We wanted a way to compile all of the great books and videos that have been made about Brookside. We’re just getting started with the collection but here are a few of our favorites
The Brookside Story provides a history of the development of Brookside along with many stories about the people and places that used to occupy Brookside–reading it is a fascinating insight into the history of the neighborhood
The Rise and Fall of Excellence is a chronicle of the history of Southwest High School, which has always been at the heart of Brookside. Written by alum Edward Matheny, Jr. the book stirred some controversy when it was first released because of it’s portrait of Southwest as a falling school but wherever you stand on that, it’s great to better understand the long history of the high school.
For better or for worse, Nichols shaped Brookside and all of Kansas City–here are a few books that chronicle his life and work.
The J.C. Nichols Chronicle — this authorized biography gives a mostly positive spin on Nichols development work in Kansas City.
J.C. Nichols and the Shaping of Kansas City — as a “not authorized” biography, the provides a sometimes more critical, but still overall positive view of Nichols work.
For a more critical view of the legacy of J.C. Nichols urban planning, I like Race, Real Estate, and Uneven Development which shows some of the downsides of Nichols meticulous planning.
I always think it’s interesting to see your city from the point of view of tourists and Moon Handbooks are always great guides–check out Moon Kansas City.