Armour Blvd. Historic Survey
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A Legacy of
DesignAn Historical Survey of the Kansas City, Missouri, Parks and
Boulevards System, 18931940
Lee, David Boutros, Charlotte R. White and Deon Wolfenbarger, Kansas
City Center for Design Education and Research, in cooperation with the
Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City. Kansas City,
Armour Boulevard extends 1.25 miles from Broadway
east to The Paseo, between Thirty-fourth Terrace on the north and
Thirty-sixth Street on the south. The predominantly residential
surroundings include high-rise apartments. Eight-foot-wide grass margins
and 6-to-8-foot-wide sidewalks line the straight, 60-foot-wide roadway.
The boulevard was originally lined with a double row of elm trees. Pin
oak trees now line the roadway from Gillham Road to The Paseo.
plans were presented to the Board of Parks Commissioners for a boulevard
along Thirty-fifth Street, from Holmes Street to Lydia Avenue (now The
Paseo). The park board acquired the land in 1899. In 1900 the park board
named the new boulevard for Simeon B. Armour, a member of the first
official park board and the head of the Kansas City branch of the Armour
Meat Packing Industry. Landscape architect George Kessler designed
Armour Boulevard according to the standard 100-foot right-of-way
proposed in the first
Board of Park Commissioners
report of 1893. Grading and paving occurred during 1900-01. In 1928
Armour Boulevard was widened and the curbside row of trees was removed;
during the next year the roadway was repaved with asphaltic concrete.
Boulevard has retained its integrity of location and most it its
integrity of setting, design, materials, workmanship, feeling, and
association. Its property boundaries date from the 1899 acquisition.
Sufficient numbers of trees remain to recall much of the designed
setting. Although traffic has increased, and six-story apartment
buildings have replace the houses originally lining the boulevard,
Armour Boulevard retains the feeling of a broad green avenue servicing a
predominantly residential neighborhood. Materials and workmanship have
been altered by the 1928-19 widening and repaving, but such changes in
street construction were anticipated by Kessler. The boulevard retains
its association with Kessler and Simeon B. Armour.
Armour Boulevard is
significant in the area of landscape architecture as one of the earliest
boulevards employing the 100-foot right-of-way standard. It constitutes
a major crosstown link between Broadway to The Paseo, and is an example
of one of the straight, formal boulevards following the existing street
grid plan. Its significance as an example of landscape design is
heightened because of its integrity of design and materials. In the
areas of community planning and transportation, Armour Boulevard is
significant as an early boulevard which became a major crosstown link to
the new southern residential districts.
Note: The Armour
Boulevard Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic
Places and the Armour/Gillham Historic ApartmentHotel District
is listed on the Kansas City Register of Historic Places.