All posts by Jared McGee

Demographics of Troost Avenue 55th St to 58th St

The two census tracts (81 and 82) illustrates well the shift from what was previously a wealthier, homogenous outer section of the city into a more divided and generally poorer area. In 1950 the two tracts were each more than 99% white, but now west of Troost is just barely 80% white, and east of Troost is almost 88% black. High school graduate rates have gone up in both tracts, but west of Troost has a much higher rate of higher education.

A nasty correlation to the demographic shift is that the west side has twice the median house value and almost twice the median income. This trend illustrates the great power of Troost as a dividing line and the implications of living just a block over.


Troost Avenue, 55th St to 58th St

The area along Troost Avenue between 55th St and 58th St has seen growth matching much of the rest of Kansas City. When it was founded, the half of the blocks facing the streets to the west and east (Harrison St and Forest Ave respectively) ¬†on either side of Troost were broken into neat rectangular divisions that were quickly filled with single-family houses. By the 1950s all the divisions had been filled with houses, and since Troost’s extension here, businesses have filled the other half facing the avenue.

Since the 1950s, many of the same houses still remain, fairly well maintained, but the commercial/public corridor enclosing Troost has seen many bouts of reconstruction, new business, and vacancy. Many parking lots sit unused, buildings are boarded up, but the remaining public buildings and spaces (churches, a park, schools), and the small shops, give the area a bit of livelihood.