|Panel 2, Image B|
...Becomes Part of the Boulevards System.
The Kansas City Parks & Boulevards System and Plan.
August Meyer and George Kessler collaborated in planning Kansas Citys first Progressive Era response to perceived blight brought by rapid urban expansion in the 1880s. Meyers engineering training, combined with Kesslers landscape architecture experience, proved more than adequate for designing the series of parks and boulevards announced in 1893. Major shanty clearance efforts resulted from the planned landscaping of North and West Terrace Parks, Penn Valley Park, and the Paseo right-of-way. While Meyer and Kessler planned most boulevards to enhance the adjacent real estate values, nowhere was this more evident than along the route of The Paseo from Independence Avenue [or 6th Street] to The Parade Park at 18th Street. Hastily built shacks housing some of the poorest city residents [including many in the black community] were removed to make room for the widened roadway and large houses and apartments constructed particularly on the west side of the thoroughfare. The Paseo had the effect of intensifying the racial segregation of the city by moving or keeping black residents confined mostly to sections east of the new boulevard.
This 1926 map outlines the basic plan as it existed between the World Wars. The Blue Valley subsystem of Parks and Boulevards shown on the right side of the map never came to fruition in this form, however.
© WHMC-KC, University of Missouri