Do you know the history of this block of the Rockhill neighborhood?

One of the homes from our featured block, 45th to 46th between Holmes and Rockhill, as it looked in 1940.

One of the homes from our featured block, 45th to 46th between Holmes and Kenwood, as it looked in 1940.

rockhill-map3The Rockhill neighborhood is known for its large historic homes built on spacious lots and its proximity to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Art Institute and UMKC.

Once renowned for its stone walls and crimson rambler roses, Rockhill began when William Rockhill Nelson built his mansion, Oak Hall, in the south part of Kansas City in 1890. He continued to create the infrastructure for the neighborhood, including building Rockhill Road and some of the stone walls that still characterize the area.

The block featured in this slideshow (at the very end of this story) is just east of the current site of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (seen on the 1909-1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map below). The museum was built after Nelson’s death.

The block is between 45th and 46th Streets, from Kenwood to Holmes.

574In 1905, when Edward Pratt purchased the property just north of 45th Street, the area was described as full of “many old forest trees.” The block became the home to several important Kansas City businessmen. Fred S. Doggett lived at 635 E. 45th. Just to the east, I.C. Van Noy, president of the Van Noy Interstate Company, bought property in 1919 to build a home.

As part of our Uncovering History Project, the Midtown KC Post is taking a look at the 1940 tax assessment photos of each block in Midtown. (Many people seem confused by the tax assessment photos, which all include a man holding a sign. Here’s the story behind them).

The slideshow below shows the 1940s tax photos of the block.

There’s still a lot more to learn. Do you remember this block? What special memories do you have of this section of Rockhill? What questions do you have about it? Let us know and we’ll share your history and help to preserve it on our website.

Would you like us to focus on your block next week? Send us an email.

All photos courtesy Kansas City Public Library, Missouri Valley Special Collections.


  1. Pat Heaven Baker says:

    11-273-4. Is our house for 1940 tax. I was married there 11/03/1950. I love that house & various owners have been kind enough to let my sister I visit through the years. 642 easy 46th St. Nafzigers (interstate Bakers) lived next door. Behind us lived Hanson’s (Stuart-Hall).

    • Kathleen M Oldham says:

      Do you know who lived at 619 E. 46th Street in 1950? We purchased the house from Mr & Mrs. Green in 2003. We want to learn more about the history of the house.

  2. Serge Staggs says:

    Like your comments and the pictures, Pat.

  3. Serge Staggs says:

    Two pictures of my folks house. Dr. and Mrs. William A. Staggs. Great place to grow up.

  4. Mary Towse says:

    Do you know if any homes were moved from the area where the Nelson Atkins now stands when it was built?

  5. Anne Watkins says:

    The Loch Lloyd Home and Garden Club will be doing a field trip to the Rockhill Neighborhood in
    late April. We are arranging for the KC Trolley Company to drive us around and give the
    lecture and history . We would be Interested in any information you have or suggestions of special Points of interest.

Leave a Comment