Showing posts with label historic landmarks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label historic landmarks. Show all posts

Friday, July 9, 2010

A City That Doesn't Care

Here we go yet again..... another historic kansas city (lower case on purpose) landmark is about to be destroyed. This is negligence by the owner and incompetence by the city... dangerous buildings in particular. I don't believe for a second that this structure is "dangerous"... why not use the $115,000 for demolition to secure it if it's that dangerous? The Cosby Hotel was built in 1881 and has managed to stand for 129 years.... yet, all of a sudden, it's a threat. Bull.

In the case of an historic building a second opinion as to the need for demolition should be automatic and totally independent of the city agency that first determined the status.

How come we have structures all over Northeast that ARE actually falling down but there is no money to raze them.... I can show you three adjacent homes on Independence Avenue one of which has a roof that is falling off ... but we can sure find money to destroy our history.

I have seen zero change from the city council and the mayor's office in regards to preservation of historic properties. I also believe that Landmarks and other historic associations are falling down on the job since this is allowed over and over again.

From now on if my preferred candidate for office doesn't have a vocal and deep seated commitment to preservation I will either vote for their opponent or I'll skip voting altogether in that race.

Enough is enough.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In Memory of Father Bruce

This post is in Memory of Father Bruce Rahtjen who loved and appreciated the preservation of our history far more than most and was an absolute delight to have as a Northeast neighbor. He, like many of us in our community, treasured the architectural wonders we possess and was constantly vigilant against any who would diminish all of us through selfish destruction of our inheritance. Bruce will be sorely missed. More shots from the bike ride on Sunday through the three neighborhoods north of Independence Boulevard/Avenue. Above and below... this home was used for part of a movie production, Robert Altman's "Kansas City" released in 1996... the production company helped refurbish the exterior of the home.

Above, a bed and breakfast on Gladstone Boulevard.

Below the porch of E. Harry Kelly's house. Kelly was a ragtime performer and composer in the early part of the last century. This house is listed on the local Register of Historic Places.

Above and below.... stately. The dual garages belonged to the Heim Brothers who erected twin houses to live adjacent to each other. They owned and operated the Heim Brewery in the East Bottoms... as well as the first iteration of Electric Park in the same location.

Above the newly renovated Benton Circle and below two more views of the "Kansas City" house.

Many of the homes in Pendleton Heights are just plain cute.

Even SOME of the apartments are getting into manicured lawns.

Above and below as seen along Gladstone Boulevard just east of the Museum.

Above, one more from Pendleton.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Headhunting at Corinthian Hall

Sunday was the monthly Hard Hat Tour at Corinthian Hall aka/Kansas City Museum. This tour date also saw the release of the latest Exhibit-in-Print by the Museum. "Faces" written by Elizabeth Rosin and Rachel Nugent, details the elaborate facial and figure ornamentation of the exterior and interior of the R.A. Long Mansion. I will show a few of them in this post... but be sure to stop by the Visitor's Center at the Museum to get your own copy.

This year Corinthian Hall is celebrating it's 100th birthday.... monetary gifts toward restoration are appreciated.
Above one-half of the north side of the mansion.... it was lightly snowing when we took the tour.
Christopher Leitch, right, and Elizabeth Rosin were our tour guides. We began at the rear of the Carriage House. Built in 1907 it was the first of the complex of buildings to be built at the site.... and, ironically, it will probably be the first to be restored.
Above, all new doors and windows have been installed already and match the originals perfectly.... except they will last a lot longer. This shows the view of the back of the main house showing the columned servants porch and the stained glass window.

The main area of the Carriage House where tack was kept and the hundreds of ribbons and trophies were exhibited. The large hole in the ceiling was used by an elevator which could raise and lower carriages as needed.
Many pictures still exist of the interiors of the building including the Carriage House. The only original interior parts that still exist from the Long's days are the ceiling in this portion and part of the floor in the area to the right. Portions of this building will be restored completely and will include showing 6 or more of the actual carriages the Longs used.
Taking in the view from the porch behind the servants quarters.
Above, the front (south) side of the Carriage House.. You can see the new doors and windows and where the entrance to the Natural History Hall was (green paint).
Above. Servants quarters... sans interior walls which were removed when this area was used for exhibit space. I covered the first floor renovation extensively in an earlier post:
Above, view out of the servants' window toward the south... below, looking at the skeleton of the servants quarters ceiling where HVAC and electrical are being completely redone.

By the front door the light stanchions feature rams heads under the light bulbs. At the time these were installed, 1910, electricity was just coming into it's own so this would have been "bragging" in a minor but showy way.
Plenty of detail in the carved limestone....below, a different head displayed under each of the second floor windows.

Elaborately carved urns celebrate 100 years of stair-step decoration.
The Salon has much in the way of mythological ornamentation in the walls and the ceiling... as shown below.

The Library is probably the most intact room in the house. The English design of the room is accented by the beautifully carved fire place with more of the Corinthian faces.
Below, a view from the west doors of the library out over the bluffs and Cliff Drive.

Marvelous detail above and below in the mantel.. This room will be a reading room when the restoration is complete.

Above and below... we went down to the Billiard Room which, for those of you familiar with past Museum exhibits, is where the model trains were. Surprisingly large area with the original floor and fireplace. This will be a meeting room when the building is completed.

Below, not to hard to determine the room's purpose with the crossed billiard sticks on the mantel.

Dining area with beautiful stained glass windows. The ceiling, below, has quite intricate designs which are slowly being uncovered as layers of paint are carefully removed.
Below, a view down the hall toward a front window...
The windows in the dining area feature ( it is thought ) Apollo.. below
And Zeus
And in the lower sections.... full length figures of mythical magic.

On Wednesday I'll have more photos of the renovation that's underway on the second and third floors.