Uncovering History: Postcards of the Paseo

paseo Postcards from around 1900 offer a glimpse of how proud Kansas City was of its new grand boulevard, the Paseo.

The Paseo takes its name from the “Paseo de la Reforma” in Mexico City. Kansas City Parks and Boulevards designer George Kessler meant for Kansas City’s Paseo to be a great street. He envisioned it as something between a parkway and a boulevard: Kessler “designed it to demonstrate how natural beauty could co-exist with more formal civic development,” according to the Book A Legacy of Design.

The Paseo played another role as well. It was a form of urban renewal, intended to remove several areas considered blighted by city leaders, and spur development of quality residential areas in their place.


The strategy worked, and at the turn of the century, the Paseo was one of the most popular subjects for postcards, showing off the wide street and the mansions that grew up along it. These postcards looking north from Armour (above) and north from 33rd Street (right) show the Paseo was attracting wealthy residents to build homes and attracting everyone else for a ride in the country along a grand avenue.

The Midtown portion from 31st to Linwood was acquired by the parks department in 1900 and provided a grand route for those traveling south to Electric Park, with its entrance at 46th and The Paseo. Not all of the elegant homes remain, but the Paseo has retained some of its history as it has changed over the years.

paseo at night


  1. Sara Grier says:

    Hey, you need to contact Dr. Lawson Rener!! He is our excellent and he has a collection of these historic postcards that are amazing! He practices out of St. Luke’s….a wonderful fellow!!

  2. Sara Grier says:

    …our excellent Dentist, that is!

Leave a Comment