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Broad support exists for changing JC Nichols, Parkway names

Details remain an issue after public comments
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Posted at 5:00 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 12:20:24-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Based on public comments during KC Parks and Recreation community input sessions, it's clear that there is broad support for changing the name of J.C. Nichols Fountain and J.C. Nichols Parkway.

It’s also clear that there doesn’t seem to be a consensus as to what the name of the iconic fountain in Mill Creek Park, which is located just east of the Country Club Plaza, should be changed.

Nor is there a timeline for considering any possible changes.

Parks Board Commissioner Chris Goode proposed renaming the street, which runs between the Plaza and the park north from West 47th Street to West 43rd Street, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a June 9 commission meeting.

He also proposed renaming the fountain to Dream Fountain, a nod to King’s famed “I Have A Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Several major Kansas City-area civic groups issued a statement in support of Goode’s proposed changes, but the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City said it doesn’t believe the parkway is an appropriate place to honor King.

The KC Parks and Rec Board of Commissioners does not plan to introduce a formal resolution regarding a possible name change at its next meeting, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30.

Currently, there is no timeline for when, or if, the board will address the possibility of renaming the fountain and parkway.

The effort to rename the fountain is not new. A petition drive to rename the fountain and street also took place last November.