MY history surrounding the Rosedale Memorial Arch in Kansas City, Kansas, began with a single photograph. After I saw a photo of a local resident who wore his Rosedale Arch t-shirt before Paris' Arc de Triomphe, the idea of restoring 'our' Arch sprang to life. Here is the whole story:
The first inkling you'll have that the Rosedale Memorial Arch sits nearby is a highway sign. Once you reach Southwest Boulevard, after exiting I-35, you'll turn south and travel up a steep hillside to an almost hidden entry for the park.
When you're at the top, an amazing view unfolds. It begins with the memorial itself, a miniature replica of France's Arc de Triomphe, based on sketches by a young World War I soldier named John Leroy Marshall.
How did this happen? The Rosedale neighborhood was once its own small municipality. When local veterans returned from World War I, the city of Rosedale decided to commemorate their service in the form of this stunning monument. They would use Marshall's sketches. After Rosedale merged with Kansas City, Kansas, the larger municipality honored the old city's plan.
Sixty-five years later, the Rosedale Development Association - a local neighborhood and business group - raised more than $30,000 for a massive restoration project. As then-Executive Director for the organization, I spearheaded efforts to complete the project. Through the work of our city councilman, Richard Ruiz, Kansas City, Kansas donated $20,000.
I watched as a professional restoration company cleaned and made repairs to the structure and started additional fundraising along with other Board members. A local ironworks manufacturer donated a tall, wrought iron fence to protect the Arch from vandalism, and a local cement company donated materials and labor to rebuild viewing platforms that surrounded the Arch.
In subsequent years reliable spotlights, streetlights placed along the curving driveway, and a flagpole, were added to the site. Finally, in 1993, the city added a monument beneath the Arch designed to honor soldiers who fought in World War II, as well as the Korean and Vietnam wars.
For a trip to Paris without the plane fare, visit the Rosedale Memorial Arch. It's open to the public and free of charge.
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I love crafting stories about fantastic food & beverages, must-visit destinations & eco-friendly topics. I wrote a 350+ page book about Kansas. And I've worked with dozens of additional clients - from Fodors.com & AAA magazines to USAToday.com & WanderWithWonder.
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