All posts by Kristen Manthei

Census Tract 57

Within my boundary of Indiana to Askew, not much had changed population wise from 1950 to 2010, however, there was a major racial shift from 1950 to 2000. The tract population was 100% white people in 1950, particularly the white middle aged people who were well off in their jobs and set in their lives. This all changed and on the 2000 census, tract 57 was recorded as having almost 96% of it’s residents identifying as African American, who turned out to be making more income and raising the value of the houses. A concept that was “unbelievable” at that time in history. I believe this was due to the lifting of the racially restrictive covenants as well as the redlining that was around before the Civil Rights movement. Even in present day Indiana and Askew, the population is predominantly African American and slightly more Hispanic and Latino than it was in 2000 as well.

Back in 1950, pretty much every house had a family or somebody living in them. Unfortunately as time has passed, this has not remained the case. There were 312 vacant housing units in this census tract in 2010, but there were 30,000 vacant housing units in the metropolitan area of Kansas City. This was a huge shock and a disappointment as most of us drive by at least one homeless person a day. The fact that we have this many unused houses is astounding and heartbreaking when they could be put to good use instead of just rotting away.

35th Street: Indiana Ave to Askew Ave

Between these two streets, there was not a lot of information left on them, even going so far as to not being on any Sanborn maps from 1909 or earlier, but from 1925 to 1957, Kansas City made developments in leaps and bounds. 35th Street was no exception as far as moving further along in the future goes. Based on the Sanborn maps from 1957, one can see that where there used to be the Gosnell Place, they put in a filling station, which was a major advancement for the neighborhood compared to the lack of resources and stores they had before. However, it doesn’t seem like the Sarah A. Bower place has changed at all, which is understandable in the era of 30-year mortgages and loans becoming normalized. Families were able to stay in one place for longer periods of time, thanks to having vehicles, public transportation, and higher paying jobs. These all led to an economy that could start regrowing and making these houses into homes for generations to come.