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...in the Beginning.
If Hugh & Vassie Ward were the father and mother of Ward Parkway, landscape architect George Kessler, was the obstetrician. Now greatly honored for his pivotal role in the creation of the Kansas City, Missouri, Parks and Boulevard system, Kessler planned the route of Ward Parkway as one of his last major projects in Kansas City. From 1909 forward he spent more time in St. Louis and other U.S. cities where his services were in greater demand than in Kansas City. William H. Wilson, the historian of the national City Beautiful Movement, credits Kessler and first Parks Board president August Meyer as the creative forces behind the development of the Parks and Boulevards system in the 1890s. He further indicates that this effort was the true beginning of the national City Beautiful Movement which spawned modern city planning after 1900.
© WHMC-KC, University of Missouri