Leawood’s new history book in the works for 75th anniversary

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In celebration of Leawood’s 75th anniversary, the city is publishing a new history book later this year.

The roughly 100-page book — loosely titled “Leawood — The Journey Continues” — will chronicle the city’s history from 1997 to 2022 from a variety of perspectives, from economic development to arts and public outreach.

City staff is slating for a fall publication, after which time the book will be available for purchase.

Leawood history book
The book will chronicle Leawood’s history from 1997 to 2023. Above, Leawood’s historic city hall building at 96th Street and Lee Boulevard. Photo via city of Leawood website.

The book will complement the city’s first history book

  • The first book, “A Portrait in Time,” came out in 1997 and was written by author Ann Morris.
  • Using text and photos, the new book will cover different areas of growth within the city between that time window — including parks, police and fire departments, and sister city relationships.

Leawood writer Katherine Bontrager Houlehan will pen the book

  • Bontrager Houlehan said her book will provide an important “snapshot” of the city’s history for future generations — which, as a Leawood resident herself, she sees as important.
  • “For as much as I thought I knew Leawood and how it functions, I’ve learned I really didn’t have a great enough appreciation for how ahead of its time Leawood has been,” she said. “In many regards, and how lucky we are to have such great amenities. All of these things were carefully curated and planned out by some very talented and devoted people.”
  • Since earning her master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, Bontrager Houlehan has written for several local publications — including the Kansas City Star, 435 Magazine and Leawood Lifestyle Magazine.

The city will also celebrate its 75th anniversary with events

  • Outside of the new history book, the city plans to host events like scavenger hunts and trivia nights during its 75th year.
  • The city also marked its anniversary with a new logo; residents can purchase merchandise with the new logo on it this year.
  • A 28-foot celebratory sculpture is also in the works.

Go deeper: Leawood turns 75 this year — How the city will celebrate

About the author

Lucie Krisman
Lucie Krisman

Hi! I’m Lucie Krisman, and I cover local business for the Johnson County Post.

I’m a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, but have been living in Kansas since I moved here to attend KU, where I earned my degree in journalism. Prior to joining the Post, I did work for The Pitch, the Eudora Times, the North Dakota Newspaper Association and KTUL in Tulsa.