The Hare and Hare Project...
was a major undertaking for the State Historical Society of Missouri Research Center-Kansas City (formerly the Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City) to enhance access to the records of the architectural landscape and city planning firm of Hare and Hare through a comprehensive arrangement and description of the records, and to conserve the materials by flattening, repairing, and providing appropriate storage.
The Research Center-Kansas City is known as a major regional resource on the built environment holding thousands of building plans and other records documenting our community and region. The National Historical Publication and Records Commission (NHPRC) awarded us $57,860. in addition we raised $20,000 in third-party money, $32,600 in in-kind donations of space and services, and provided approximately $66,000 in cost sharing and direct expenses from the University.
The Hare and Hare Company was a very important firm, especially in the central and southwest United States. They were unusual in the role they played in site planning in cooperation with real estate developers and architects of buildings, and were particularly influential with their community and city planning work. Their records reflect this depth of professional contribution. We are confident that landscape architects, landscape historians, planners, architectural historians, architects, students, and members of the allied professions throughout the country will utilize this important collection in their research. In fact, even with limited access the records have had numerous queries and use by scholars from Texas; Washington, D.C.; Minnesota; and Oklahoma; as well as locally, this last year.
In particular, Hare and Hare were prominent in creating gardens, estate, and city plans in the Kansas City area. They laid out the design for Mission Hills; did the original landscape design for the Nelson Gallery and Loose Park; and, working with owners and architects, designed many of the beautiful private gardens that grace our community.
This Project relates the study, practice, and theory of landscape architecture to broader concepts of architecture and the built environment. Though there are excellent book collections dealing with city planning and urban landscape design, few manuscript collections of the depth and quality of the Hare and Hare Records exist. The Kansas City, Missouri, firm of Hare and Hare made a significant impact on the designed American landscape. From Sid Hares early innovative work in cemetery design that influenced key transitions between cemetery types, to the firms smaller scale projects from private gardens and developments to the larger city planning activities, Hare and Hares commissions not only reflected the priorities and attitudes which shaped Kansas City and the nation, but also demonstrated their adaptability to the changing role of the profession throughout the first half of the 20th century.
With the donation of the Hare and Hare Company Records to the Research Center-Kansas City, it will be possible for landscape architects, landscape historians, planners, architectural historians, architects, students, and members of the allied professions throughout the country to utilize this important collection in their research. Because there is no single, comprehensive source on the firm of Hare and Hare, making this collection public for the first time opens a significant chapter in further understanding the role of these visionary landscape architects. Furthermore, as we continue our efforts to safeguard our landscape legacy, collections such as the Hare and Hare Company Records will aid in fostering appropriate preservation practices. As stated in the recent publication Pioneers of American Landscape Design (1993), an annotated bibliography which includes an entry on Hare and Hare, "if we are to successfully understand the significance and integrity of an individual property and prescribe a landscape preservation treatment, it seems critical to understand individual practitioners design philosophies, their career canons, and the ability to identify and evaluate what is extant of that legacy on the American landscape today."
This project has always been envisioned in four phases, the first being the preparation of the preliminary inventory and the second being the NHPRC funded processing of the material. The third phase will be the microfilming of the drawings for preservation and access. We anticipate pursuing outside grants to gain the approximately $50,000 needed to do that work. The final phase has already begun the exploitation of the collection for publication, exhibits, and reproductions.
The following pages provide the background information on the accomplishment of the second phase and includes the original proposal and various reports on the work.
Last revised: Tuesday, October 04, 2011
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