J.C. Nichols Company Scrapbooks (KC0054)
Jesse Clyde Nichols, a young man born and raised in Johnson County, Kansas, entered the real estate business in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1905. His objective was to "develop whole residential neighborhoods that would attract an element of people who desired a better way of life, a nicer place to live and would be willing to work in order to keep it better." Nichols included in his early planning fine residences, conveniently located shopping areas, and restrictive covenants to maintain the quality of housing. From this base the J.C. Nichols Company grew in Kansas City and developed 56 residential areas. In addition, the Company entered such real estate ventures as rental housing, industrial parks, hotels, and shopping centers.
Perhaps the most widely recognized Nichols Company development is the Country Club District in Kansas City. The Country Club Plaza was, reportedly, the first shopping area in America planned to serve those arriving by automobile rather than trolley car. The Plaza has evolved since the opening of its first building in 1922 into a major Kansas City regional shopping center. Early in the development of the Nichols Company neighborhoods, J.C. Nichols organized homes associations for residents. These associations were designed to provide homeowners the opportunity to maintain the quality of their neighborhoods. The homes associations, still in existence, provide a vehicle for home owners as a group, to request improved services from city government, to affect zoning decisions, and the like. Under the leadership of J.C. Nichols (1880-1950) and his son, Miller Nichols (1911-2000), the J.C. Nichols Company has been a primary force in the history of Kansas City and has been recognized nationally and internationally for its efforts in real estate and neighborhood development.
In 1954, Faye Littleton, a Nichols Company employee since 1913, who served as executive secretary of the homes associations, began organizing into scrapbooks materials she had gathered over the previous forty years.
The scrapbooks of this collection include correspondence, photographs, maps, newspaper clippings, brochures, and other material related to the J.C. Nichols Company, its development areas, the homes associations in the Nichols Company neighborhoods, employees of the firm, and prominent individuals who lived in Nichols Company neighborhoods, and may have served as directors of the homes associations. 1910-1981.
49 volumes (MICROFORM)
J.C. Nichols Company Records (KC0106)
Miller Nichols (1911-2000) Papers (0925kc)
© State Historical Society of Missouri
Monday, February 07, 2011
State Historical Society of Missouri Research Center-Kansas City
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