2013 Squire Park Homes Tour

Tomorrow, Saturday the 5th is the 2013 Squire Park Neighborhood Homes Tour.  Six of the neighborhood’s historic homes will be open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Registration is at 36th and Forest Avenue, and $10.00 per person with proceeds going to support a variety of events hosted by the Squire Park Neighborhood Association.

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Squire Park

Squire Park is a Historic neighborhood in Midtown kansas City.  It encompasses sixteen blocks bounded by Armour Boulevard on the north, 39th Street on the south, Troost Avenue on the west, and Paseo Boulevard on the east.  Squire Park was developed between 1887 and 1915 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.

Walnut-street-kcmo-1906Squire Park’s Story

About 1880 , James Jordon Squier (1836-1900) decided to build the family homestead southeast of downtown Kansas City.  The family home took up the entire block of what is known today as 3745 Troost Avenue.  Squire Manor grounds covered 52 acres.

Squire Manor became one of the most beautiful estates in the state of Missouri.  The grounds included winding roads through groves of huge forest trees, fishing ponds, a deer park, ornamental and vegetable gardens, shrubbery and flower gardens.  Squire manor was an object of interest that dominated the country side south of downtown.

In 1907, Cora Squier Jones and her husband, Robert V. Jones, moved from Philadelphia to Squier Manor so that Robert could manage the Squire Manor estates.  In 1908, Robert decided to develop the estate into residentail homes, except for the block Squier Manor was built on.

Robert had a plan to develop a home district/residence park with each home having large front yared and unique sytle.  These completed properties would range in price from $5,000.00 – $25,000.00.  Robert also tried to keep special feature of the land in his design.

The original owners of Squire Park homes were upper-middle class citizens of Kansas City.  They were attorneys, successful entrepreneurs, presidents, vice-presidents, and managers of various companies from automobiles and jewelry to lumber and iron.  There were numerous high-ranking officials in the railroad industry.  Others worked in more creative fields as artists and architects.  Two notable residents  of the neighborhood at this time were Michael katz, co-owner of Katz Drug Store, and former baseball player Johnny Kling.

The Great Depression began a period of decline for Squier Park.  Many of the large houses in the neighborhood were converted into rooming houses or were simply left vacant.  After WWII, flight to the suburbs sent Kansas City’s population into a steep decline.  The population center of the city moved south and east, away from Squire Park, and Troost Avenue became a dividing line in the city.

Around the same time, several Catholic groups, including the Benedictine Sisters of Mt. St. Scholastica and the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinty purchased property in Squier Park.  The presence of these organizations helped solidity the neighborhood during a time of local urban disinvestment, and contiune to be active members of the Squire Park community.

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Today, Squier Park has matured into a vibrant and active neighborhood.  On April 24, 2012 the neighborhood was placed on the Nationa Register of Historic Places.  It is only the second residential district east of Troost Avenue to receive the designation.

I retrieved all of my information from the Squire Park website so be sure and check it out for more interesting facts. 

Squire park is a wonderful neighborhood and the Homes Tour is a terrific way to see it!

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