Thursday, May 21, 2009

Yours Mine and Ours...

To my surprise we found two families of geese at the lake today. I have no idea where the other group was on my previous trips... Here are the two resting and eating side by side. The original family that I've been following had 5 goslings. The new pair had six. They eat, rest and swim close to each other.Here's the original family below, resting under a tree. And yes... the water is really green... we called North Terrace Lake "Green Lake" when I was growing up.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Historic Northeast Mansions, Volume 2, The Stevens' Home

This home was built in 1902 for Edward A. Stevens a Kansas City Lawyer who dabbled in real estate. The entire cost was $25,000 including the land which was purchased from the Nathan Scarritt family. It was just announced that the owners, Jeff Zumsteg and Bob Robinson, are to receive the 2008 Restoration Award from the Historic Kansas City Foundation. The Award will be presented in a ceremony on May 26th at the Kansas City location of the National Archives as a part of National Preservation Month.

At a little under 8,000 square feet this three story, colonial revival contains seven bedrooms, three and a half baths, eight fireplaces and a ballroom on the third floor.
After living in the home for only six months Mr. Stevens passed away. His funeral was held in the house with the casket at the foot of the staircase. Stevens' widow, son and daughter continued living in the home after his death. His daughter Aileen married Herbert James, grandson of T.M. James, and after her mothers death continued to live in the house until 1925. The home has passed through many hands since that time but much of the interior was safely preserved.
The side entrance where carriages would pull up to allow passengers to disembark.
View from the east showing part of the porch that wraps around to cover the entire back of the house.
Looking east. The doors on the left wall open into the dining room.
The main entrance facing Gladstone Boulevard.
Looking back across Gladstone to Corinthian Hall currently under renovation of it's own. Scenes of that interior renovation coming soon in a post.
Walking in the front door one is greeted with a grand stairway and entry hall.

Looking west toward the formal living room.
The furniture dates from the mid 1800s.

Looking east into the music room and dining room.
The music room.

Jeff's Grandfather's picture in his World War I uniform overlooks a cactus plant that was a gift to him and his new wife on their wedding day in 1921. (I can't keep a plant alive more than a week!)
Looking back into the music room from the dining room. All pocket doors and hardware are original.
The dining room with doors leading to the wrap-around porch on the left.

The house was wired and piped for both gas and electric when it was built.

The kitchen remodeling was only recently completed and the design by Jeff and Bob mirrors details found throughout the house. The wood for the floor came from an old gymnasium and was found in the West Bottoms.

Breakfast nook.... the smaller window on the back wall was for ice delivery.
Hallway leading back to the main staircase.
The stained glass window is original. Mr. Stevens' daughter Aileen is represented in four panels of the window as a goddess showing she was well rounded in arts, literature, music and sports. There's a detail from the window below.

Looking down toward the main entrance and up to the second floor.

Ante room to the master bedroom with the door to the balcony.
Overlooking Gladstone Boulevard and featuring Loula the cat at the railing.
Ante room looking east into the master bedroom.
The master bedroom including Polar the cat. He was very cooperative and remained still through five exposures.
The master bath with the original bathtub.
Guest bedroom (Aileens' originally)
Mr. Steven's office now Bob Robinsons .
Originally Mr. Stevens' bedroom.
Renovation of the third floor is still underway. This is a view of the ballroom. Notice the raised floor in the background for the musicians.
Behind the home is a three-story carriage house. The basement housed the Stevens' Steamer Car with the main floor having two horse stalls, one remains below, and room for a carriage.
The third floor was for hay storage and had a room, shown below, for the chauffeur.
At Christmas the home is the picture of holiday spirit! The house is listed on the Kansas City Register of Historical Places as a part of the Scarritt Renaissance Historical District. It is protected by an advanced alarm system, two giant schnauzers and three cats.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Walk Along The Drive

Took a walk along Cliff Drive today. Needed to get out.... needed exercise. Walked along the Drive to the lake and back. The bush honeysuckle is in full bloom. An invasive plant it was brought into Missouri as an ornamental garden inhabitant and then escaped. It is fast growing, beautiful when it flowers, smells wonderful... but has no natural enemies except a flame thrower.

Scarritt Point from the Drive... fully engulfed by leafy life.... excellent view from its edge.
Up top by Scarritt Point the skyline is slowly sinking behind the trees.... probably another couple of summers, at least from this point, it will only be visible in the winter.

As with other parts of the hood the little darlin's like to mark their territory with their little gang signs.... I know its territorial but really... do you want to lay claim to a storm drain???
Parks and Rec regularly cleans the stuff off...
The population of geese at the lake has increased to 13 and ducks to 4. The goslings have really grown since the last post.

There were a couple of adorable little kids with their grandmother watching the goslings. The grandmother told me that the oldest little girl had named all of them. I said, "well how do you know which one is which?" She (probably 7) said, "I don't have to, they know who they are."
Good answer.
The green herons are back and seem less skittish this year than last... I'd like to see the male and female together but they won't cooperate.