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Gladstone Boulevard, North from Independence Avenue
Gladstone Boulevard, North from Independence Avenue
TitleGladstone Boulevard, North from Independence Avenue
DescriptionPostcard of Gladstone Boulevard, North from Independence Avenue
Historical ArticleGladstone, shown in this artist's sketch on an 1899 post card, was Kansas City's first boulevard.

An early souvenir park booklet describes the thoroughfare: Gladstone Boulevard, from Independence Boulevard to Indian Mound. Length, total 2.82 miles. Gladstone Boulevard was the first boulevard constructed under the control of the Board of Park Commissioners. Construction began in the fall of 1895 and was completed in the spring of 1897. Cost of acquisition, $87,729.80. Cost of construction $164,013.17. The boulevard ran due north to Scarritt Point and then wound east and north to Indian Mound, located on a high and sightly point overlooking the Missouri River Valley.

The beautiful roadway was the first step of the ambitious plans for boulevards and parks, advocated by W. R. Nelson of The Star, George E. Kessler, architect for the park board, and August Meyer, president of the first board. (Meyer's residence was at 2806 Independence.)

The large red brick mansion in the left foreground, on the northwest corner of Independence and Gladstone (now occupied by a supermarket) was the residence of D. O. Smart, listed in the city directory of that day as capitalist. His home, built in 1885, occupied the frontage of the entire block on Independence. Smart was engaged in banking, real estate and the stock brokerage business. He developed the Smart addition (where his home stood) which was at one time the 80-acre farm of his wife, Alice Waldron Smart. Waldron Avenue is named in honor of her family.

The Smart home, as pictured on the old post card, stood just across the street from the Independence Boulevard Christian Church where Mr. Smart was an active member. He became ill in church Nov. 9, 1896, and was carried across the street on a seat by four doctors, present in the congregation, but died before reaching his home.

At 512 Gladstone, just north of the Smart home, was a brick New Amsterdam style residence, with a stepped parapet gable built by Martin E. Tomlinson for an unknown owner. (Tomlinson was also the builder for the Scarritt-Royster residence.)

Across the boulevard at 511 Gladstone, at the right side of the picture, was the brick and shingle Queen Anne style residence of Loring W. Craig, president of Craig and McRoberts Sand Company, a business located on the Missouri River levee at the foot of Grand Avenue. The Craigs' earlier home was at 1410 Troost.

The newly planted trees line the boulevard in the picture, tower over the boulevard with pleasant shade and two of the old homes, those at 511 and 512 Gladstone still stand.

Kansas City Times
June 8, 1974

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
LocationSC58
Local SubjectGladstone Boulevard
Streets
Digital FormatJPEG
Barcode20000291
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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