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A Legacy of Design–An Historical Survey of the Kansas City, Missouri, Parks and Boulevards System, 1893–1940

Editors: Janice Lee, David Boutros, Charlotte R. White and Deon Wolfenbarger, Kansas City Center for Design Education and Research, in cooperation with the Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City. Kansas City, Missouri, 1995

DESCRIPTION

Manheim Road is a short boulevard serving a neighborhood of small, single–family homes on larger–than–average lots. It extends 0.62 miles form Holmes Street on the west to The Paseo on the east. The central stretch of Manheim Road (from 37th Street and Forest Avenue to 39th Street and Virginal Avenue) has a 60–foot–right–of–way, including a 40–foot–wide roadway with 8–foot–wide grass strips and 5–foot–wide sidewalks on both sides. The few remaining trees are predominantly sugar maples. Manheim Green, a small, modern, terraced park with a large stone retaining wall, is located at the eastern terminus of Manheim Road, near 40th Street. At its western end, Manheim Road consists of a one–way frontage road overlooking Harrison Parkway, and has only a 30–foot–right–of–way.

HISTORY

Manheim Road was built by the agents for Squire Manor Property and was completed before it was placed under the control of the Board of Park Commissioners in 1910. The Roadway created a new connection between Harrison Boulevard and Swope Parkway via The Paseo. In 1914 the final section from Holmes to Campbell Streets was placed under park board control.

The block of Virginia Avenue and the portion of East 4oth Street from Virginia Avenue to The Paseo were renamed Manheim Road in 1950. In 1958 Manheim Road was repaved from Troost Avenue to The Paseo. One acre of land at Manheim Road and 40th Street was purchased in 1979 and became Manheim Green park.

INTEGRITY

Manheim Road retains its integrity of location and setting and some of its integrity of feeling and association. The present property boundaries were established by the original acquisitions in 1910 and 1914. The main part of Manheim Road, from Harrison Boulevard to 39th Street and Virginia Avenue, was built in conjunction with a real–estate development of a still–extant neighborhood. The western end, a frontage road to the Harrison Parkway section, also retains much of the original residential ambiance even though few street trees remain. Materials and workmanship have been replaced by new construction and to not retain their integrity, but the substitution of new construction has not altered the form or character of Manheim Road as first conceived and built. Manheim Road retains its association with the 1893 parks and boulevards plan.

SIGNIFICANCE

Manheim Road is significant in the area of landscape architecture as a good example of a short, picturesque residential boulevard. It achieves its scenic quality by simple means: a slightly curving diagonal alignment with a small triangular green, and larger irregular lots with well–planted front yards. The western end illustrates the use of a frontage road overlooking a parkway (Harrison Parkway).

In the area of community planning, Manheim Road demonstrates how a short residential boulevard can be the catalyst for a small, planned development. The boulevard also shows how the private sector supported the parks and boulevard system plan and adapted the plan´s principles to its own individually sponsored projects, thereby expanding the system into newly planned neighborhoods.

Manheim Road is significant in the area of transportation as an important connector to The Paseo, the north–south backbone of the entire parks and boulevard system.