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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

Linwood Boulevard extends nearly 3.5 miles, from Broadway to Hardesty Avenue. It is a major east–to–west traffic artery and one of the two major cross–town links, along with Independence Boulevard further north. The boulevard roadway is 60 feet wide and contains sections lined by 10–to–12–foot–wide grass strips and 5–to–6–foot–wide sidewalks. The western end, from Main Street to Troost Avenue, is primarily commercial and has lost most of its grass strips and street trees.

HISTORY

A plan for the portion of Linwood Boulevard between Lydia Avenue and Benton Boulevard was included in the original 1893 parks and boulevards report. In 1899 the portion of Linwood Boulevard from Troost Avenue to Benton Boulevard was acquired. The section along 32nd Street from Troost Avenue to Gillham Road was designated Linwood Boulevard in 1900. In 1925 Linwood Boulevard was extended from Gillham Road southwest to Oak Street, then west to the intersection of Hunter Avenue and Main Street. When Hunter Avenue was renamed Linwood Boulevard a year later, Broadway became the western terminus of the boulevard.

INTEGRITY

Linwood Boulevard retains its integrity of location and some of its integrity of setting, design, feeling, and association. Materials and workmanship have been updated and therefore do not retain their integrity. The property boundaries were established by the acquisitions made form 1899 to 1925.

The setting of the boulevard has changed considerable. Increased traffic has brought an influx of overhead signals, signs, and modern street lights. At the western end, newer commercial enterprises have replaced older residential buildings, curbside trees have been lost, and sidewalks have been extended to the curb.

SIGNIFICANCE

Linwood Boulevard is significant in the area of landscape architecture as one of the oldest and longest east–to–west boulevards in the parks and boulevards sytesm. In the area of community planning, Linwood Boulevard is significant as a fundamental part of Kessler´s boulevards plan. It was one of the two major crosstown boulevards, and particularly important for the eastern districts of the city. Linwood Boulevard historically attrached social and civic institutions and was known as the "Boulevard of Churches." Linwood Boulevard is significant in the are of transportation as a key east–west connector. It originally joined the outlying eastern and Blue Valley districts to the rest of the boulevards system, and currently is a major crosstown link between the eastern and western neighborhoods of the city.