Kessler Park

The forests and cliffs are as wild and beautiful today as they were when Kessler first designed the park. Visitors can still experience Cliff Drive and take in the views, play basketball on the tennis courts or enjoy a picnic on one of the expansive lawns.

The park is among the oldest and most well-known in Kansas City. Over the years, it’s been a gathering place for residents of all walks of life. Read on to know more.

The Concourse

Located within a level greenspace in Kessler Park is The Concourse fountain. This fountain was installed in 2001 and replaced a shallow pool that had been built in 1939.

The fountain features several water jets and adjustable spray heights. It was designed by David Swartz of Water’s Edge Aquatic Design.

It is one of three city fountains that run year-round. The fountain is a fun place to cool off and have a great time.

In the park are a few monuments, the Colonnade, the Reservoir, and a disc golf course. It is a nice place to go for a walk or sit in the shade and relax with your friends.

It is a very attractive park that has nice trails and trash cans. It is a good place for families to get together and have some outdoor activities.

The Reservoir

A rusting water tower, weeds, and graffiti line a reservoir in the heart of Kessler Park. It runs about the length of a football field and is an oddly charming, eerie, and lonely part of the landscape.

It is a remnant of an early park that was proposed by George Edward Kessler, the man who laid out Kansas City’s parks and boulevard system. It was originally called North Terrace Park and is a key part of Kessler’s master plan, as well as the first Report of the Park and Boulevard Commissioners in 1893.

The reservoir was designed to serve the water supply needs of the rapidly expanding East Bottoms development. The reservoir was completed in 1920.

In 2014, KCDC engaged the PH community and Parks and Recreation Department on a preliminary design vision study for the repurposing of the reservoir into a multifunctional public space. The study generated substantial research on the structure and explored two public-use design alternatives endorsed by both parties. A great place to also visit is Jacob L. Loose Park.

The Colonnade

The Colonnade is a century-old stone pavilion and outlook that is one of the most iconic KC landmarks. Located on the Concourse, this structure was designed by Henry Wright and is a beautifully structured indoor/outdoor walkway complete with corinthian columns, large stone trellises and orange tiled roofing.

Kessler Park is home to the city’s first Parks and Boulevards system, developed by German-born Landscape Architect George Kessler. His master plan embraced the wild and rugged forests and cliffs of the city’s Northeast neighborhood, which was once home to affluent Kansas City residents.

In this historic neighborhood, many of the castle-like mansions that once dotted the cliffsides survive today. But the park is more than a place to stroll and enjoy its natural beauty; it’s also a testament to Kessler’s legacy and a reminder that the City Beautiful spirit he envisioned still persists in Kansas City today.

The Fountain

The Fountain at Kessler Park is a popular spot for picnics and family gatherings. It also has a large playground and ample green space for soccer or disc golf.

Located along Cliff Drive, the Fountain at Kessler Park was designed by Reverend Nathan Scarritt around the turn of the twentieth century. He purchased the land from Native Americans who lived in the area for centuries.

As one of the first parks in Kansas City, it was a part of the “City Beautiful” movement that created the modern urban landscape we know today. Kate Warfield, an archivist with the Parks and Recreation Department said the vision was to design a network of parks that would accentuate Kansas City’s natural landscape.

Kessler Park is a favorite gathering place for residents of the Scarritt Renaissance neighborhood. Its panoramic views of the East Bottoms and ample green space make it a favorite for families to gather. Discover more interesting articles.


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