KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CBS Local) — A Missouri man bulldozed his own childhood home on Monday to fulfill his dream of building a golf course in the neighborhood where he grew up.
Chris Harris is turning his old city block in the Ivanhoe neighborhood of Kansas City into a four-acre urban sports park. It’s taken him 25 years to acquire each individual lot on the block along Wayne Avenue between 40th and 41st streets.
The last vacant house standing, the home Harris grew up in, faced a wrecking crew Monday to clear space for another green and six more tees at what’s become the Harris Park Sports and Activity Center.
“I just felt like in the neighborhood, I didn’t have the opportunity to get up, come outside and play the game of golf,” Harris told WDAF.
Harris unveiled the urban sports park last October as an alternative to keep children in the neighborhood out of trouble. It also includes a playground, basketball, volleyball and pickleball courts and other attractions.
“My goal is to continue to educate, uplift our neighborhood, uplift the minds of the people in the neighborhood along with myself; to give them beautiful things and teach them we can have beautiful things, if we put our hearts and our minds to it and make it happen,” Harris told KSHB.
Harris continued to live in the home his parents bought in the 1950s until about three weeks ago. He has downsized to an apartment and said he believes demolishing the home was for the best.
“I have a lot of memories and I can keep my memories clear and close to my heart. The overall goal is bigger and better. I think it is just the right time for us to move forward with this project,” he said.
The first phase of the golf course is already free and open to the public. The new part of the course is expected to open in July.