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1920 Park & Boulevard System Souvenir Booklet PDF  | Print |

Presented by the Board of Park Commissioners of Kansas City, MO. Revision and reprint of 1914 edition. 1920 Compiled and written by Fred Gabelman

Scope and Purpose of Park and Boulevard System

"The purpose may be expressed in a very few words–the giving to all of the residents opportunity for outdoor recreation as near the homes as it is possible to accomplish.

"The equally important object, as expressed in the very first report of 27 years ago, was to secure, so far as possible, the right uses of land within the City, leaving for commercial, industrial and residential uses the land situated and adapted to those purposes, through this, securing not only legitimate increases in value, but an equally important result–a stability of values, checking the losses that too frequently come from a shifting of the uses of lands arising from ill–conceived projects on lands, not so adapted.

"The boulevards have closely connected all the different residential districts and established permanent residential properties, both increasing and holding values."
George E. Kessler, Landscape Architect
1920 Souvenir Booklet description of Hyde Park parkways and boulevards.

Armour Boulevard

From Broadway to The Paseo.
Length, 1.25 miles.

Date acquired, 1899.
Date completed, 1901.
Cost of Acquisition $44,937.04
Cost of Construction 104,003.37
Cost of Maintenance 55,599.25
Total $204,539.66
This boulevard was named in honor of Mr. Simeon B. Armour, a member of the first Board of Park Commissioners.

Gillham Road

From 22nd St. and Grand Avenue to The Paseo, at 46th.
Length, 4.12 miles.
Area, 128.67 acres.
Completed Drives, 6.22 miles.

Date acquired, Kansas City Terminal Ry. to 31st St., 1901.
Date acquired, 31st Street to 46th Street, 1903.
Date acquired, Along 46th St., Harrison to The Paseo, 1906.

Date completed, 22nd and Grand to 27th St., 1905.
Date completed, 27th to 31st Sts., 1904.
Date completed, 31st to 45th Sts., 1907.
Date completed, 45th St. to The Paseo, 1908.
Cost of Acquisition $ 487,625.94
Cost of Construction 493,911.06
Cost of Maintenance 183,192.41
Total $ 1,164,729.41
Gillham Road, named in honor of Robert Gillham, an early Park Commissioner, is a parkway of varying width, from 75 feet to 500 feet, and irregular outline, extending over hill and through valley from the Kansas City Terminal Railway, at the Union Station to Brush Creek Valley, that is extremely interesting. A panoramic view of the business section of the City can be seen from Hospital Hill, at 24th Street. Through the efforts of the Board of Park Commissioners, with the co–operation of the Hospital ad Health Board, the extensive lighting system of the Hospital Hill is produced at the low expense of $70.00 per year. The Operating Plant for the Westport Park District is located at 39th Street. The original plans call for a very complete playground south of 39th Street, a wading and casting pool, tennis courts, baseball and athletic field being already under operation.

Harrison Boulevard

From Armour Boulevard to 39th Street.
Length, 0.84 miles.

Date acquired, Armour to near 38th St., 1903.
Date acquired, Near 38th St. to 39th St., 1908.

Date completed, Armour to near 38th St., 1906.
Date completed, Near 38th St. to 39th St., 1908.
Cost of Acquisition $ 5,202.00
Cost of Construction 29,219.05
Cost of Maintenance 11,415.97
Total $ 45,837.02

Linwood Boulevard

From Gillham Road to Van Brunt Boulevard at 31st St., and Hardesty Avenue.*
Length, 3.10 miles.

Date acquired, Gillham Road to Troost, 1903.
Date acquired, Troost to Benton, 1899.
Date acquired, Indiana to Van Brunt, 1913.

Date completed, Gillham Road to Troost, 1906.
Date completed, Troost to Michigan, 1900.
Date completed, Michigan to Benton, 1902.
Date completed, Benton to Indiana, 1910.
Cost of Acquisition $ 164,106.64
Cost of Construction 159,341.07
Cost of Maintenance 79,144.09
Total $402,591.80
Benton, Gladstone, Linwood and Armour Boulevards are splendid examples of the standard 100 foot boulevard recommend by Mr. George E. Kessler, Landscape Architect, and adopted by the first Board of Park Commissioners in 1893. This standard was for a central roadway, 40 feet wide, and parking 30 feet wide on each side. In the parking, sidewalks 8 feet wide, located 5 feet from property lines, and in the lawn spaces three rows of trees–one row 4 feet from curbs and one tow 2 1/2 feet on each side of the sidewalk, spaced about 45 feet apart with center row staggered. The standard for construction was macadam pavement, 12 inches in depth, a combined concrete curb and gutter and concrete sidewalk. Results have demonstrated the wisdom of that original plan. The only change in construction has been the oiled surface and bituminous binder in wearing surface of the pavement; and in width of roadways which, on account of the immense amount of automobile and pleasure traffic on boulevards, are planned 50 feet wide in the boulevards recently acquired, and on main arteries to widen them to 50 and 60 feet wide.

*Linwood Boulevard was not extended west of Gillham Road until 1925, five years after the 1920 Souvenir booklet was printed.

Manheim Road

From Holmes to Campbell Streets, and from Harrison Boulevard at 38th Street to The Paseo at 40th Street.
Length, 0.62 miles.

Date placed under Board´s control, Harrison to The Paseo, 1910.
Date placed under Board´s control, Holmes to Campbell, 1914.

Date completed, prior to being placed under Board´s control.
Date completed, Near 38th St. to 39th St., 1908.
Cost of Construction $ 273.39.
Cost of Maintenance 5,445.78
Total $ 5,719.17