Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One Last Look At Spring

Above at the foot of Gooseneck, Cliff Drive. Below the waterfall (yet again... but I like it)

Above Peter or Charlotta.... I really can't tell the difference.... below, new leaves.

There are some really tall specimens along the Drive....

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bragging Rights...

Congratulations to one of my subjects, Sarah Duffy, who won Miss Teen Kansas United States this past weekend at Crown Center. She will compete for the national title in Las Vegas in July. Way to go Sarah...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Historic Northeast Mansions, Volume 4-Indian Mound

Part 4 of the mansion series is sort of a mansion.... compared to its neighbors at least. Built in 1919 this Craftsman Tudor Style Stucco house sits on a large lot across from Indian Mound... and is in the Indian Mound Neighborhood Association Boundaries. Couldn't locate any information on the first owners but, judging from the size and interior appointments, they were well to do. In 1919 it would have been the only house in this location.
The large wrap-around porch on the front faces east.... the house sits at the corner of Gladstone Boulevard and Gladstone Boulevard.... easy to remember. It's at the very beginning of the Cliff Drive Scenic Byway.

Above shot take from the top of Indian Mound. The original mound was only about 5 feet above grade.. But folks kept digging in it looking for artifacts so, in the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) completely covered it in dirt to about 25 feet in height.

All the original ornamental walls are still intact.... its a very large lot.... below is the south side.

The back yard has a walk out deck from the kitchen and a coy pond... which isn't in use now because there are little ones in the house.
Above.... looking east toward the mound.
Above and below... the view from the porch.
At some point the porch was enclosed.... it wraps around from the front to the side with a main door in front and a smaller set of doors on the south side.

The dining room above (currently the media room) and the living room below. The current owner had an antique store in Texas prior to moving to Northeast and brought his favorite objects and paintings with him.

The kitchen above and below....

A door off the kitchen leads out onto the deck... in the distance is the next door "neighbor"... a church....

There are multiple bathrooms throughout the house including the basement and the third floor.
What amazed me was the number of windows in the home.... really a great view in every room.

A part of the original structure the back of the house on the second floor is like a sleeping porch.....

Third floor sleeping cove..... door to another bathroom on the right.
Above, the third floor office for the current owner.
The third floor bathroom.... larger than my living room.

I had always wanted to see inside this house... and the opportunity presented itself when it came on the market just last week.... I hadn't yet profiled a home in Indian Mound so jumped at the chance to photograph it. Many thanks to Bob Robinson with Bella Realty for the chance to see this great house.... Bob can be reached at: 816-241-8678.


Dogwoods are now in full bloom.... I'd love to have one... but no more room for trees....Below... old grandfather at Scarritt Point.
Below.... and below the above.

Above and below... along Cliff Drive... more wildflowers.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Under the City

Above, path of the 8th Street Tunnel.... built in 1887-1888 and closed in 1956. It was a cable car route from the middle of Eighth Street down to Union Depot in the beginning. Below the entrance on Eighth Street. Close to where the Needle Sculpture is now. (Top image courtesy of Wikimapia)
UPDATE: There were actually two tunnels. The original tunnel which is shown in the pictures below was too steep a grade and the railway cars kept breaking away... (not good)... so a second tunnel with a lesser grade was bored through the rock. 1st tunnel entrance/exit was about where the needle sculpture is now... second tunnel entrance/exit was approximately where the fountain is now... both on Eighth street.
Below.... looking east on Eighth.... tunnel entrance in lower center. The tunnel had two tracks for going and coming.
There is an awesome post on the Underground Ozarks blog about the discovery and building of the tunnel....
The west entrance into the bluffs.... 250,000 pounds of dynamite had to be used to blast through the solid rock
Above.... the trestle heading into the West entrance. Below... same trestle from above... this would be the approximate view from Case Park today.
A portion of the tunnel was preserved by the thoughtful folks at State Street... who realized a need to preserve a part of KC history. My Nephew Johnathan, who is a manager at State Street, let me know about a tour of the remaining tunnel and I was only too happy to head over there. Above is the modern entry to the tunnel.... most of the brickwork of which the tunnel is constructed is still there.... note the tunnel arch around the doorway in the pix below.

Above.... looking through the entrance to the tunnel. State Street built a walkway out into the tunnel to make for a safe trip... they also illuminated the tunnel with modern lights....
Just inside the doorway our guide talked about the construction and showed pamphlets and STAR articles about the re-discovery.
Concrete supported the double tracks... above.... below... a lot of the old wiring is still there.

Above.... rusted brackets..... below... the tunnel was 800 feet long and 23 feet tall.

Above.... looking back toward the entrance State Street installed. This is located in their parking garage but there is no entry allowed unless it's part of a tour.. The entrance is totally blocked off with fencing and doors the rest of the time.
Golden oldie light bulb.

Most of the original wooden components have rotted away...
Above, the ceiling... brick all-round.

Occasionally workmen had to enter the tunnel for routine maintenance. If, while they were working, a car was coming up or down the tracks the worker could duck into one of many recesses in the wall until the car was safely passed.
Concrete has filled much of the tunnel.... don't know why.

Above....another safety recess....
Looking back to the entrance.

It was a cool visit... literally... dank and humid describes it... with a musty odor... Thank heavens a bit of the 8th Street Tunnel has been preserved.

P.S. Anonymous commenter is correct.... if you go to the end of the smooth concrete there is drop off. Down from there (ladder required... wasn't on our tour)... there is another tunnel.... part of the same complex...