Heritage Hike: Quality Hill…Kansas City’s Silk Stocking Ridge
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Kansas City’s First Communities: Quality Hill…Kansas City’s Silk Stocking Ridge

The Quality Hill Neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri is a surviving section of one of the most fashionable and prestigious residential neighborhoods in Kansas City during the third quarter of the Nineteenth Century. It reflects an area which was developed by distinguished 0wners, and residents originally from the East — New York, New England, and Pennsylvania, who played a major role in the early settlement.  The Neighborhood represents a variety of Nineteenth Century and early Twentieth Century residential, ecclesiastical, and small commercial design architecture from the period spanning the years 1856-1929.

The neighborhood reached its greatest social pre-eminence concurrently with the great real estate boom of the 1880s. Over one-half of the buildings within the present Quality Hill neighborhood were constructed during the decade of the 1880s.  By about 1906, the last of distinguished original residents of Quality Hill had left.  Several reasons caused the exodus of the wealthy from Quality Hill: the city was rapidly expanding southward from the river into newer and more fashionable areas such as Hyde Park and Roanoke neighborhoods; the odor from the vast develop ment of the stockyards below the bluffs made Quality Hill a less desirable residential area; and by the end of the 1880s, all of the available space on Quality Hill was taken up by residences, leaving no place for future generations of the old families of Quality Hill to build.  Before long, the once palatial Quality Hill mansions were becoming private hospitals, missions, sleeping rooms, and apartments.

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Heart of America United Way building in the Quality Hill neighborhood of downtown Kansas City MO.