Reeds Street to Beverly Street and across it to a dead end between 156th and 157th Street. A second follows the creek to Lamar Avenue. The greenway trails follow a riparian area along Negro Creek and a tributary creek.

Empire Estates Park (N38o57’8” W94o38’22”) is 1 acre at 9640 Roe Avenue, between 97th Street and Catalina Street, including a playground. A riparian area and stream are behind the playground. Trees include pin oak, maple, and swamp white oak.

Foxhill North Park (N38o56’12” W94o38’8”) is 21 acres at 10600 Indian Creek Parkway, along the Indian Creek Greenway Trail east of Roe Avenue. It includes a playground and soccer field.

Foxhill South Park (N38o55’52” W94o37’58”) is 6 acres at the end of El Monte Street, providing a parking lot for the Indian Creek Greenway.

Green Meadows Park (N38o50’59” W94o39’31”) is 18 acres at 15401 Beverly Court, featuring a playground and 0.7-mile trail. The trail extends from Glenwood Avenue southeast to the greenway in Creekside Park, which extends to Nall Avenue. Access points to the greenway are Beverly Court north of 156th Street, 153rd Street at 152nd Terrace, Lamar Avenue between 153rd Street and 155th Street, and Glenwood Avenue at 152nd Street. The greenway follows a riparian area along Negro Creek.

Hawthorne Valley Park (N38o54’20” W94o38’31”) is 14 acres at 12300 Roe Avenue. The Tomahawk Creek greenway trail crosses the park.

Indian Creek Greenway extends from Foxhill South Park along Indian Creek to Roe Park, continuing through Nall Hills Park, James Place Park, and Pinehurst East Park, crossing under Metcalf Avenue. It is part of the American Discovery Trail.

James Place Park (N38o56’25” W94o39’40”) is 16 acres along Indian Creek between 103rd Street and Lamar Avenue. There is a playground and picnic shelter. Access is by following Indian Creek bicycle-pedestrian trail south of 103rd Street, adjacent to the entrance road into Promise and Indian Creek nursing facilities. Indian Creek Greenway Trail crosses the park.

Lamar Avenue Shared-Use Path extends from 150th Street north to 133rd Street.

Linwood Park (N38o56’56” W94o37’55”) is 3 acres behind the Reverend Robert and Shirley Meneilly Center for Mission of Village Presbyterian Church. The park includes a playground. Access is from 99th Street. Maple, sweetgum, and red oak trees surround the playground.

Metcalf Avenue Shared-Use Trail extends in four sections. One section extends north from College Boulevard north to 87th Street. A second section extends from the Tomahawk Creek greenway south to 141st Street. A third section extends from 147th Street south to 149th Street. A fourth section extends from 152nd Terrace south to 159th Street.

Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, 5801 West 115th Street, #106, is a partner site of the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.

Nall Avenue Trail extends from 159th Street north to Creekside Park, and 137th Street north to Indian Creek.

Nall Park south to 135th Street, connecting the Indian Creek Greenway, Tomahawk Creek Greenway, 110th Street Trail, 133rd Street Trail, and 135th Street Trail.

Nall Park (N38o56’18” W94o38’50”) is 13 acres at 10440 Nall Avenue, featuring a playground and soccer field. The Indian Creek Greenway Trail crosses the park.

Nall Hills Park (N38o56’20” W94o39’4”) is 28 acres at 5501 Indian Creek Drive. The park includes a playground. The Indian Creek Greenway Trail crosses the park. A historical panel to the south of Indian Creek near Nall Avenue describes John Nall, a 19th century resident of the area. Nall was a native of North Carolina who settled in Johnson County after 1859. His farm was locally famous for its fruit, and he sold peaches at the City Market. At the north end of Nall Avenue (at 49th Street) was the Shawnee Baptist Mission, where a magazine was published in the Shawnee language from 1835 to 1844. In modern times, major developments that have taken place along Nall Avenue include the headquarters of the NCAA and Sprint (now T-Mobile).  The Nall Hills subdivision was an early suburban development in Johnson County. The area is also the demographic center of the Kansas City Jewish community, with many institutions located along Nall. A second historical panel on the north side of Indian Creek near Lamar Avenue describes Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar, for whom the street was named. He was a Mississippian who never visited the area. Lamar served in the Confederate Army. After the Civil War, was involved in the 1876 compromise that placed Rutherford B. Hayes in the presidency and ended Reconstruction in the South. He was secretary of Interior under President Grover Cleveland and served on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Nottingham Downs Park (N38o59’24” W94o38’41”) is 14 acres between Lamar Avenue and 123rd Street. A greenway bicycle-pedestrian trail leads from Lamar Avenue just south of 125th Street north to 123rd Street, with an additional access at Walmer Street.  Scattered picnic tables are along the greenway, which features a riparian area with a rocky stream, a tributary to Tomahawk Creek. Trees include honey locust, hackberry, bur oak, swamp white oak, shagbark hickory, chinkapin oak, and walnut.

Osage Park (N38o58’19” W94o39’34”) is 6 acres at 87th Street and Lamar Street, including a walking path, playground, and shelter. A parking lot is on 87th Street. Trees include sycamore, sugar maple, swamp white oak, mulberry, pin oak, golden rain tree, hackberry, elm, red oak, walnut, ash, ginkgo, and white oak.

Pinehurst East Park (N38o56’32” W94o39’53”) is 12 acres at 10210 Glenwood Road. The Indian Creek Greenway Trail crosses the park.

Museum at Prairiefire (N38o52’55” W94o39’8”) is a partner site of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.

Prairie View Park (N38o59’43” W94o39’9”) is 2 acres at Outlook Street and 74th Street west of Nall Avenue. Access is from 74th Street and via a walkway from the end of Reeds Lane north of 75th Street. There is a basketball court, picnic shelter, and playground. A riparian area and tributary to Brush Creek are crossed by a bridge. Trees include red oak, white pine, hackberry, pin oak, and swamp white oak.

Regency Lake Park (N38o51’35” W94o39’40”) is 14 acres at 14800 Lamar Street, featuring a playground, picnic tables, fishing piers, and a ½ mile trail encircling the lake.

Roe Park (N38o56’22” W94o38’29”) is 41 acres at 10400 Roe Avenue, including a splash pad, tennis courts, soccer fields, and shelters. The Indian Creek Greenway Trail crosses the park, and a spur trail loops around the park and leads to 103rd Street.

Tomahawk Creek Greenway is 149 acres and extends from the Indian Creek greenway just south of College Avenue south to Tomahawk Park at 119th Street, Hawthorne Valley Park at Roe Avenue, and I-Lan Park at Nall Avenue. It continues southwest and crosses Metcalf Avenue.

Wilderness Lake Park (N38o50’15” W94o38’28”) is 17 acres at 16001 Rosewood Drive, including a playground, picnic tables, and a 0.6-mile trail which encircles a stocked fishing lake. Access is from 161st street and 163rd Terrace.

Prairie Village

Bennett Park (N38o59’24” W94o38’41”) is at 77th Street and Rosewood Drive, featuring baseball fields, a picnic area, a loop trail, and playground equipment. Trees include shingle oak, red elm, redbud, Siberian elm, serviceberry, ginkgo, and honey locust.

Ralph E. Carroll Memorial Plaza (N38o59’36” W94o37’50”) is at the northwest corner of West 75th Street and Mission Road, featuring a fountain and plantings. Golden rain tree, red cedar, and swamp white oak provide shade.

Franklin Park (N38o58’15” W94o38’21”) is 12 acres at Roe Avenue and Somerset Drive, featuring a picnic pavilion and ballfield. The park is part of the Prairie Village Arboretum. Trees include royal star magnolia, dawn redwood, ginkgo, Kousa dogwood, paper bark maple, Pacific sunset maple, constellation dogwood, honey locust, Kentucky coffeetree, serviceberry, red oak, hackberry, bald cypress, swamp white oak, pin oak, and shingle oak. A row of Osage orange trees extends through the center of the park. A shared-use path extends south to Meadowbrook Park along Roe Avenue and north along Somerset Drive to Mission Road.

Harmon Park (N38o59’18” W94o38’0”) is 18 acres at West 77th Place and Delmar Street, featuring a pool, trails, playground, tennis courts, and a community garden. Adjacent to the south is Santa Fe Trail Park (N38o59’54” W94o37’38”), 7727 Delmar Street, featuring a disc golf course. Santa Fe Trail Park includes swales from the original Santa Fe Trail, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A National Historic Trail panel overlooks the trail ruts. To the east of Santa Fe Trail Park is Skate Park (N38o59’22” W94o37’50), a skateboard area between the City Hall, art gallery, community center, and fire station. Trees include honey locust and maple.

Mission Road Shared-Use Trail extends from Somerset to 71st Street.

Porter Park (N38o59’45” W94o38’22”) is 8 acres at Roe Avenue and Tomahawk Road, featuring baseball, soccer, a picnic shelter, and walking paths. It is the former location of Porter School. With Franklin Park, it serves as the Prairie Village Arboretum. A trail along Tomahawk Road extends north to 71st Street. Brush Creek forms the park boundary on the east. Trees that may be viewed include shingle oak, chinkapin oak, overcup oak, American hornbeam, sycamore, London plane tree, white pine, Kentucky coffeetree, tuliptree, littleleaf linden, Jane magnolia, serviceberry, black tupelo, paper bark maple,  frontier elm, ginkgo, black walnut, sweetgum, redbud, golden rain tree, and sweet magnolia.

Roe Avenue Shared-Use Trail extends from Meadowbrook Park to Somerset Drive.

Somerset Shared-Use Path extends from Roe Avenue to Mission Road.

Talliaferro Park, formerly Meadow Lake Park (N38o59’12” W94o37’10) is at 2900 West 79th Street between Norwood Drive and Aberdeen Street, featuring a trail, picnic tables, tennis court, basketball, soccer, and baseball. Trees include honey locust and linden.

Tomahawk Road Shared-Use Path extends from Roe Avenue to Oxford Road

Weltner Park (N38o59’17” W94o36’31”) is at State Line Road and 78th Street, featuring basketball, volleyball, and picnic areas. National Historic Trail panels describe this location as the historic Nine-Mile Point, located 9 miles and 10 chains south of the mouth of the Kansas River.

Windsor Park (N38o59’54” W94o37’38”) is 6 acres at 7200 Windsor Street. The park is between Windsor Street and St. Ann Catholic School, featuring tennis, volleyball, picnic pavilion, baseball diamond, picnic shelter, and playground. A walking trail passes labeled trees and includes several bridges over a tributary to Brush Creek. Parking is along Windsor Street at Canterbury Street. Trees include black oak, American hophornbeam, American elm, American linden, Amur maple, baldcypress, black cherry, black oak, white pine, ginkgo, northern red oak, Nuttall oak, white oak, pin oak, shingle oak, mulberry, and Kentucky coffeetree.

Natural and Cultural Features of Southern Kansas City, Part I: KC and Grandview

Southern Kansas City, Missouri, Parks and Historic Sites

Sites are listed under National Historic Trail Sites, National Historic Landmarks, southern Kansas City Parks,and Grandview Parks. An orientation map:

southern KC Grandview

National Historic Landmarks

Harry S Truman Farm Home, part of Harry S Truman National Historic Site, is at 12301 Blue Ridge Boulevard north of Harry Truman Drive, Grandview (N38⁰54’8” W94⁰31’51”), was the home of Truman’s grandfather, Solomon Young. Truman’s family first lived here when he was a child, from 1887 to 1890, and they then moved to Independence. When Young passed away, Truman’s family moved back to help operate the farm in 1905. Truman joined them and operated the 600-acre farm from 1906 to 1917, from age 22 to 33. Here he learned self-sufficiency, determination, optimism, courage, and the ability to work hard, all essential qualities for a president that he possessed as 33rd President of the United States. While at Grandview, Truman became postmaster and helped organize a lodge of the Masons. Truman left the farm in 1917 to fight in World War I and he moved to Independence after returning from the war. Truman’s farm policies were informed by his farm experience. Most of the farm was sold off as Grandview developed. The farmhouse dates to 1894 and had no electricity or running water. There is a hand water pump and other outbuildings on the 10-acre parcel remaining. The farm home is a partner site of the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.

National Historic Trail Sites

California, Oregon, and Santa Fe National Historic Trails share a common corridor through Jackson County between Independence and New Santa Fe. Trail sites on the Independence Route include Schumacher City Park (N38⁰57’22” W94⁰30’50”), Hart Grove (N38⁰56’58” W94⁰32’13”), Red Bridge (N38⁰55’33” W94⁰34’18”), Minor City Park (N38⁰55’26” W94⁰34’32”), and New Santa Fe (N38⁰54’25” W94⁰36’22”). Retracement trails have been completed at Hickman Mills High School, Schumacher City Park, Hart Grove, Alex George Lake, Red Bridge Road, and Avila University.

Hart Grove, Hickman Mills Drive south of Marion Park Drive (N38o56’57” W94o32’14”), was used as a campsite by trail travelers, located 10 miles or a day’s walk from Independence. Panels at the site explain that the area was the site of the town of Holmes Park, from 1870 to 1960. Nearby was Holmes Park School, which operated from 1916 to 1979 and was part of the Hickman Mills Consolidated School District, formed in 1902.  The Hickman Mills Trail and Three Trails Corridor Retracement Trail pass the site. West of Hart Grove, the Three Trails Corridor Retracement Trail crosses U.S. Route 71 and extends through a forest to the corner of East 98th Terrace and Parkwood Drive.

Hickman Mills High School grounds include a retracement pedestrian-bicycle trail along Old Santa Fe Road. The eastern end begins at Old Santa Fe Road at the eastern school entrance road (N38o57’47” W94o30’10”) and contains panels with an overview of the three trails corridor, the Blue Ridge, and Children on the Trails. The trail ends at Old Santa Fe Road at the western school entrance road (N38o57’35” W94o30’27”).

Minor Park (N38⁰55’26” W94⁰34’33”) is 235 acres on Red Bridge Road at Holmes Road. The park includes a golf course and the historic Red Bridge, now being used for love locks. Trail ruts from the Santa Fe Trail are visible east of the Blue River include 6 sites used between 1821 and 1865. The trail ruts are on the National Register of Historic Places. Red Bridge Road Trail is 0.5 miles from Holmes Road to the new Red Bridge, connecting with the Blue River Greenway Trail which goes under the bridge. The bridge contains interpretive panels and displays representing individuals with ties to the three historic trails. Panels provide information on James P. Beckwourth, Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, Felipe Chavez, Alexander Doniphan, Susan Magoffin, Alexander Majors, John Calvin McCoy, Amache Ochinee Prowers, and Hiram Young.

New Santa Fe “Three Trails” Swales, Madison Avenue at Santa Fe Trail (N38o54’25” W94o36’19”) includes swales extending through the New Santa Fe Cemetery. The swales are on the NRHP. An exhibit panel is in the cemetery parking lot. New Santa Fe is also a site on the Battle of Westport (October 21-23, 1864) tour. Following the Battle of Westport, Confederate General Price’s wagon train moved past New Santa Fe and crossed the state line, heading south on the Military Road just to the west. Union troops in pursuit camped for the night near New Santa Fe.

Schumacher Park, 1 acre at 6201 East 93rd Street (N38⁰57’22” W94⁰30’50”), includes a Santa Fe Trail exhibit, and is a site on the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon National Historic Trails.

South of the intersection of Old Santa Fe Road and Blue Ridge Boulevard, the 3-Trails Bus Transfer Station (N38o57’11” W94o30’28”) contains panels on the 46-mile three-trails corridor and exhibits on Clara Brown, Biddy Mason and Emily Fisher. Clara Brown traveled the Oregon Trail to Denver and became the first black resident of Colorado in 1859. Biddy Mason walked from Mississippi to the Salt Lake valley in 1846, then in 1851 traveled to California. She petitions for freedom in Los Angeles and was granted freedom in 1855. Emily Fisher traveled the Santa Fe Trail from Franklin, Missouri, to Independence in 1836 and ran a hotel in Independence after she was freed.

Wieduwilt Swales, 85th Street and Manchester Avenue, Kansas City (N38o58’13” W94o29’53”), are a site on the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon National Historic Trails. The swales are on the NRHP.

Parks and Historic Sites of Southern Kansas City, Missouri

Agnes Playground (N38⁰59’35” W94⁰33’7”) is 2 acres on East 74th Street and Agnes Avenue, east of US Route 71. There are picnic tables, a ballfield backstop, and playground.

Arleta Park (N38⁰59’13” W94⁰33’36”) is 5 acres at 77th Street and Prospect Avenue. It is bordered by East 76th Terrace, Wabash Avenue, and East 77th Street. The park contains a 10-foot-wide bicycle pedestrian trail, constructed wetlands, picnic shelter, and playground.

Bannister Park (N38⁰56’56” W94⁰29’44”) is 14 acres at 9800 James A. Reed Road at Marsh Avenue. Bannister Park Trail is ½ mile at 9800 James A. Reed Road.

Bent Tree Park (N38⁰56’36” W94⁰27’13”) is 3 acres on East 98th Street and View High Drive. The park includes a ¼ mile trail.

Blenheim Park (N39⁰0’0” W94⁰33’56”) is 7 acres on Gregory Boulevard, just east of Forest Hill Cemetery. The park includes a 0.3-mile trail. Blenheim School, 2411 East 70th Terrace at Prospect, is on the National Register of Historic Places, dating to 1924.

Blue River Greenway Trail extends 3 miles from the Minor Park Tennis Courts (N38⁰55’5” W94⁰34’16”) south of Red Bridge Road north to 95th Terrace (N38⁰57’27” W94⁰33’38”). It intersects the Indian Creek Greenway Trail and the Red Bridge Trail along Red Bridge Road. It passes through Minor Park and Blue River Park and Athletic Fields. Trail accesses are at 99th Street at Shepherds Drive, 103rd Street at I-435, Blue River Athletic Fields, Alex George Lake (Jackson County facility) on Blue River Road, and Minor Park.

Blue River Park and Athletic Fields (N38⁰56’10” W94⁰33’58”) is 80 acres on East 104th Street at I-435, on the Blue River. This city park is leased from Blue River Parkway County Park lands.

Blue River Parkway County Park extends from Swope Park south to the Kansas State Line and includes Blue River Parkway between Swope Park and Blue Ridge Boulevard. Numerous mountain bicycle trails extend from the northern to the southern portions of the park. Minor City Park, Swope City Park, and Saeger Woods Conservation Area adjoin the park property.

  • Blue River Glades State Natural Area (N 38⁰58’55” W94⁰32’0”) is 18 acres on the east side of Blue River Parkway. Parking is on Blue River Parkway between Oldham Road and U.S. Route 71, 1.2 miles south of Oldham Road. A ½-mile trail leads through 200 to 300-year-old chinkapin oaks and scenic limestone outcrops. The Eddy-Ballantine Trail begins 100 yards to the south of the Blue River Glades Trail on Blue River Parkway and provides a 2-mile loop, connecting with the Blue River Glades Trail.
  • Blue River Parkway Mountain Bike Trails are maintained by the Urban Trail Company and extend from Bannister Road (N38o57’3” W94o33’25”) south to Alex George Wetlands (N38o55’51’ W94o33’41”); and Minor Park (N38o55’17” W94o34’16”) south to near 139th Street (N38o52’40” W94o34’54”)
  • Blue River Park and Athletic Fields (N38⁰56’10” W94⁰33’58”) is 80 acres on East 104th Street at I-435, on the Blue River. This city park is leased from Blue River Parkway County Park. The Blue River Greenway Trail passes through the park.
  • Alex George Wetlands (N38o55’52” W94o33’50”) is on Blue River Parkway north of Red Bridge Road. A trailhead for the Blue River Greenway Trail, a lake, and picnicking are within the park.
  • 118th Street and Lydia Parking area (N38o54’44” W94o34’31”) provides access to an old railroad bed trail along the Blue River which leads to a high bluff overlooking the Blue River.
  • Radio Controlled Flying Field (N38o55’2” W94o34’15”) is accessed from the Minor Park Tennis Courts parking lot off of Blue River Road.
  • Clair Schroeder Recreational Area (N38o54’15” W94o34’36”) is at 122nd Street and Blue River Road and includes soccer fields.
  • 128th Street and Blue Ridge Athletic Fields (N38o53’39” W94o34’34”) includes soccer fields
  • Brown Recreation Area (N38o53’ W94o35’) is on Blue Ridge Boulevard and features a canoe launch on the Blue River, along with a picnic shelter and ballfield.
  • Holmes Road Recreational Area at 14000 Holmes Road (N38o52’26” W94o35’14”) includes ball fields that are no longer used.
  • Polo and Kenneth Road Athletic Fields (N W) are on Kenneth Road at the State Line bridge over the Blue River to Kansas.

Cave Spring, also designated William M. Klein Park (N38⁰59’39” W94⁰29’0”), is 12 acres at 8701 East Gregory Boulevard at Blue Ridge Boulevard. The park is in both Kansas City and Raytown. The site was noted on the original survey of the Santa Fe Trail and was a trail landmark for emigrants. It is operated in cooperation with Jackson County Parks and Recreation and a private non-profit, which runs a nature center on the site. There are three loop trails which pass a small cave and spring, old cabins, creeks, and ponds. The park is a site on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail, California NHT, and Oregon NHT.

Clark-Ketterman Athletic Field Park (N38⁰55’55” W94⁰29’49”) is 35 acres on East 107th Street and Skiles Avenue. There is a 0.4-mile trail.

Jerry Darter Park (N38⁰56’9” W94⁰31’18”) is 24 acres on East 105th Street at Hillcrest Road, just north of I-470. In the park is the Hillcrest Community Center, a picnic shelter, and playground. There is a ¼-mile trail.

Ewing Park (N38⁰55’50” W94⁰30’45”) is ¼ acre on East 107th Street at Ewing Avenue.

Forest Hill and Calvary Cemeteries, 6901 Troost Avenue (N39o0’9” W94o34’29”) are a partner organization of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. Forest Hill Cemetery is a site on the Battle of Westport (October 21-23, 1864) tour. A historic marker near the cemetery entrance explains that on October 23, 1864, Confederal General Shelby, retreating from Westport after the loss there, formed a defense line. Union troops drove them further south. General Shelby and many of his men are buried in Forest Hill Cemetery. A Confederate Monument is in the southeastern area of the cemetery (N38o59’59” W94o34’9”).

French Tract (N38⁰56’57” W94⁰30’48”) is 13 acres between Bannister Road and East 99th Street, on the east side of Kansas City Southern Railroad. It is not signed and undeveloped.

Gambril Tract (N38⁰55’49” W94⁰33’16”) is 11 acres on East 108th Street at St. Catherine’s Lane (end of St. Catherine’s Lane), off Grandview Road south of I-435. The area is forested except for a walkway and bridge across a stream, leading to a playground.

Hickman Mills Trail extends between Red Bridge park-and-ride lot and Bannister Road, following Hickman Mills Road. It passes Hart Grove (N38⁰56’58” W94⁰32’13”), a site on the California-Oregon-Santa Fe National Historic Trails.

Indian Creek Greenway Trail is 119 acres and extends 3 miles from State Line Road (N38⁰56’28” W94⁰36’28”) east to the Blue River (N38⁰57’4” W94⁰33’49”), connecting with the Blue River Trail. Access points are 104th Street at State Line Road, Watts Mill Shopping Area, Bellevue Avenue at 101st Terrace, Wornall Road north of 103rd Street, Trailside Center on East 99th Street, and Lydia Avenue south of Bannister Road. Historic markers describe Watts Mill (N38⁰56’30” W94⁰36’19”) and Jim Bridger (N38⁰57’1” W94⁰34’40”). Adjacent to the trail is the Trailside Center, a partner site of the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. The Watts Mill historic area is adjacent to a shopping center on 103rd Street east of State Line Road. Several scenic waterfalls dropping about 12 feet roar in the background south of 103rd Street.  The historic panel at Watts Mill explains that water powered both a gristmill and sawmill at the site beginning in 1838. The mill was razed in 1949 after more than 100 years of operation. Jim Bridger is credited with discovering Yellowstone Park and the Great Salt Lake before he settled in present-day Kansas City. A historic marker for Jim Bridger is on Carondelet Drive between Wornall and State Line Road.

Ingels Park (N38⁰54’34” W94⁰30’29”) is 6 acres north and south of East 118th Place between Corrington and Crystal Streets. It is undeveloped and not signed.

Iser Park (N38⁰55’23” W94⁰29’54”) is 11 acres at East 112th Terrace and Sycamore Terrace. There is a 0.3-mile trail and playground in a grove of cottonwood trees.

Klapmeyer Park (N38⁰54’4” W94⁰36’23”) is 13 acres on State Line Road north of West 126th Street. There is no parking lot. The mowed park contains a lake and large oak trees.

William M. Klein Park—see Cave Spring Park

Legacy East Park (N38⁰58’1” W94⁰33’56”) is 13 acres on East 89th Terrace south of 89th Street. It is undeveloped.

Legacy West Park (N38⁰57’42” W94⁰34’30”) is 15 acres on East 94th Street at Troost Avenue. It is behind the Bannister property fence and not accessible.

Little Blue Valley Park (N38⁰58’24” W94⁰25’11”) is at 8259 South Noland Road at Frost Road and State Route 350. The 95-acre park includes access to the Little Blue Trace Trail on Jackson County property.

Longview Tract (N38⁰54’49” W94⁰30’33”) is 22 acres at 7101 Longview Road at Bristol Terrace. The Bay Waterpark is in the park.

West Longview Parkway Trail is 1¼ mile between East 107th Street (N38⁰55’47” W94⁰29’10”) and Raytown Road (N38⁰55’20” W94⁰28’33”). It is intended to be part of a Katy Trail Connector to Red Bridge Trail and the Three Trails Corridor.

Marlborough Community Center grounds (N38⁰58’42” W94⁰34’2”) is 1 acre at 8200 Paseo.

Marlborough Green (N38o58’53” W94o34’31”) is a stormwater management facility on Troost Avenue at 81st Street. It contains constructed wetlands, trails, and a playground.

Marlborough Park (N38⁰58’38” W94⁰33’40”) is 18 acres at East 83rd Street and Brooklyn Avenue. The rolling park contains a picnic shelter and rolling mowed grass with scattered oak trees.

Marlborough Village Commons is at 81st and Paseo (N38o58’48” W94o34’2”). The ¼ acre site contains a flower garden.

Carl Migliazzo Park (N38⁰54’40” W94⁰36’2”) is 12 acres bordering West Minor Drive, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Summit Avenue. The park includes a playground, 2-acre fishing lake, and walking trails totaling 0.4 miles in length. A marker on the east side of the dam facing Pennsylvania Avenue explains that the park was once part of the 1,000-acre Marcus Gill Farm, established in 1854. The property remained in the family until 1959, when it was sold for residential development. The original walnut log house survived until 1978. The lake drains to a tributary of the Blue River.

Minor Park (N38⁰55’26” W94⁰34’33”) is 235 acres on Red Bridge Road at Holmes Road. The park includes a golf course and the historic Red Bridge, now being used for love locks. Minor Park Swales (N38o55’26” W94o34’32”) are National Register-listed Santa Fe Trail ruts. The swales are a site on the California, Oregon, and Santa Fe National Historic Trails. A parking lot provides a panel describing the ruts and the difficulty of the Blue River crossing, which was used from 1821 to 1865.  A stone Santa Fe Trail marker was installed in the deepest ruts in 1909 by the Daughters of the American Revolution and the State of Missouri. There are six rut sites which are on the National Register of Historic Places. Red Bridge Road Trail is 0.5 miles from Holmes Road to the new Red Bridge, connecting with the Blue River Greenway Trail which goes under the bridge. The bridge contains interpretive panels and displays representing individuals with ties to the three historic trails. Panels provide information on James P. Beckwourth, Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, Felipe Chavez, Alexander Doniphan, Susan Magoffin, Alexander Majors, John Calvin McCoy, Amache Ochinee Prowers, and Hiram Young. On the east side of the Blue River are the Minor Park Shelter 1 parking lot, basketball court, and picnic tables (N38o55’27” W94o34’11”) and the Minor Park Tennis Courts (N38o55’2” W94o35’15”). The Blue River Greenway trail extends through the park from the tennis courts north to Red Bridge Road.

Mockbee Farm, 7850 Holmes Road south of 78th Street (N38o59’10” W94o34’51”), is a site on the Battle of Westport (October 21-23, 1864) tour. No structure remains. A historic marker explains that on October 22, 1864, 300 men of the 2nd Kansas Militia formed a defensive line here; however, it was quickly overrun by the Confederates. The site is currently occupied by South Broadland Church.

New Santa Fe Road crossing, Grandview Road at 98th Terrace, is a site on the Battle of Westport (October 21-23, 1864) tour.

Route 150 Trail is a shared-use path that extends from I-49 east along State Route 150 to Lee’s Summit. A second segment extends from Botts Road west to Prospect Avenue.

Noble Park (N38⁰59’27” W94⁰32’38”) is 14 acres on East 73rd Street at Indiana Avenue. There is a parking lot on 73rd Street and picnic shelters and playground.

South Oak Park (N38⁰58’32” W94⁰35’14”), is 19 acres on East 83rd at Oak Street, with a paved loop walking trail, playground, parking lot, and ball diamond. Trees include pin oak, and muberry.

The Paseo is part of Kansas City’s Parks and Boulevards system, featuring broad tree-lined boulevards, often with a wide tree-covered median. At Paseo and 71st Terrace, the Harold D. Rice Memorial Fountain (N38o59’52” W94o33’53”) commemorates the founder of the City of Fountains Foundation. At Paseo and 79th Street is the Marlborough Plaza Fountain, dating to 1923 (N38o59’2” W94o34’0”).

President Gardens Apartments Historic District (38o58’40”, W94o34’30”) is 36 buildings between 82nd and 83rd Streets, Troost and Lydia, dating to 1945. The site housed workers for the Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Plant (Bannister Federal Plant) at Troost and Bannister, which was demolished in 2019. Contributing buildings are on 82nd Street Terrace, 83rd Street, Forest Avenue, President Avenue, Tracy Avenue, and Virginia Avenue. The facility currently operates as the Villages Apartments.

Red Bridge Road Trail is 0.5 miles from Wornall Road to Blue River Parkway, crossing Red Bridge, and connecting with the Blue River Greenway Trail which goes under the bridge. The bridge contains interpretive panels and displays representing individuals with ties to the three historic trails. Panels provide information on James P. Beckwourth, Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, Felipe Chavez, Alexander Doniphan, Susan Magoffin, Alexander Majors, John Calvin McCoy, Amache Ochinee Prowers, and Hiram Young.

James A. Reed Park (N38⁰57’50” W94⁰29’31”) is 12 acres on East 89th Street at James A. Reed Road. There is a ½-mile trail.

Ruskin Way Park (38o55’8”, 94o30’2”) is 5 acres on East 114th Street at Ruskin Way. The park contains a picnic shelter and playground. Trees include Siberian elms and firs.

Russell, Majors, Waddell Park (38o58’47”, 94o36’28”) is 4 acres at 8145 State Line Road, West 83rd Street, and Ward Parkway, named after the three partners in transporting freight on the frontier. They established the Pony Express. Trees include sweetgum, mulberry, and Siberian elm. Adjacent to the park is the Alexander Majors House and Barn, a National Register of Historic Places property dating to 1856. The house was an outfitting base for army freight in the West and is a partner site of the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.

Russell’s Ford, Grandview Road crossing of the Blue River, is a site on the Battle of Westport (October 21-23, 1864) tour.

Saeger Woods Conservation Area (N38o53’ W94o34’30”), owned by Missouri Department of Conservation, is 20 acres adjacent to Jerry Smith City Park and Blue River Parkway County Park. Access is from trails south of Blue Ridge Boulevard, or the trail at Jerry Smith City Park. There is a small prairie area in the northeast corner of the property.

Santa Fe Trace Park (N38⁰54’31” W94⁰34’58”), 22 acres at Martha Truman Road and Holmes Road. The linear park extends east to Troost Avenue and west to Migliazzo Park near Santa Fe Trail. A 0.36-mile trail runs between Troost Avenue and Martha Truman Road. A shorter trail runs on the south side of Martha Truman Road east of Wornall.

Santa Fe Trail is a 10-foot bicycle route that extends along Santa Fe Trail between Avila University and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Schumacher Park (N38⁰57’22” W94⁰30’50”), 1 acre at 6201 East 93rd Street, includes a Santa Fe Trail exhibit, and is a site on the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon National Historic Trails.

Scott Park (N38⁰56’35” W94⁰32’29”) is at 4141 East 100th Terrace off Grandview Road north of I-435. The 6-acre park has a 0.3-mile trail, which loops around a pond filled with frogs.

Jerry Smith Park (N38⁰52’56” W94⁰34’8”) is 360 acres off 139th Street. The paved entrance road is west of Prospect Avenue. A 1.4-mile loop trail circles the northern prairie. There are two other native prairies in the park, adjoining East 139th Street. Saeger Woods Conservation Area is adjacent to the park.

Sunnyside Park (N38⁰58’39” W94⁰35’53”) is 21 acres on 82nd Street at Summit Avenue, including a 0.9-mile trail. There are tennis courts, field hockey, basketball courts, picnic shelter, and playground. Trees include pin oaks and golden rain tree.

Swope Park is 1,805 acres and includes the following facilities:

  • Battle of Westport Museum, 6601 Swope Parkway (N39⁰0’24” W94⁰32’25”). Battlel of Westport Visitor Center is a partner site of the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.
  • Blue River Greenway Trail along the edge of Swope Soccer Village (N39⁰0’42” W94⁰31’10”)
  • Kansas City Community Gardens, Kensington Avenue (N38⁰59’58” W94⁰32’7”)
  • Kansas City Zoo (N39⁰0’26” W94⁰31’46”)
  • Lake of the Woods (N38o59’44” W94o31’12”), a 7-acre fishing lake on Gregory Boulevard.
  • Lakeside Nature Center (N38⁰59’44” W94⁰31’55”), a wildlife rehabilitation facility on Gregory Boulevard. The two-mile Fox Hollow Trail begins and ends at the nature center and includes rock formations along the Blue River. Lakeside Nature Center is a partner site for the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.
  • Starlight Theater (N39⁰0’26” W94⁰31’59”)
  • Swope Park Trails (N38⁰59’58” W94⁰32’7”) include 2 mountain bike loops extending 13.5 miles, at Oldham Road and Oakwood Drive. The trails are between Oldham Road, Gregory Boulevard, and I-435. A pedestrian-only trail traverses Rocky Point Glade between the mountain bike trails. Its beginning and ending points are on Oakwood Drive. Swope Park Entrance Trail is a 1-mile paved loop along Swope Parkway, 63rdStreet Trafficway, and Starlight areas at the site of the Ethnic Enrichment Festival. Fox Hollow Trail is a 2-mile loop behind the Lakeside Nature Center.
  • Battlefield Markers on Manchester Trafficway (N39⁰0’56” W94⁰31’39”)
  • Shirling Sanctuary—in the zoo at the west end of the swinging bridge at the Lagoon. Swope Memorial overlooks the lagoon (N39⁰0’9” W94⁰31’0”)
  • Loose Flagpole, 175’, at park entrance on Swope Parkway
  • Swope Soccer Village, 6310 Lewis Road (N39⁰0’42” W94⁰31’10”)
  • Heart of America Golf Course (N38⁰59’15” W94⁰31’39”)

Sycamore Park (N38⁰55’40” W94⁰30’8”) is 9 acres bordered by Sycamore Terrace, 108th Street, and 109th Terrace. There is a 0.5-mile trail.

Terrace Park (N38⁰55’3” W94⁰32’46”) is 4 acres on 115th Street at Cleveland Avenue. It consists of mowed grass and scattered Siberian elm, hackberry, and honey locust trees.

Thomas Farmhouse, 96th Terrace at Wornall Road (N38o57’13” W94o35’46”) is a site on the Battle of Westport (October 21-23, 1864) tour. No structure remains. A historic marker explains that on October 23, 1864, after their victory at Westport, the Union leaders met here for consultation. Two days later the Confederates were defeated again at Mine Creek near Pleasanton, Kansas.

3&2 Baseball Complex is at Bannister Road and Blue River Parkway (N38o57’10” W94o33’30”). This facility provides youth baseball league play space in 5 diamonds and is owned and operated by the 3&2 Baseball Club of Kansas City, Missouri.

Three Trails Corridor Trail is a retracement of the Historic Santa Fe-Oregon-California emigrant trail. It is completed between Pennsylvania Avenue and Oak Street along Santa Fe Trail, Alex George Wetlands, Hart Grove area from 98th Terrace at Parkwood Avenue (N38o56’52” W94o32’37”) east to Hickman Mills Road (N38o56’51” W94o32’37”), Bannister Road between Marion Park Drive and Hillcrest Road, Schumacher Park, and Hickman Mills Senior High School Area along Old Santa Fe Road.

Tower Park (N38⁰59’25” W94⁰34’53”) is 19 acres on 75th Street at Holmes Road. The water tower (1920) is an American Water Landmark and is also on the NRHP. The NRHP listing includes the pumping station building. There is an 0.8-mile trail, ballfields, playground, and picnic shelter. Trees include mulberry, maple, oak, sycamore, and honey locust.

Trolley Track Trail extends from 85th and Prospect (N38o58’19” W94o33’30”) north to Brush Creek Trail (N39o2’21” W94o35’4”).

Warford Playground (N38⁰55’6” W94⁰32’58”) is 3 acres on East 114th Terrace west of Cleveland Avenue. The park includes a picnic shelter and scattered honey locust, pin oak, and hackberry trees.

White Oak Park (N38⁰57’41” W94⁰28’15”) is 25 acres on East 89th Street at Crescent avenue, west of Raytown Road and south of 87th Street. There is a ballfield. The park is on a tributary to White Clay Creek.

Woodgate Park (N38⁰56’49” W94⁰28’36”) is 6 acres on East 97th Street at Elm, south of Bannister between James A. Reed and Raytown Roads.

Grandview Parks and Historic Sites

John Anderson Park (N38⁰52’43” W94⁰32’7”) is 35 acres at 4701 East 135th Street. Access is also available from the south at 11th Street north of 137th Street. It includes a splash park, tennis courts, ball fields, and shelters. A walking trail circles a riparian area forested with elm, pecan, mulberry, Osage orange, and hackberry.

Belvidere Park (N38⁰51’23” W94⁰31’10”) is 5 acres at 14713 Fuller Avenue at 147th Street, including a basketball court, playground, and shelter.

Bobcat Park (N38⁰50’45” W94⁰31’21”) is ¼ acre at 15313 Bellaire Street at 153rd Terrace, containing a playground.

Freedom Park (N38⁰53’26” W94⁰31’52”) is 3 acres at 215 Jones Avenue at 13th Street, adjacent to Grandview City Hall. The Grandview Historical Society Depot Museum is included.

Grandview Ball Park (N38⁰53’13” W94⁰32’44”) is 15 acres at 13200 Arrington Road, containing ball fields.

Grandview Residential Historic District (N38o53’15’’ W94o32’0”) includes 28 contributing houses along 10th Street between Main Street and Highgrove Road, Grandview Road between Rhodes Avenue and Highgrove Road, and Highgrove Road between Grandview and 12th Street. The buildings date to 1905.

Little Corner Park (N38⁰52’46” W94⁰31’3”) is 0.4 acres at 13424 Bennington at 135th Street, containing a playground shaded by honey locust, redbud, and ash trees.

Mapleview Park (N38⁰53’46” W94⁰30’36”) is 11 acres at 12511 Winchester Street at 125th Street, containing an electronic playground, picnic shelter, and a paved loop walking trail through a wooded area of hackberry, Osage orange, and honey locust.

Meadowmere Park (N38⁰52’31” W94⁰30’38”) is 51 acres at 13610 Byars Lane. It includes the Little Blue River Trail, 136th Street Access, N38o52’40” W94o30’45”), the Winchester Avenue Access (N38o52’24” W94o30’46”), community gardens, skate park, playgrounds, the View Community Center, and Grand Amphitheater. The Little Blue River Trail extends east from the park across Byars Lane to the Longview Lake Bike Trail.

River Oaks Park (N38⁰51’32” W94⁰31’3”) is 6 acres with a trail and rock-climbing feature on Oil Creek, located at 14620 St. Andrews Drive and Craig Street.

Shalimar Park (N38⁰50’37” W94⁰30’45”) is 15 acres at 7200 East 155th Street, containing baseball diamonds.

Southview Park (N38⁰54’6” W94⁰30’6”) is 12 acres at 7900 Harry Truman Drive west of Southview Drive and east of Food Drive, including a playground. The Truman Presidential Trail crosses the park.

Tails and Trails Dog Park (N38⁰52’19” W94⁰30’29”) is 10 acres at 8005 East 139th Street at Byars Lane.

Terrace Park (N38⁰53’52” W94⁰31’43”) is 1 acre at 1300 East 125th Terrace between 13th Street and 14th Street, including playground equipment.

Harry S. Truman National Historic Site includes Truman Farm Home in Grandview (see National Historic Landmarks)

Truman Presidential Trail extends along Harry Truman Drive from Raytown Road west to Harry Truman Farm Home on Blue Ridge Boulevard. The trail begins at Longview Trail east of Raytown Road (N38o53’55” W94o29’27”), follows the south side of Harry Truman Drive to Southview Drive (N38o54’1” W94o29’54”), and follows the north side of Harry Truman Drive west to 125th Street (N38o53’53” W94o31’15”). The trail then follows sidewalks to Blue Ridge Boulevard (N38o53’57” W94o31’59”) and north to Harry Truman Farm home.

Valley Park (N38⁰54’14” W94⁰33’2”) is 15 acres at 4000 East 123rd Street at Askew Drive. It includes a designer playground.

The Solomon Young Farm original section marker is at Grandview and Martha Truman Roads (N38o54’33” W94o32’0”). Dating to 1867, the marker was on the northwestern portion of the farm. The farm was inherited by Martha Young Truman, mother of Harry S Truman, 33rd President.

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Tuvalu and Southern Gilbert Islands

South of the equator and at the 180th meridian are coral atolls and reef islands in the Pacific Ocean. Atolls have sandy barrier islands surrounding a shallow lagoon. They are the tops of volcanoes that do not quite make it above water level, and over geologic time corals have built up enough to make them rise above sea level. All are in the Western Polynesian tropical moist forest ecoregion.

The islands were visited by ships of the U.S. Exploring Expedition in 1841, after they had discovered land in Antarctica and were heading to Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest. The islands were noted as being well-covered with coconut and other trees. One island was mapped as 13 miles long and another as 8 miles long (Wilkes, 1844).

Islands such as those that make up the entire countries of Tuvalu and Kiribati are considered vulnerable to rising seas related to global warming (Nicholls and Cazenave, 2010). However, geologists think it is possible that sandy islands are capable of growing and rising as the sea level also rises. This assumes that sea level rise is gradual as predicted. During periods of high seas such as during storms, waves will wash over these islands. But instead of eroding the land away, the waves will likely deposit sand from coral. Reefs grow up to 10 to 15 mm per year, faster than sea level rise. As long as the reef remains healthy, a reef island can keep up with sea level rise. Unfortunately, poor shoreline management and human activity also affects some parts of these islands (Pala, 2014), and this can combine with sea level rise to drop inhabited shorelines below sea level.

Forests of the Western Polynesian tropical moist forest ecoregion are dominated by Pisonia (Nyctaginaceae), Cordia (Boraginaceae), Tournefortia (Boraginaceae), Scaevola (Goodeniaceae), and Morinda (Rubiaceae). Common also are Calophyllum (Calophyllaceae), Pandanus (Pandanaceae), Hernandia (Hernandiaceae), and Ficus (Moraceae). Drier areas have herbaceous grasslands. The Funafuti Conservation Area consists of 33 km2 of ocean, reef, lagoon, and six islets (Government of Tuvalu, 2020). The islets are a nesting area for green sea turtle, a colony of black noddy, and terns, sandpipers, shearwaters, boobies, and tropicbirds. The Pacific imperial pigeon and long-tailed curlew use land habitats.

Islands

  • Arorae, Gilbert Islands, Kiribati (S2o38’ E176o49’), an atoll 9 km in length. At the north end, navigational stones provide direction for trips to nearby islands (Republic of Kiribati, 2012a).
  • Beru, Gilbert Islands, Kiribati (S1o20’ E176o0’), an atoll 14 km in length. The island features a lake with edible algae (Nein Tabuariki), and a lake with milkfish (Te nei ni man). Causeway construction has created additional lagoon habitat for fisheries. Environmental issues include drought, erosion, and marine overfishing (Republic of Kiribati, 2020b).
  • Funafuti, Tuvalu (S8o31’ E179o12’), atoll and capital of Tuvalu, is comprised of about 30 islets surrounding a lagoon 18 km long and 14 km wide (tuvaluislands.com).
  • Nanumanga, Tuvalu (S6o17’ E176o20’), is a reef island about a square mile in size with a fringing reef. In the center of the island is Vaiatoa lagoon. A cave used by people when sea level was much lower is located off the north shore (tuvaluislands.com).
  • Nanumea, Tuvalu (S5o40’ E176o8’), is the northernmost atoll in Tuvalu, with an area about one square mile. A freshwater pond is in the southeast. There are 9 islets in an atoll about 12 km in length (tuvaluislands.com)
  • Nikunau, Gilbert islands, Kiribati (S1o20’ E176o28’), a reef island 14 km long. It hosts landlocked, saline lagoons. Environmental issues include drought, coastal erosion, flooding, and depletion of sea cucumber. (Republic of Kiribati, 2012c)
  • Niutao, Tuvalu (S6o7’ E177o21’), is a reef island about 1 square mile in size.
  • Nui, Tuvalu (S7o13’ E177o10’), is an atoll with 21 islets about 1 square mile in size.
  • Nukulaelae, Tuvalu (S9o23’ E179o51’), is an atoll with 19 islets, surrounding a lagoon 10 km long by 4 km wide (tuvaluislands.com).
  • Nukufetau, Tuvalu (S8o0’ E178o23’, is an atoll with 35 islets surrounding a lagoon 13 km long by 7 km wide (tuvaluislands.com).
  • Tamana, Gilbert Islands, Kiribati (S2o30’ E176o0’), is a 6-km-long reef island. It is noted as having a good freshwater lens but it is subject to saline intrusion. Drought, soil erosion, and overfishing are among the environmental issues (Republic of Kiribati, 2012d).
  • Vaitupo, Tuvalu (S7o30’ E178o41’), is an atoll of 2 square miles, with 9 islets.

References:

Republic of Kiribati, Office of Te Beretitenti. 2012a. Island Report 18. Arorae. http://www.climate.gov.ki/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/18_ARORAE-revised-2012.pdf (accessed June 21, 2020).

Republic of Kiribati, Office of Te Beretitenti. 2012b. Island Report 14. Beru. http://www.climate.gov.ki/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/14_BERU-revised-2012.pdf (accessed June 21, 2020).

Republic of Kiribati, Office of Te Beretitenti. 2012c. Island Report 15. Nikunau. http://www.climate.gov.ki/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/15_NIKUNAU-revised-2012.pdf

Republic of Kiribati, Office of Te Beretitenti. 2012d. Island Report 17. Tamana. http://www.climate.gov.ki/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/17_TAMANA-revised-2012.pdf (accessed June 21, 2020).

Government of Tuvalu. 2020. https://www.timelesstuvalu.com/ (accessed June 21, 2020).

Nicholls, Robert J. and Anny Cazenave. 2010. Sea-level rise and its impact on coastal zones. Science 328:1517-1520. DOI: 10.1126/science.1185782.

Pala, Christopher. 2014. Warming May Not Swamp Islands. Science 345:496-497.

Wilkes, Charles. 1844. Narrative of the U.S. Ex. Ex. During the Years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842. Volume V. C. Sherman Publisher.