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Harrison Blvd. Historic Survey PDF  | Print |

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


Harrison Boulevard extends due south for four blocks (0.47 miles) from Armour Boulevard to 39th Street. It joins the upper end of Harrison Parkway at 37th Street and crosses Manheim Road at 38th. The right–of–way is 80 feet with 20–foot margins that accommodate approximately 12–foot–wide grass strips, 6–foot–wide sidewalks and another 5–foot–wide grass strip. The original double row of elm trees have been replace by a single row of Rosehill ash trees. (Several of the original elms are still growing along the boulevard. Future plans call for all the trees to be replaced with red oaks.)


In 1903 the park board acquired a portion of the existing Harrison Street, from Armour Boulevard to the south line of the Troost Avenue Heights Addition near 38th Street. This section was graded in 1904 and paved in 1905. In 1907 surplus trees from nearby Hyde Park were transplanted along the roadway. The park board acquired the section of Harrison Street from 38th to 39th Streets, the remainder of what was to become Harrison Boulevard, in 1908. In the same year, this section was improved by grading, paving, and the addition of curbs and sidewalks. Upon completion, Harrison Boulevard linked Gillham Road and Armour Boulevard to the entire parks and boulevard system.


Harrison Boulevard retains its integrity of location and most of its integrity of setting, design, feeling, and association. Its materials and workmanship were replaced as part of normal city street maintenance. The property boundaries remain unchanged from the original acquisitions of 1903 and 1908. The design is mostly intact, including the original dimensions of the street, grass strips, and walks, but the double row of trees no longer remains and ash trees have been substituted for elms trees. The boulevard retains its early 1900s neighborhood setting, and thus its historic feeling. The major alteration is the replacement of the decorative 15–foot–high street lights by modern lighting near Armour Boulevard. In the late 1980´s or early 1990´s the triangle at the junction of Harrison Boulevard and Harrison Parkway was added as a traffic calming addition.


Harrison Boulevard is significant in the area of landscape architecture as a good example of a smaller residential boulevard. It is especially significant because of its relationship to Harrison Street, north and south of the boulevard section , and to Harrison Parkway to the southwest. The street, boulevard, and parkway were included in a single plan. In the area of community planning, Harrison Boulevard is significant as a connector within the larger boulevards system.