Kansas City’s Best Alleys Part 4: Southwest Boulevard

In light of the City’s recent decision to vacate yet another Downtown alley, Urban Angle is examining some of Kansas City’s most interesting in-between spaces, and why they are worth preserving.  Every day this week, we will visit a different alley, each with its own unique contributions to the experience of the City.  This is Part Four of Five. For an introduction to the series, check out Part One here. We’re curious to know which alleys are your favorites and why. Let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to the list!

Southwest Boulevard


With great buildings, art, and food, this Southwest Boulevard alley is a microcosm of the Crossroads. Credit: @dnakcmo

There are a lot of cars moving very fast on Southwest Boulevard between Broadway and 20th Street, which can make it a daunting place for pedestrians and cyclists. It is no wonder then that people have taken refuge in the parallel network of alleys. This particular alley brings together some of the ingredients that make the Crossroads so special: the amazing historical industrial building stock, art, and great dining. In a two block stretch, this alley connects Hamburger Mary’s, Manny’s, Lulu’s, the Jacobson, and Pezzettino’s Deli and Market. Recognizing the inherent appeal of the space, Lulu’s and the Jacobson even orient toward the alley, with outdoor patios located in this urban room. This alley also provides a canvas for one of the Crossroads’ better collections of graffiti art. And you know you have made it as an alley when a regular parade of wedding photographers use you for a “gritty urban” backdrop.


The alley provides a canvas for graffiti art. As one neighborhood leader put it, “If it’s art, it’s okay. If it’s a tag, it goes.” Credit: @dnakcmo


The historic buildings of the Crossroads provide the backdrop for this Southwest Boulevard alley, shown here intersecting with the brick pavers of 21st Street.


In two blocks, this alley connects five crossroads restaurants. The Jacobson’s alley-facing patio is shown here. Credit: facebook.com/TheJacobsonKC

This is the fourth part of a five part series, exploring a different alley each day this week.  Check out Part Five tomorrow, or go back to the beginning.