Blue Hills

Blue Hills: Neighborhood History

The Blue Hills neighborhood name is connected with the Blue Hills Country Club, which was in the southern part of the neighborhood from 1912 until 1963, when it moved south to the area near 127th and Wornall. Prior to it becoming a Country Club, the site was used for horse racing at the Elm Ridge Racetrack beginning in 1904. That only lasted a couple years because, inconveniently, the state outlawed horse racing in 1906.

Most of the homes in Blue Hills were built in the 1910s and 1920s. From its early years until the 1960s nearly all of the residents of Blue Hills were white and most were working class. In the early 1960s, the racial composition of the neighborhood changed and by the 1970s more than 95% of Blue Hills residents were African-American.

Paseo High School

The public high school in Blue Hills is the Paseo Academy for the Performing Arts, the successor school to the Paseo High School. Notably, the original Paseo High School building was constructed with the rock quarried from the hill where it was built. That technique was also used to construct the stone foundations on many of the homes built in Blue Hills during that period.

September 6, 1924, The Kansas City Star.  The picture above shows the new Paseo High School in its entirety as planned by Charles A. Smith, school architect, and approved by the Board of Education.

Blue Hills Neighborhood Association: Partnerships

The Blue Hills neighborhood has benefitted from the work of Blue Hills Community Services and many other initiatives. The Kansas City Neighborhood Alliance ran pilot programs in Blue Hills that led to the Blue Hills Neighborhood Association incorporating as a 501c3 nonprofit and having a resource center at 5309 Woodland. The efforts of Blue Hills residents and partnering organizations has helped Blue Hills resist decline and maintain goodwill in the community.