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Penn Valley Park, Drive
Penn Valley Park, Drive
TitlePenn Valley Park, Drive
DescriptionPostcard of the main drive of Penn Valley Park
Historical ArticleThe sweeping circle of the main drive of Penn Valley Park, lined with newly planted trees and a dirt service road alongside, is pictured on an old post card published in color, shortly after the area was acquired for park use in 1900 (for $870,759). A man-made lake is seen in the left background.

To prepare for the park, 300 homes, most of them dilapidated, were razed or moved. The terrain was rugged and picturesque, but an area occupied by a hodgepodge of early dwellings, some abandoned.

There were dirt roads and sidewalks built on stilts. Goats roamed the gullies between the limestone bluffs. The disreputable area was called Penn Street Ravine, or Vinegar Hill.

George E. Kessler's creative landscape plans were carried out between 1900 and 1903.

The area was landscaped with a system of drives that are surpassed by none, noted a writer of the day. Broadway Hill gives a fine panoramic view of the business section. A branch of the old Santa Fe Trail from Kansas City (known then as Westport Landing) passes through the park...The park contains eight tennis courts, which are used by about 400 people per day...baseball diamonds too.

Kansas Citians were justly proud of their parks and boulevards. Big cities across the United States were also aware of Kansas City's accomplishments. An article written near the turn of the century by Mr. Andrew Wright Crawford, a city planning official in Philadelphia, noted:

Of all the actual accomplishments that American cities can boast within the last 20 years, none surpasses the park and parkway system of Kansas City.

That system, by and of itself, is making that city world famous.

The post card was mailed in August 1913 to Mrs. A. Bruner, Elberta, Alabama.

Kansas City Times
February 11, 1983

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
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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