Taste & See KC: The history behind Ward Parkway

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Ward Parkway is a boulevard in KCMO that runs near the Kansas-Missouri state line. 

It begins at Brookside Boulevard on the eastern edge of the Country Club Plaza and continues westward along Brush Creek before ending at Wornall Road. 

The street was named after KC businessman and real estate pioneer, Seth E. Ward.

Ward’s house sits at 1032 West 55th Street, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

JC Nichols created Ward Parkway as part of overall plans for the Country Club District in the early 20th century.  

The largest lots in the Country Club District were reserved for houses to be built along the boulevard. 

Ward Parkway has a wide median, which is decorated with fountains and statues.

In the late 1950s, Ward Parkway was rated the most desirable neighborhood in all of Kansas City.

Notable residents who lived along Ward Parkway include: 

  • Tom Pendergast, Kansas City political boss
  • Scott Ward, head of Russell Stover Candy Co. 
  • Peter Brown, CEO and co-founder of AMC Theaters
  • Richard Bloch, co-founder of H&R Block

In 2012, Ward Parkway was named a 'Great Street' by the American Planning Association. 

More from Taste & See KC

History behind Wornall Road 

The history of Troost Avenue

The history behind Linwood Boulevard

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