HISTORIC JANSSEN PLACE GATEWAY
For the first time in its 116-year history, the neo-classical entrance to Janssen Place has been fully restored to its original splendor.
The Janssen Place limestone entrance, built in 1897, is on both the National and Kansas City Registers of Historic Places, and was designed by a local architect, George Matthews. Janssen Place was developed by Arthur Stilwell, founder of the Kansas City Southern Railway and local entrepreneur. He chose to name the street after his financial backer for the railway, August Janssen, a Dutch capitalist.
There are 19 historic homes, some of mansion size, located on Janssen Place which is entered from 36th Street between Cherry Street and Kenwood Street.
In the early years, Janssen Place was known as “lumberman’s row” because of the numerous lumber or construction company owners included amount the original owners. Many of the homes suffered a marked decline after World War II when they were converted into apartments and boarding houses. Beginning in the 1970’s, a resurgence of the street began with “urban pioneers” moved to Janssen Place to restore the grand old homes to single family dwellings.
From 1897 to 2001, Janssen Place was a private street. At that time the homeowners partnered with the City of Kansas City, Missouri, to upgrade the street with new curbs, paved street and sidewalks as well as installing eleven vintage-style street lights on the center median. Also, the gateway was widened to accommodate modern “horseless carriages.” Janssen Place is now a public street.
The one million dollar project was financed by Janssen Place home owners through Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) funding and approximately 30% by the City of Kansas City, Missouri.
I think Janssen Place is one of the most beautiful streets in Kansas City and I have the pleasure of walking my dog there daily. Be sure to stop by and take a look at the newly renovated gateway and take a stroll down beautiful Janssen Place.