Historic Kansas City Annual Membership 50th Celebration







Great venue, wonderful speakers, and the company of friends that share our values of preserving our sense of place… called Kansas City.

The Annual Meeting is your opportunity as a member of the HKC to engage and participate in your membership. It’s also the time we use to report on the performance of HKC and hold our Board of Directors and Slate of New Officer elections. On Thursday, May 9th come celebrate with Historic Kansas City as we look back at 2023 accomplishments and discuss where preservation efforts are headed in the future.

WHEN: Thursday, May 9th


  • 4:30 – 5:00 PM – Free El Torreon Tour – Registration Required – See Below.

  • 5:00 – 6:00 PM – Book Signing and Complementary Reception

  • 6:00 – 7: 30 PM – Members Meeting and featured speaker

PLACE: The El Torreon, 3101 Gillham Plaza, Kansas City, MO

PARKING: Lot adjacent to the building.


DRESS: Business attire.

GUEST: One guest per member/donor.

COST: Free to HKC members, donors, and sponsors – Registration Required – See Below.


Presentation by authors Bruce Mathews & Stephen Mitchell of their new publication – JANSSEN PLACE.

Books are available for sale before and after the program and can be purchased using cash, check, credit card, or an invoice via email to the purchaser. The retail price of the book is $40. It is 366 pages, hardcover, and 4 color. More details below.


Get an insider’s view of the El Torreon in a special HKC members-only free tour at 4:30 pm, May 9th. Learn about its history and redevelopment plans in this 30-minute tour led by the development team. See the history of the El Torreon HERE.




Authors – Bruce Mathews and Stephen Mitchell

Janssen Place is a unique, one-street neighborhood within the mid-town Hyde Park area. Its exciting story, beginning with its visionary developer, Arthur Stilwell is just waiting to reach a wider audience. 100% of the proceeds from the new book will benefit two, worthy 501(c)3 entities… The Mount Washington Cemetery Historical Society for the preservation of the William Rockhill Nelson Memorial Chapel, and the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association to further their neighborhood-improvement programs.


If you drive — or better yet walk — past the 19 beautiful mansions built in Janssen Place in the early 1900s (27 Janssen Place was built in 1897), you might think that time has stood still. Today these homes look remarkably the same as when each was completed, and the first owners moved in more than a century ago. But, in fact, to achieve that same look has taken a lot of hard work, patience and persistence. Or, to turn a phrase, the more things stay the same, the more they change.

On the downside, the stock market crash, the Great Depression and World War II were all periods during which home buyers could not afford to purchase and maintain these urban gems. What once were 7,000-square-foot single-family homes were divided into multi-unit apartment buildings. Deterioration set in. By the 1950s, smaller duplexes were built on what used to be large side yards or on unbuilt Janssen Place lots, altering the neighborhood aesthetic and demographic even more.

Then, in the 1970s, more positive changes began to occur. A new era of dedicated homebuyers began to see the potential the homes had to offer. Many of the homes had deteriorated significantly and could be purchased for a relatively small up-front expenditure. With a lot of hard work and persistence, this new breed of homeowners could save the neighborhood and give it new life.

This new life has also come about by overcoming early concerns that somehow the new neighbors in the ’50s duplexes might have a negative impact on the livability of Janssen Place. Nothing could be further from reality. All of the 19 original homes still exist. They have been joined by eight duplexes (one now converted to a single-family home). In their own distinct way, every resident adds to the neighborhood’s overall vitality.

Gone are the servants, maids, butlers and chauffeurs. Third-floor ballrooms now serve as family game rooms. Kitchens have been re-imagined. Early-day family members rarely went into the kitchen, so they tended to be rather drab, utilitarian spaces. During formal dinners, if the head of the household required anything at all during the meal, he (or she) merely pressed a call button located in the floor under the table. Magically, a server would appear to attend to the slightest need. Today’s kitchens are grand places designed not only for meal preparation but for social gatherings. The rest of each home has been restored with critical attention to architectural integrity.

The most important change that has taken place is how today’s homeowners view their role. The Janssen Place homes belonging to the “first families” had no history. Over a century later, the homes are now steeped in history and tradition with unique legacies. Today’s families are no longer merely occupants, they are “stewards.” They have taken on the responsibility of safeguarding their home’s legacy. It is a stewardship that current owners do not take lightly. It means leaving the home better than when they found it, being true to its history. All of the current owners in Janssen Place “get it.” Each has a profound respect for what they owe not only to the past, but also to the future.

In turn, the rest of Kansas City owes them our heartfelt thanks for saving an important part of our collective heritage.



Heavy Constructors Association

Since 1950, the Heavy Constructors Association of the Greater Kansas City Area has been the advocate for public works in both Kansas and Missouri. The HCA remains committed to delivering needed improvements to Kansas City’s highways, roads, bridges, airports, rivers, sanitary water and storm water systems. Our quality of life as we know it depends on these facilities which we use each and every day. The Heavy Constructors Association of Greater Kansas City is a highway-heavy utility chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).


Our firm’s core focus is to provide the most complete professional service possible to every one of our customers. Our design approach begins with careful listening of our clients’ specific goals and objectives, individual needs and wants, and their wishes that is carried out through each phase of the architectural process. With a special emphasis on contextual suitability our design solutions respond to the unique opportunities and challenges presented by each unique project. Our approach is centered on the goal of both satisfying the client and developing sound and appropriate architectural solutions; an approach that has resulted in a note-worthy history of implemented on-time and on-budget projects.


Kissick Construction

Celebrating its 25th year of experience, Kissick Construction is diverse in its scope of work, from initial demolition, rough grading, and site utilities to structural concrete and flatwork.  The firm has grown to manage projects as large as $100 million with almost 400 employees, and has earned a strong reputation for innovatively solving  construction challenges. Kissick Construction is a self-performing, heavy civil contractor with the resources to handle critically challenging projects of any size, location and complexity.

Rosin Preservation

Rosin Preservation brings to the table more than 60 years of professional experience working with a broad spectrum of preservation projects and issues. Our clients are building owners interested in financial incentives, such as tax credits, that support their rehabilitation projects; public agencies who are using historic resources as a planning and economic development tool; and entities that need to comply with federal, state and local preservation regulations.

Marvin Windows

Marvin has been solving historic rehabilitation challenges for decades—collaborating early on with architects, facilities managers and general contractors; reviewing products and options; navigating the National Parks Service guidelines; discussing window specifications with local historic commissions; and attending field testing.