Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District Listed in National Register of Historic Places

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Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District Listed in National Register of Historic Places

Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District Listed in National Register of Historic Places
Aug 24, 2016

In a press release dated August 17, 2016, Kansas City Parks announced that the Kansas City Parks and Boulevards Historic District has been officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The district includes Kessler Park, Penn Valley Park, and The Parade, along with seven of the boulevards that connect them, namely Independence, Gladstone, Linwood, Armour, The Paseo, Benton Boulevard, and Broadway.

Officially recorded on August 9, the listing was awarded for the district’s importance to the fields of community planning and development and to landscape architecture, with a period of significance spanning some seventy years, from 1895 to 1965. The listing represents the culmination of efforts that began in 2014, when the first draft of the National Register nomination, prepared by consultant Cydney Millstein with Architectural & Historical Research, LLC, and landscape architect Paul Novick of Confluence, was submitted to Missouri’s State Historic Preservation Office.

TCLF’s Charles Birnbaum praised the listing, as quoted in the press release: “The Kansas City Park and Boulevard System is not only one of the most important public open space networks in the country, but it is a seminal work of the City Beautiful era where planning and landscape architecture came seamlessly together through the vision of George Kessler. The Cultural Landscape Foundation applauds the increased visibility and recognition of the value of this unrivaled landscape heritage that listing in the National Register of Historic Places affords.”

As was reported in The Kansas City Star, the announcement of the National Register listing was made in front of a memorial (pictured above) to businessman August R. Meyer, the first president of the Board of Park Commissioners of Kansas City, who hired Kessler to develop a master plan (1893) for the park system. In time, the well-known Kansas City landscape architecture firm of Hare & Hare expanded on Kessler’s vision, making a name for themselves with their work throughout the city and across the United States. 

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The Pergola on The Paseo, Kansas City, MO - Photo by Richard Welnowski, 2014