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Plaza, Independence Avenue
Plaza, Independence Avenue
TitlePlaza, Independence Avenue
DescriptionPostcard of the Plaza Park on Independence Avenue
Historical ArticleMore than 20 years before the Country Club Plaza was started Kansas City boasted a Plaza in the Northeast district, on Independence avenue. Post cards showing the little park were often labeled The Plaza, Kansas City, Missouri.

The small plaza or park of less than two acres was located between Brooklyn and Park Avenue on both sides of Independence avenue. The land was acquired by the city in 1898 and the park completed in 1901 at a cost of $133,922. It was Kansas City's most costly park purchase.

The park was formerly an unsightly spot of shabby one-story shops, which were built over gullies on either side of Independence avenue and were raised on pillars to the level of the sidewalk.

When a saloon was being planned for the location, property owners banded together and pushed for the development of a park instead.

Shacks and stores were removed, gullies filled with dirt, trees and flower beds planted and sidewalks laid. Upkeep was not costly. The 1907 report of the board of park commissioners lists a total yearly expenditure of $396.24 for Independence Plaza. The items: lawns, $14; plantings, $378.74; settees, $3.50.

Several apartment houses and the Bonaventure hotel (right) were erected adjacent to the park, and in the next block east at 2415 Independence avenue, Robert Keith, furniture merchant, might be seen any day, posting forth on horseback from his driveway, for his daily ride.

The mansion of David Beals, banker, was directly across the street from Keith's, and the area abounded in fashionable manor houses with long circling driveways, porte-cocheres, carved-stoned doorways, gracious lawns in front and barns and luscious gardens in the rear.

Today the neighborhood has lost its grandeur, but the little park remains a welcome break on the busy business street.

Kansas City Times
August 15, 1970

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectPlaza Park
Independence Avenue
Northeast Residential District
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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