Home Specific Projects Kansas City, MO Publications Book—A Legacy of Design-An Historical Survey of the Kansas City System, 1893-1940
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Book—A Legacy of Design-An Historical Survey of the Kansas City System, 1893-1940 PDF Print E-mail

Editors: Jance Lee, David Boutros, Charlotte R. White, Deon Wolfenbarger

A Legacy of Design is an edited and abridged version of two previously published surveys of the 1893 parks and boulevards system of Kansas City, Missouri. The definition of landscape architecture included in the original surveys include architectural as well as landscape architectural features. The text has been substantially reworked, using a more narrative style.

Not all of the original photographs and drawings are included in this re-publication. The photos and drawings included were chosen because they provide general views of the parks and boulevards and their individual features, and because they could be reproduced clearly. Additional historic and contemporary photos have been incorporated.

It is sincerely hoped that the publication and distribution of this historical survey will encourage informed decisions and continued preservation activity, provide a reference for discussions on changes and improvements, and assist decision-makers in achieving a better understanding and appreciation of the significant and historic quality of the legacy entrusted to them.
Organization & Terminology
The format, and to a certain extend the wording, reflect the original surveys, which were basically technical reports that arranged data into four principal categories:

History —a brief history of the park or boulevard from its acquisition to present, including dates of physical changes;

Description —a discussion of current boundaries, topography vegetation, setting, and other architectural and landscape architectural features;

Integrity —an evaluation of how changes in location, setting, design, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association have affected the historical integrity of the park or boulevard; and


Significance —an evaluation of the historical significance of the property, based on its amount of integrity.

The Prairie Gateway chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects initiated the first survey, Historic Resources Survey of the 1893 Parks and Boulevards System. This project was funded by a federal grant administered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Historic Preservation Program, with matching funds provided by the Prairie Gateway chapter and the Kansas City, Missouri, Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners.

The Kansas City, Missouri, Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, in conjunction with the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office, funded Kansas City, Missouri, Landscape Architectural and Historic Survey of Parks and Boulevards, 1893-1940 .

Both of the original survey documents, which were published in very limited numbers, can be viewed at Kansas City Parks, Recreation and Boulevards offices at 5605 E. Sixty-third Street Trafficway.

The expenses of preparation and publication of the more "user-friendly," A Legacy of Design , were underwritten by the William T. Kemper Foundation, Commerce Bank, Trustee.

The publishers of A Legacy of Design are Kansas City Center for Design Education and Research and Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City.

A Legacy of Design is available from the Kansas City, Missouri Department This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .