Monday, July 12, 2010

Two Winners In More Ways Than One

My two most recent pageant photo subjects competed last weekend in the Miss American Coed Pageant in St. Louis. Amber, above, won Miss Photogenic (yea me) in the Miss Missouri Teen Division. And Taya, below, in only her second pageant ever was 1st Runner Up in the Sweetheart Division. She also won Miss Photogenic and Best Hair, Best Smile, Best Gown, Best Interview and the Spirit of America Award.
Congratulations to both girls on their success.... they are both extremely nice in front and not in front of the camera.... also, congratulations to their coach Lorenzo who has more winners than any other coach in the midwest.....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Cosby Hotel 1881... dropped "farewell" too pessimistic

I headed down to 9th and Baltimore where the Cosby Hotel is facing its demise. Fortunately no work has started yet so I was able to preserve for posterity some views of the 139 year old building. The west side where another structure abutted the Cosby is the worst... obviously when that building was demolished nothing was done to secure the now exposed walls. But, frankly, the rest of the building doesn't look that bad when you consider it has been totally neglected.
The south side or back of the hotel.
This is the wall that was exposed when the adjacent building was torn down... you can see the obvious care with which it was treated. (sarcasm)

Above on the southside missing window frame... seems to be sitting inside...

The front, or north facade, with modern crap in the distance.

Newly renovated buildings are right behind the Cosby....
Above, detail of front facade... not too hard to tell where "modernization" took place.
Blinds are still in most of the windows.
Above and below.... the radiators for each room are visible through the windows.

Above.... right at the corner of 9th and Baltimore. Below that same corner.... view looking southwest.
To my untrained eye this building looks remarkably robust for one that's on the chopping block. But then my preservation agenda is a lot different from those in power.
Surprisingly you can still rent office or condo space.... I imagine you could get a really good deal.
View looking northwest showing other RENOVATED buildings of similar age.
The alley way between the Cosby and the LaRue Building.
Cosby foreground, New York Life Building in the background...

Surprisingly all of the wood is peeling horribly... something one would expect codes to notice LONG before demolition was ordered. What exactly does that agency do when it's not destroying our architectural history?

Above the east facade. Frankly... I visited and photographed this building two years ago and it looked the same.

Above the west side of the building.... you can plainly see where another structure used to be.

Having had NO response to emails sent to official kc... I would like to note that the City that Works doesn't do so after 10am on Friday. Please, please, please... politicians ask me for a donation... I have some things to say to you.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Pretty Handy Coverup

Saw the head of Neighborhoods and Communities (I love city department titles that don't tell you a dang thing) last night explaining why the Cosby Hotel HAS to come down. Of course I don't believe him... but how convenient is it that when your department is totally ineffective at preservation by enforcement of codes early on that you can cover up your own incompetence by tearing a building down.

If you fix the little things early on than the big things don't fall off.

I got two responses to my plea for help from Will Royster and Scott Wagner.... And to them I give huge thank you's ..... I suspect I'll hear from other government folks after the building is gone.

That has been the pattern in the past.

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.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Penny For Your Thoughts

One of my cats, Miss Penny, passed away last week. She was a great pet and very smart. One of the things she loved was "posing." In the past she loved to lay in my neighbor's birdbath...when it was dry of course. I would go over with a camera, gently awaken her, and shoot away. This is from one such series. The shot above was actually the last pose she did that day with a fortuitous yawn.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Amber will be competing in a pageant this month in St. Louis... I think she will do very well. She's a trouper. We shot these in the studio last Sunday.

All images were shot with the Nikon D3 and 105mm macro lens with a three or four light setup.