Jesse Clyde Nichols (August 23, 1880 - February 16, 1950), better known as J. C. Nichols, was a prominent developer of commercial and residential real estate in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. His developments included the Country Club Plaza. The Plaza was built in a swampy area of Kansas City known as Brush Creek Valley. Nichols began acquiring land as early as 1907, and when his plans were first announced the project was dubbed as 'Nichols' Folly'. Once opened, the Country Club Plaza proved to be an immediate success, which has lasted with little interruption to the current day. The Country Club Plaza is the first suburban shopping district in the US. Designed and constructed in Kansas City by businessman J.C. Nichols in 1922, it was intended to accommodate shoppers who would arrive in automobiles. The availability of filling stations, garages and parking lots was a central theme in the layout of the Country Club Plaza.


He was also prominent in Kansas City civic life, being involved in the creation of the Liberty Memorial, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Midwest Research Institute. The Urban Land Institute's J. C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development is named for him.



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