The Winner Neighborhood is located in northwest Independence, Missouri. The neighborhood lies roughly from U.S. 24 Highway south following Winner Road, past Truman Road, turning east to Sterling Avenue.
The Winner Neighborhood is defined by the remnants of an interurban rail line created by Willard Winner (1849-1929), an investor and real estate developer who once boasted ownership of over 20,000 acres of land in Jackson, Platte, and Clay Counties. He later lost his fortune during an 1890s real estate collapse of the Kansas City market. Once a part of unincorporated Jackson County, the Winner Neighborhood and its associated transportation corridor formed a link between Kansas City and what is today the City of Independence.
Spanning roughly from 24 Highway south to Truman Road and curving east towards Sterling Avenue, the Winner Road corridor was originally part of an early, more affluent suburb of Kansas City located just east of property associated with Mount Washington Cemetery. Winner Road was previously known as Washington Park Avenue, so named for its destination from Kansas City terminating at Washington Park, a 400 acre amusement park spanning much of what is today northwestern Independence. The park included a 20 acre lake best known for its majestic swans. The park, created by Willard Winner, was credited with attracting people and business opportunities to the area. After the park failed around 1900, it was purchased and a portion of the land was converted into Mount Washington Cemetery.
A 100’ wide right-of-way along Winner Road was dedicated for the creation of the trolley line that creates the boulevard-like feel of much of Winner Road today. Prominent homes were constructed predominantly from the early 20th century in this neighborhood. Some mid-century infill is also present. Architectural styles include Kansas City Shirtwaists, traditional Foursquares, and distinctive bungalows.