Location: 4728 Summit Kansas City, MO
In June of 2015 neighborhood residents reported that these Plaza apartments on Summit had been vacated by all occupants. A subsequent search of city permit applications revealed utility cut-off and pre-demolition permits, indicating an intent for the buildings to be razed by the owner, Price Brothers Development.
The buildings were designed by Nelle Peters in 1927, a noted Kansas City architect. She specialized in apartment buildings and hotels and was one of the few female architects to have an independent practice. She designed hundreds of buildings in the Kansas City area. These apartments were particularly distinctive in the Plaza landscape, contributed to its human scale, and were an important component of the residential and architectural fabric of the area.
On Friday June 12th Historic Kansas City filed an application with the City Historic Preservation Office to include the three buildings located at 4728, 4730 and 4734 Summit in the Nelle Peters Thematic Historic District. This action put into effect a demolition delay until the application could be considered for listing on the Kansas City Register of Historic Places. The Historic Preservation Commission voted 5-1 in favor of listing the buildings. The City Plan Commission agreed and voted 6-0 in favor of listing.
Historic Kansas City was disappointed that the PZED Committee of the City Council voted 4-1 against including the buildings in the Nelle Peters Thematic Historic District and the buildings were demolished. This was a vigorous fight that will certainly give owners and developers pause about demolitions in the future. We brought attention to the need for greater protection in and around the Plaza, as called for in the just-passed Midtown-Plaza Plan. There was wide popular and media support to save these structures, and we will build on that in future efforts.
As always, Historic Kansas City will continue to advance preservation even though there are setbacks along the way. We hope that this loss will lead to awareness about the need for city policies and creative partnerships that are proactive and lead to positive preservation outcomes. And finally, we are very grateful for your support; it is critical to our efforts.