Electric Park
When brothers Joseph, Ferdinand, and Michael Heim established Electric Park in the early 1900s, they could only hope that it would become a sensation for an entire generation of Kansas Citians. The first park in the East Bottoms and the second park at 46th Street and The Paseo disappeared long ago, but they still loom large in local memory.

The second, grander park opened May 19, 1907, to a crowd of 53,000 people. Once Kansas Citians took the streetcar to the front gates, a ten cent entry fee let them enjoy swimming, target shooting, dancing, and live music from famed performers like John Philip Sousa. Each night the park glowed with 100,000 twinkling white lights and elaborate fireworks displays. A fountain—complete with a live woman posed on top—rose up from the lake each hour.

The park closed after a 1925 fire and new leisure activities like radio and film led to declining attendance, but it remained a precursor to later amusement parks like Fairyland and Worlds of Fun. The Central Library presents this selection of photographs and postcards to commemorate Electric Park’s success as one of Kansas City’s most popular entertainment venues.

Video wall images are drawn from the Missouri Valley Special Collections on the 5th floor of the Central Library. Selections of images rotate monthly and offer a glimpse into Kansas City’s rich history from the mid-19th century to the present day.
18 photos · 1,680 views