Historic Highlights: Parkwood District

From the Unified Government's Urban Planning & Land Use:

The Parkwood Historic District is mainly situated between K-5 and Quindaro Boulevard in northeast Kansas City, with one block of the Historic District extending north of K-5. The boundaries of Parkwood are N 9th Street and N 11th Street to the east and west, while and Brown Avenue and Quindaro Boulevard act as boundaries to the north and south. The Parkwood Historic District is comprised of both of early 20th century homes, mainly Prairie Style (some with Mediterranean influences), Craftsman bungalow, as well as Parkwood Park.

Construction of homes in the Parkwood Historic District began shortly after the Parkwood Subdivision was laid out by the famous planner and landscape architect Sid J. Hare. Hare worked with the likes of JC Nichols and George Kessler on establishing the broad boulevard and park systems across the Kansas City region before creating the subdivision for Parkwood. Parkwood was one of Hare’s most notable projects, along with the original design of the Fort Worth Botanical Garden, Mission Hills, and Highland Park Cemetery. Hare created a master plan for Parkwood, which included extensive plantings, landscaped islands in intersections, and ornamental pillars marking the entrances to Parkwood on Quindaro Boulevard. The grand design and extensive landscaping was later incorporated into the Westheight Manor Historic District. Sid J. Hare’s son, S. Herbert Hare, later joined his father’s practice. Most notably, they designed the Parkwood Park Footbridge (approximately 1923), pictured above.

The prominent architect of the Parkwood Historic District was John G. Braecklein. Born in New York City in 1865, Braecklein’s family moved to the Kansas Territory in 1878. Braecklein first began practicing architecture in 1885, opening his own practice in Kansas City, Kansas in 1887. Braecklein’s spectrum of work from during that time-period ranged from Kansas City (Kansas and Missouri), to Chicago, before returning his concentration to Kansas City in 1910.

Braecklein received multiple commissions within the Parkwood Subdivision, however, the exact number is unknown. It is speculated through the study of his design influences, that he designed up to thirteen, as well as the Parkwood Park shelter building. Braecklein designed and built his own house in Parkwood at 1000 Quindaro Boulevard. Braecklein’s finest regarded design in Parkwood was that of the home of Henry J. Grossman, built in 1920 at 1500 Grandview Boulevard.

Parkwood Park, which includes the Footbridge designed by Hare and Hare, as well as the Parkwood Park Shelter designed by Braecklin, was is still a hub of activity for residents in the northeast area. A freshwater stream used to bring residents to the park for clean water access, with the Footbridge providing direct access to the stream. Today, the Park Shelter and swimming pool are still used.

The Parkwood Historic District was added to the Kansas City, Kansas Register of Historic Places on August 25, 2008. Historic houses and structures in this district include (but are not limited to):

Charles E. Abraham Residence, 1916
2800 Parkwood Boulevard
J. G. Braecklein, Architect

John G. Braecklein Residence, 1916-17
1000 Quindaro Boulevard
J. G. Braecklein, Architect

Henry F. Schaible Residence, 1921
1004 Quindaro Boulevard
J. G. Braecklein, Architect

Parkwood Park Shelter Building, 1923, 1971
Vicinity of North 10th Street and Kimball Avenue
J. G. Braecklein, Architect
Buchanan and Winters, Architects (1971 remodeling)

Parkwood Park Footbridge, circa 1923, 1971
Vicinity of North 10th Street and Kimball Avenue
Hare and Hare, Landscape Architects
Buchanan and Winters, Architects (1971 remodeling)

If you live in a historic district such as Parkwood, all exterior changes must meet Code on Historic Landmarks and Historic Districts. For more information, contact the Urban Planning and Land Use staff at (913) 573-5750, or go here to read more on the specific codes themselves.