- Ward Parkway, Kansas City
Ward Parkway, is a neighborhood and boulevard in Kansas City,
Missourinear the Kansas- Missouristate line. Ward Parkway begins at Brookside Boulevard on the eastern edge of the Country Club Plazaand continues westward along Brush Creek as U.S. Route 56until it turns southward across the creek just before the Kansas-Missouri state line. It then continues south for four miles, terminating at Wornall Road near West 95th Street.
Ward Parkway has a wide,
landscaped median, which is decorated with fountainsand statuary. Many of Kansas City's finest large homes are found along Ward Parkway in the Country Club District. Recently, the parkway was the topic of a television episodeof " Tour the Homes" on HGTV.
It derives its name from the family of pioneer
Seth E. Wardwho owned property on either side of the parkway and whose home at 1032 West 55th St. is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ward Parkway was created as part of developer
J.C. Nichols's overall plans for the Country Club District. Desiring a boulevard that would exceed the aesthetic value of all other streets in Kansas City, Nichols hired landscape architect George Kessler, who had designed several other luxurious boulevards throughout Kansas City, Missouri.
thumbnail|left|A home at the intersection of Ward Parkway and West 55th Street, designed by Louis Curtiss after plans by Frank Lloyd WrightAccordingly, as Nichols platted the District, beginning in 1906, he reserved space for Ward Parkway. The largest lots in the District were reserved for homes to be located along the boulevard. The Kansas City Parks Department added Ward Parkway into its formal boulevard system. Nichols traveled to
Italyand Englandto buy statues and monuments to place at periodic points on the boulevard's wide median. He also placed ponds and decorative urns throughout the parkway's length. To promote his development, Nichols periodically placed photographs of the large homes being built along Ward Parkway in Sunday editions of the "Kansas City Star". Nichols even moved into a home just off Ward Parkway, on West 55th Street.
By the time
Evan S. Connellwrote "Mrs. Bridge" in 1959, the proximity of a prominent Kansas Citian's home to Ward Parkway was seen as an indication of that person's place in Kansas City society. Around that time, a sociological research study undertaken by the University of Chicagodetermined that Ward Parkway and its vicinity was the most desirable neighborhood in all of Kansas City.
Notable residents of homes along Ward Parkway
Tom Pendergast, political boss
* Keith A. Tucker, former CEO of Waddell & Reed mutual fund company [http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/15300508.htm]
* Scott Ward, head of the Russell Stover Candy Co.Fact|date=February 2007
Richard Bloch, co-founder of H&R Block
Country Club District
Mission Hills, Kansas
Ward Parkway Center
List of neighborhoods in Kansas City, Missouri
* [http://www.umkc.edu/whmckc/PUBLICATIONS/WARDPKWY/WARDINTRO.HTM Ward Parkway - a Grand American Avenue]
* [http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/rm_architecture_styles/article/0,1797,HGTV_3664_1387077,00.html Tour the Homes: Kansas City's Ward Parkway]
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