The census tracts that contained my area of Troost Avenue between Volker Boulevard and 52nd Street/Rockhurst Road were census tracts 74 and 75. I compared these two census tracts to one another as well as the overall city and the larger metropolitan statistical area across three censuses – 1950, 2000 and 2010.
Census tracts 74 and 75 had both similarities and differences to each other over the years. For example, in 1950, both census tracts were over 99% white. However, in 2000, tract 74 remained predominately white (78.1%) whereas tract 75 became predominately black (60.4%). This is the trend that we still see to this day as tract 74 lies on the west side of Troost, which is often associated as mainly white and tract 75 lies on the east side of Troost, which is often associated as mainly black.
One area where the census tracts are similar is on the median rent price. In 1950, tract 74 had a median rent price of $53 while tract 75’s was $54. In 2000, both census tracts’ median rent price was $539. Finally, in 2010, there began to be a little bit more of a gap because tract 75’s median rent was $865, while tract 74’s was only $850.
Troost Avenue from Volker Boulevard to 52nd Street/Rockhurst Road is an area that is dominated by two land uses- institutional and residential. On the west side of Troost, a portion of the UMKC campus can be found on the blocks bounded by 50th to 52nd Streets and Troost to Rockhill Road. The campus of The Stowers Institute for Medical Research can be found on the block just north of UMKC. The east side of Troost comprises of the two neighborhoods- Troostwood and Rockhurst Park as well as a small portion of the Rockhurst University campus on the corner of Troost and Rockhurst Road.
The western side of Troost has boomed over the last 70 years with expansions to both the UMKC campus and the Stowers Institute campus, which in 1950 was Menorah Hospital. The additions of Katz Hall, as well as the Spencer Chemistry and Biological Sciences, and other general buildings were added between 1965-1975 on the UMKC campus. The Menorah Hospital had several expansions after 1950 and eventually became the Stowers Institute around 2000.
Comparatively, the residential side hasn’t changed as much since 1950. The demolition of all homes facing Troost Avenue and 49th Street were the biggest changes seen on this side. In the Troostwood neighborhood, these demolished homes were replaced by seven low income housing opportunities known as the Troostwood Townhomes. In the Rockhurst Park neighborhood, the demolished homes were replaced by a Go Chicken Go restaurant, a Rockhurst University parking garage, as well as two other Rockhurst University buildings.