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West Terrace Park, Palisades
West Terrace Park, Palisades
TitleWest Terrace Park, Palisades
DescriptionPostcard of Palisades at West Terrace Park
Historical ArticleOne of the oldest parks in the Kansas City system is West Terrace park, acquired in pieces from 1904 to 1950. It occupies 30-1/2 acres on the west bluff overlooking the Kaw valley, from Sixth Seventeenth streets.

Massive retaining walls, tower, steps and spring house were built to provide a convenient short route for pedestrians descending from the top of the bluff and old Quality Hill, to the west bottoms and old Union depot below. Wooden steps (not visible in the picture) continue downward from the driveway to the foot of the bluff, near Ninth and Lincoln streets.

Before the park was built, the area was covered with shanties, an eyesore to Kansas Citians and the passengers on rail lines coming into the old depot. Towering high above all were the buildings and huge outdoor sign of the Keeley Institute, for alcoholic treatment.

George E. Kessler, landscape architect and city planner, who considered it a civic duty to build for future city park needs, drew the plans and saw the park completed in 1907.

Kersey Coates drive shown in the foreground of the photograph, long since has been eliminated to make room for a modern highway connecting with the Lewis and Clark viaduct. The steps and spring are no longer in use, but the tower remains.

The brick houses barely visible beyond the wall (upper right) are gone.

A marker in the nearby park at Eight and Jefferson streets commemorates the visit of Lewis and Clark, who also from this vantage point viewed the wide panorama and the confluence of the Kaw and Missouri rivers.

Kansas City Times
March 15, 1969
AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectPalisades
West Terrace Park
Terrace (West Terrace Park)
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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