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Hare & Hare, Landscape Architects, 3212 and 3224 Campbell

Here Lies Kansas City by Wilda Sandy

Hare and Hare, father and son, were the first and last word in Kansas City landscape architecture from the late teens into the 1930s. any large and prestigious project from that era bears witness. Downtown the Courthouse, City Hall and Municipal Courts complex is theirs; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; J. C. Nichols” vast Country Club empire; and parks and cemeteries on both sides of the state line. And scores of cities in 28 states owe their ambiance to Hare and Hare, including R. A. Long’s planned city of Longview, Washington.

Father and guiding light was Sid J. Hare, a gentle, scholarly, investigative man. He was born January 26, 1860 n Louisville, Kentucky, and came to Kansas City eight years later. Trained as a surveyor and civil engineer, his first love remained horticulture.

In 1896 these two melded when Sid Hare was appointed superintendent of Forest Hill cemetery. There for six years he lovingly sculpted the terrains’ rolling contours, designed curving roadways, laid native stone walls and planted hundreds of varieties of trees—making Forest Hill “more than just a monument field.”

Sid Hare had more sides than a diamond. From engineer to horticulturalist to amateur geologist was no stretch for his fertile imagination. Fro years he painstakingly unearthed, identified and catalogued upwards of 500 fossil remains from Kansas City building sites. And he also found time to be an avid armchair Egyptologist—working on the theory that within the Great Pyramids’ Secret Chamber would be found the Ark of the Covenant, the Golden Candlesticks and other sacred utensils.

In 1902 Sid Hare started his own consulting firm, and eight years later, he was jointed by his son, S. Herbert, a landscape architect who had studied under Frederick Law Olmstead at Harvard. Thus Hare and Hare was born in 1910.

When Sid Hare moved to his country place in 1924, “Harecliff”, this 21-acre tract of wooded valley on Gregory boulevard near Blue Ridge, became his hobby. There he cultivated every week and wild flower indigenous to Missouri. The Santa Fe Trail had passed across this refuge, and Cave Spring where pioneers had refreshed themselves and their livestock lay just beyond. Hare venerated the history as much as the land.

Sid Hare was 78 when he died at Harecliff October 25, 1938. He came full circle. His deft touch began at Forest Hill cemetery. Now he and his partner-son, who died in 1960, lied buried there, not far fro the site of the house occupied at 69th street and Troost avenue during Sid Hare’s cemetery superintendency.

Note: The 1919 City Directory showed Sid J. Hare as residing at 3224 Campbell while his son, S. Herbert Hare, lived at 3212 Campbell.