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Penn Valley Park, Winter Scene
Penn Valley Park, Winter Scene
TitlePenn Valley Park, Winter Scene
DescriptionPostcard of Winter Scene at Penn Valley Park
Historical ArticleA 1907 winter scene shows Penn Valley park drive curving around the 3-acre, ice-covered lake, with no sign of traffic except for one early-day roadster.

In the foreground is one of the 35 Welsbach gas streetlights the park boasted at the time. These were lit at dusk by lamplighter, who made the rounds on foot, and returned early in the morning to turn them off.

There was a double roadway through the park, one road for pleasure vehicles and the other for heavy traffic. A row of newly planted trees separated the two roads.

Ten years before this picture was taken the area was a deep ravine with 300 houses scattered on its sides. None cost more than $2,000 and most of them little more than $100. A goat would have had a hard time trying to pick his way along old Penn Street ravine as was called.

A few unpaved streets sprawled through the rough settlement and board sidewalks dipped and rose, following the contour when possible. In places, walks hung on wobbly stilts to give passage across a gully. When it rained the area was a mass of sticky clay.

After the land was purchased for a park in 1900, nine store buildings and 295 other structures were moved to other sites or razed. Park engineers then found themselves with 130 acres of rough land with holes that had been cellars and masses of dirt and rubbish that had been left behind.

Roads were constructed from stone crushed on the grounds, earth was hauled, hollows leveled, grass seed and tree planted and the lake dam built to hold surface waters pouring down from the heights above.

The park now contains 176 acres and includes the Liberty Memorial, the Scout and Pioneer Mother statues, tennis courts, ball diamond, a park service center and a Santa Fe Trail marker.

Important midtown buildings adjacent to the park, such as the Union Station, Main Post Office, St. Mary's and Trinity Lutheran hospitals, B. M. A. Insurance building and WDAF radio and television station, all were constructed after the park was finished and today share the luxury of open space and distant views with motorists driving through.

The new Penn Valley Community college campus will be adjacent to the park.

Kansas City Star
January 3, 1970

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectPenn Valley Park
Winter Scenes
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
RightsReproduction (printing, downloading, or copying) of images from Kansas City Public Library requires permission and payment for the following uses, whether digital or print: publication; reproduction of multiple copies; personal, non-educational purposes; and advertising or commercial purposes. Please order prints or digital files and pay use fees through this website. All images must be properly credited to: "Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri." Images and texts may be reproduced without prior permission only for purposes of temporary, private study, scholarship, or research. Those using these images and texts assume all responsibility for questions of copyright and privacy that may arise.
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