Pendleton Heights is a downtown neighborhood that boasts KC’s first Boulevard, three city parks, one of only two nationally-listed urban scenic byways, and the largest collection of true Victorian homes in the City. But we’re not just houses and parks.
Pendleton Heights is also home to some of the neatest people in the city. This neighborhood has a long history of attracting immigrants (Irish, Italian, Vietnamese, Mexican, Somali and now Bhutanese and Burmese, just to name a few) and that gives PH its unique flavor.
Throw in the new Community Improvement District along Independence Avenue and awesome proximity to downtown, the City Market, and interstate access, and you won’t ever wonder why people who live here have a reputation for getting a little excited about it.We’re happy you’re here.
In the late 1800s, Pendleton Heights was developed as Kansas City’s first suburb from the original 200 acre Jones Farm. It is bounded by the Paseo to the west, Chestnut Trafficway to the east, Independence Boulevard to the south and Cliff Drive to the north.
The site of the city’s original Millionaire’s Row, the architectural styles include Traditional Victorian, Craftsman, Italianate, Eastlake, Shingle-Style, Richardson Romanesque, Folk Victorian, Kansas City Shirtwaist, French Beaux Arts and grand Queen Anne. There is even a castle on the bluff overlooking the East Bottoms and Missouri River.
During the 1880s, residents of what would later be called Pendleton Heights were rapidly becoming the peak of Kansas City Society. Many mansions were built here, some at the cost of $75,000 or more. These palatial homes were built for the well-to-do businessmen, lumber barons, bankers, lawyers and judges of Kansas City.
Some of Kansas City’s early civic leaders who established residence in this neighborhood were Jemuel C. Gates, owner of a wholesale shoe industry, real estate magnate and donor of the land along Independence Boulevard to be used for the construction of Children’s Mercy Hospital; W. W. Kendall, next door neighbor to and partner with Gates in the wholesale shoe business; Robert Gillham, builder of Kansas City’s early streetcar system; Charles B. Leach and John W. Merrill, both lumber barons; David T. Beals, founder of Union National Bank; and Churchill J. White, judge and founder of Commerce Bank.
The grand days of Pendleton Heights lasted until the late 1910s when, after World War I, the exodus of the wealthy began as the City expanded southerly. By the end of World War II, all but a few of the grand mansions had been abandoned, vandalized or demolished, while many of the surviving homes had been sectioned into multi-unit apartments or converted into commercial use. Never again were houses built of such grand design and elaborate ornamentation.
On any given day, visitors to Pendleton Heights can hear the sounds of hammers and saw blades as home owners and investors work to restore our historic homes. A steady stream of artists, urban professionals and young families call PH home. Ask them and most will say they chose the neighborhood for the houses or affordability but stay for the people. That’s because our people value one another and believe everyone has something to contribute – a strong sense of community is our core value. Pendleton Heights encourages neighbors to work and play together – opportunities include monthly socials, interest based clubs and neighborhood work days.
Sustainability is also key in Pendleton Heights. The City of Kansas City just awarded the neighborhood KC Green certification. Green initiatives include the Community Garden and Orchard, curbside glass recycling, peach tree planting, backyard gardens & chickens, curbside composting (thanks to Jerusalem Farm) and more!