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Elms Boulevard neighborhood continues to play a prestigous role in the community

The Elms Boulevard District and Elms Hotel still captivate the attention of artists and photographers. Above photo of local artist taken in June 2007, by Kevin Morgan

The focal point of Elms Boulevard is the Elms Resort Hotel and Spa, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The avenue is one of two primary streets which run north/south to the Hotel; the other being Kansas City Avenue. The avenue is primarily two-story structures, with one multi-family residential. The Rowell House, located at 517 Elms Blvd. is listed individually on the Excelsior Springs Historical Register. Two commercial enterprises anchor the north end of the avenue, while the Hotel anchors the south end. It is part of the Central Park, which boundaries consist basically of Concourse on the west and north; Regent and the Fishing River on the east; and the Elms Hotel and Chillicothe on the south.

The area known as Central Park was originally surrounded by an oval, brick street, The Concourse. Central Park Addition was platted in 1887, and included primarily those lots on the west side on Kansas City Avenue. Elms Addition was platted later (in 1907) and includes those lots on Elms Boulevard and Regent Avenue. By 1913, a majority of the lots on Elms Boulevard and Regent Avenue had structures, and about half of Kansas City Avenue was filled.

Today, Elms Boulevard, along with the Elms Resort Hotel and Spa, is recovering from the hotel's bankruptcy in 1991. Properties on Elms Boulevard and Kansas City Avenue which were held by the Elms Redevelopment Company were included in the bankruptcy and many of the properties had been neglected. Once sought out by doctors and business professionals, the neighborhood is being resettled by families who are dedicated to historic preservation efforts and willing to forego some property rights in order to protect and preserve the neighborhood.

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