We are Historic
Around 1880, James Jordon Squier decided to build the family homestead southeast of downtown Kansas City. The family home took up an entire block of Troost Avenue. Squier Manor grounds covered 52 acres (Troost to Paseo Boulevard, 37th Street to 40th Street).
Squier 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 flowers. Squier Manor was an object of interest that dominated the country side south of downtown.
In 1907, Cora Squier Jones (daughter of James and Mary Squier) and her husband, Robert V. Jones, moved from Philadelphia to Squier Manor so that Robert could manage the Squier Manor estate. In 1908, Robert decided to develop the estate into residential 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 yards and unique style. These completed properties would range in price from $5,000.00 -$25,000.00. Robert also tried to keep special features of the land in his design.
The original owners of Squier 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 World War II, 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 Squier 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 Trinity purchased property in Squier Park. The presence of these organizations helped solidify the neighborhood during a time of local urban disinvestment, and continue to be active members of the Squier Park community.
Today, Squier Park has matured into a vibrant and active neighborhood. In 2012, our neighborhood was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, making it only the second residential district east of Troost Avenue to receive the designation. We were the first neighborhood east of Troost to qualify for the Google Fiber project.
There is a lot going on in midtown, and Squier Park is right in the center of it. From Troost Avenue to Paseo Boulevard, Armour Boulevard to 39th Street, Robert Jones’ vision for Squier Park is still alive today in the homes he built over 100 years ago.