April 20, 2009

Loose Park Again - Kansas City, MO

As much as Loose Park was a place for my dog to reek havok somewhere other than my home, it is also an important historical and cultural site for Kansas City.

The park is named for Jacob Loose, a baking giant in Kansas who made a fortune off cookies and crackers. He and his wife Ella were popular community philanthropists. After Jacob's death, Ella donated 80 acres to the city in 1923. From that lovely space, would come Loose Park. Even after their deaths, the city continually honors their memory. A statue of Jacob Loose stands in the park. The philanthropy of the Loose family continues as well. Their charitable trusts left behind later formed part of the largest charitable organization in Kansas City - the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and Affiliated Trusts.

The park offers many ammenities: a lake, tennis courts, a wading pool and even a Japanese Tea Room. It also features a wonderful rose garden and shelter, but I was not able to see it because of renovations. Fortunately, it will re-open this summer so I don't have to wait too long.

The park also denotes itself as a historical site with markers. One sign put up by The Chouteau, both in French and English, explains the complex relationship with the French and the Osage Native Americans in Kansas City. From trade disputes to the Osage War of 1793 to the building of forts, it is a complex story spanning centuries. And even if it is in two languages, I'm not sure if I get the point of why it is there.

There was much more to see, but Brock Lee wasn't patient to wait while I examined the more historical aspects of the park. After all, he was scared of the statue of Jacob Loose and there were bushes to smell! Hopefully, I'll make it back in the summer to see the rose garden and some of the Civil War markers.

No comments:

Post a Comment