Volker Neighborhood

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Volker Neighborhood


History of the Volker Neighborhood

The Volker Neighborhood is named after William Volker, a Kansas City entrepreneur of the late 1800's. Volker was often called Kansas City's "First Citizen" for his generous and philanthropic behavior. Not only did he employ hundreds of persons, he also lavished the greater part of his fortune on public services and philanthropy. Nicknamed "Mr. Anonymous", many of his donations were made anonymously and he neither asked nor desired thanks. At the time of his death in 1947, he was distributing over 100 checks a month to those in need, many of whom were students whose only "note" was their word to repay him. William Volker established a giving, caring spirit for the community at-large, an essence that hopefully pervades the neighborhood and organization that bear his name.

What is the Neighborhood Like?

The Volker neighborhood is an eclectic mix of housing people and lifestyles. Housing styles range from turn-of-the-century "Kansas City style" shirtwaist and four-square styles, to modest single-family bungalows and multi-story, brick colonnade apartment buildings of the 1920's, to ranch style, infill housing of the 1950's.

Thirty-three percent of housing units are owner-occupied and 55% are occupied by renters, per the 1990 U.S. Census. Vacant housing accounts for 12% of all units. The median value of single-family housing is $52,213. Seventy-four percent of the housing is more than 40 years old.

Two properties in the neighborhood are listed in both the National Register of Historic Places and the Kansas City Register of Historic Places. Loretto Academy, and example of Georgian Revival architecture sitting upon 6.5 acres, was built in 1902 as a Catholic girl's school and operated by the Sisters of Loretto. The Sisters were noted for their progressive educational instruction and religious tolerances, and the school was one of the first in the City to admit Black students. The residence of William Volker, "Roselawn", is the other distinguished historic structure in the neighborhood.

Over 4,300 persons live in the Volker neighborhood, according to the 1990 U.S. Census, and account for 1% of Kansas City's population. The neighborhood is racially diverse, as three-fourths are white, 13% black and 16% Hispanic. Of Volker's 2,243 households, 21% contain children and 49% are occupied by single persons. College degrees are held by 30% of the population older than 25 years of age, and 55% have a high school diploma but no college degree. Median household income for Volker is $20,737, or, 66% of the level of the metropolitan area's median household income.


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