Columbus Park
Holy Rosary Church constructed in 1895 is the anchor of Columbus Park. (Doug Hill)

Columbus Park has been known as Kansas City, Missouri’s Little Italy since the late 19th century. It still is, along with a considerable population of Vietnamese drawn to the shared Catholic religion that’s served by Holy Rosary Church in the neighborhood’s center.

The church has a place in KC’s notorious mafia crime-family history for conducting mobster Nick Civella‘s 1983 funeral. The city’s mafia was involved in politics and crime for nearly a century. Much of the activity was centered within Columbus Park’s several square blocks.

That notoriety lies far in the past, however. Today, Columbus Park is a pleasant neighborhood with restaurants and galleries beside residences.