Longan School by Bill Worley, August 1981 Hyde Parker PDF  | Print |

"Where is the Hyde Park school?" is a question asked by visitors and new residents of the neighborhood. It’s as though there ought to be a building bearing that name. The normal response is that there are two public schools serving Hyde Park—George B. Longan at 34th and Cherry and Bancroft at 43rd and Tracy. Central and north Hyde Parkers attend the former while south Hyde Parkers can walk to the latter.

As a matter of fact, however, there once was a Hyde Park School called by that name from the middle 1890s when it was built by the then-separate Westport School district. The Hyde Park School was located on the site now occupied by Longan—4th and Cherry. Ironically, it was not situated inside the actual subdivision named Hyde Park; rather, it was in the adjacent Kenwood Annex subdivision.

Beginning in 1908, there was also an elementary school at 39th and Warwick Boulevard inside the Hyde Park subdivision limits. Known initially as Westport School, this structure was renamed the George B. Longan School in 1911 by the Kansas City School District to honor an Assistant School Superintendent who had recently died after several decades of service to the district.

As the 1920s came to a close and the Depression deepened, the number of families with children adjacent to the 39th and Warwick Longan School declined. The construction of apartments along Armour, Gillham, and 34th Streets during the 1920s had the opposite effect on the Hyde Park enrollment. In 1932, the School Board decided to combine the two schools at 34th and Cherry. The Longan name was applied to the old Hyde Park building probably to mollify the families left in the original Longan district and to honor George B. Longan, Jr., then an editor of The Kansas City Star.

A new building was constructed in the 1950s with complete facilities including an auditorium, gymnasium, home economics room, and extensive playground area. Because of Hyde Park's fortunate location, Longan remains a neighborhood school with its entire student body within walking distance.

Just remember, George B. Longan School is really the Hyde Park School.