|Panel 3, Image A|
...Attracts the City's Leaders.
Map of Ward Parkway and the Country Club District, ca. 1917.
This remarkable map provides a great deal of detail regarding the first few years of development of the Ward Parkway section of the Sunset Hill residential district. A formal treatment of the median was already projected by Hare and Hare as of this time. The indications of house owners [or in some cases, lot owners] reads like a Whos Who of the up-and-coming Kansas City business elite. Bankers, lumber company executives, jewelers, manufacturers, and attorneys all were building or planning to build on or within one block on either side of Ward Parkway.
Had the Quality Hill and East Eighth Street neighborhoods which had previously housed many of this type of family not been in visible decline, it is highly unlikely that the section would have been so immediately successful. At the same time the downtown retail district expanded southwards and the industrial West Bottoms received the last of the Big Five packing houses [Wilson and Company opened in 1916], fine old houses near downtown underwent conversion to rooming houses for growing industrial wage-earner families.
The other factor of importance is that Ward Parkway and the rest of the Boulevard system took on added importance as trafficways in the World War I era. Wealthier families, such as those planning or building on Ward Parkway began to have [usually chauffeur-driven] automobiles which enabled them to live further from the downtown commercial districts.
Click on this map for enlarged images.
© WHMC-KC, University of Missouri