Kessler's Historic Parks and Boulevards: A Green Framework for a Great Kansas City

Kurt Culbertson
Making a Great City
Kurt Culbertson, the chairman and CEO of Design Workshop and a George Kessler historian, launches a three-part study of Kansas City’s distinctive system of parks and boulevards with a look at the visionary, late-19th-century landscape architect who designed them.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
6 pm
6:30 pm
Event AudioEvent Videos

Born and trained in Germany, landscape architect George Kessler arrived in the Kansas City area in 1881 and soon began work on a valuable and lasting legacy: a system of parks and boulevards that became one of the city’s defining features.

Kurt Culbertson, the chairman and CEO of Design Workshop, traces Kessler's background and how it shaped his vision. His understanding of political and financial support systems for American cities—predating zoning, codes, and planning controls—helped ensure the implementation and success of that vision.

This presentation continues the Making a Great City series, moving its focus to the past, present, and future of Kansas City’s parks and boulevards system and its role in shaping the city. It is co-presented by the Penn Valley Park Conservancy, Roanoke Park Conservancy, and KC Parks.

Photograph courtesy of David Remley Photography.