KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – The name J.C. Nichols will soon be removed from the fountain and parkway at the Country Club Plaza after a unanimous vote by the Kansas City Parks Board.
While there currently is no plan for what the street and fountain will be renamed, the board will soon be taking suggestions from the public.
The J.C. Nichols Parkway signs will come down soon and instead will say Mill Creek Parkway. Next will come public meetings to discuss what to rename the street and fountain.
There have been discussions about naming them both after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after voters reversed a decision to rename The Paseo after the civil rights icon.
"Today we reopen that dialogue but from a standpoint of love and togetherness and fairness. And equity and real solutions, not come by removal of names and symbols but they tend to push us in the right direction of progress," parks commissioner Chris Goode said.
The roadway in question is only the stretch that goes through the Country Club Plaza and is Broadway Boulevard to the north and Baltimore Avenue to the south.
There was no debate in the meeting Tuesday about whether to remove the name, and all five commissioners on the board voted in favor of the change.
J.C. Nichols, was huge part of Kansas City history, developing the commercial and residential areas of the Plaza and many other neighborhoods.
His tactics of restricting black people from moving into white neighborhoods through racial covenants was used across the country.
Parks board president Jack Holland said removing Nichols’ name from a place of prominence in the city isn’t about diminishing his contributions to the field of land use planning and design but to recognize how he was on the wrong side of history in many ways.
“The use of racially restrictive covenants lead his segregated neighborhoods in Kansas City, which led to racial isolation and resulted in my opinion and severe concentration poverty,” Holland explained. “This action is not about erasing history is about responding to history.”
The family of J.C. Nichols’ son Miller Nichols released a statement earlier Tuesday in favor of removing the name from the fountain and parkway.