After serving two separate stints on the Kansas City Council, bookending her 12 years as Jackson County executive, Katheryn Shields knows her way around local government. During two terms on the city council in the late 80s and 90s, Katheryn first demonstrated her support for preservation when she negotiated the creation of a $1M fund, resulting from the loss of General Hospital, to be used for historic preservation projects in the city. These funds jumpstarted a number of preservation projects that are important to us today. Subsequently, as Jackson County Executive, she worked to preserve the historic courthouses in downtown Kansas City and in Independence. Having just completed two additional terms on the city council in 2023, she has made multiple contributions to the city’s historic heritage. Upon taking office in 2015, Katheryn immediately opposed the demolition of 4 large historic apartment buildings on Armour Blvd. With great negotiating skills, Katheryn developed a plan to entice the developer to undertake a complete renovation of these buildings. Katheryn was a critical player in the effort by preservationists to retain 5 historic buildings surrounding the Nelson Atkins Museum, originally slated for demolition. Following a two year process involving dozens of property owners, city officials, developers and citizens, the Council voted unanimously for an overlay district proposal submitted by and championed by Councilwoman Shields. The overlay district is a major “win” for preservation in Kansas City. It codifies existing recommendations but, as a city ordinance, adds more “teeth” to height and use regulations for the bowl, or central low rise area of our iconic Country Club Plaza. HKC and Neighborhood Associations worked long and diligently on this effort but success would have been doubtful without the strong advocacy voice of Katheryn Shields.