Location: 236 W. 54th St Kansas city, Missouri

HKC issued a call to action to stop the proposed demolition of the Georgian-revival style home at 236 W. 54th St., designed by Shepard, Farrar & Wiser, located in the Simpson-Yeomans/Country Side Historic District. The homeowner filed an application with the Preservation Commission to demolish the home so that they could construct a new home on the large corner lot.

HKC’s call to action on social media was overwhelming, reaching over 94,300 individuals and resulting in over 70 individuals submitting comments to the Preservation Commission. The homeowner withdrew the application for demolition and is proceeding with interior abatement. Temporary construction fencing was installed. A potential future application for a rear addition is possible.  Your action helped shift the momentum from demolition to renovation!


Location: 2000 East 12th St Kansas City, Missouri

The Rector Mansion has been on HKC’s “Most Endangered List” in an effort to bring awareness to the plight of this important site. Sarah Rector’s story is a relatively untold story of American success and a woman’s prosperity. During segregation, her complex legacy reached beyond racial boundaries.

As a part of our field service outreach, HKC established a relationship with the new building owner, United Inner City Services’ (UICS) and supported their efforts to seek funding and explore the restoration of the Sarah Rector Mansion. A grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation has laid the groundwork for this ongoing effort.


Location: 4601 Main Kansas City, Missouri 64112

As a part of our field service outreach, HKC is collaborating with the Community Christian Church as they create a master plan for the long-term protection of this Frank Lloyd Wright-designed church, at 4601 Main. Our focus in this endeavor includes technical assistance and the identification of emerging issues.


Location: 46th St. and Wornall Road. Kansas City, Missouri

In 2016, the city, a developer and Plaza area stakeholders reached a compromise agreement towards the development of a proposed hotel project, at 46th St. and Wornall Road. The plan proposes a 175-room Tribute Hotel (10 stories), and a 120-room Aloft Hotel (7 stories).

An ordinance established a Sounding Board including Historic Kansas City, Parkway Towers, the Plaza Westport Neighborhood Association, and 4646 Broadway Condominiums, to refine the development of a final plan. The City Planning Commission approved the MPD plan in January 2020. After MPD final development plan approval by the City Council, the Sounding Board will continue to serve a critical role in assuring compliance of the exterior materials and refined elements with the Plaza architectural guidelines detailed in the Midtown Plaza Area Plan.


Location: 1800 Genessee St. Kansas City, MO

The historic Kemper Arena, built in 1974, and designed by internationally acclaimed architect Helmut Jahn, served as the primary arena in the Kansas City region for decades.  The building was revolutionary in its simplicity with a roof suspended by exterior steel trusses. A wave of new arenas replaced those built in the 1960s‐1980s, and the building was eventually replaced by the Sprint Center in 2007.  Shortly after the Sprint Center was complete, an intense public debate took place over the future of Kemper Arena. HKC partnered with the Save Kemper Arena campaign, who worked to gain public support for saving and reusing the building.

Rescued from demolition by KC-based development firm Foutch Brothers, the iconic Kemper Arena is reimagined as a sports lifestyle destination. Now, as HyVee Arena, the facility blends sport, business and retail bringing together patrons of all ages to actively participate while encouraging a healthy city. Hy-vee Arena leads the local repurposing movement as an anchor for the surging West Bottoms, by prompting new growth with nearly 1 million traveling visitors annually. Read more here:

HKC is proud to have been a leader in the Kemper Arena repurposing discussion, led a petition drive, and engaged Rosin Preservation to prepare the nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, which better positioned the structure for reuse through the availability of Historic Tax Credits.


The Plaza, the first planned suburban shopping center in the world, is designed in the Spanish Revival style and is a valuable and recognizable Kansas City asset that attracts tourists from around the world.  HKC has long recognized that maintaining the character and historic integrity of the Plaza is essential to preserving Kansas City’s heritage and economic success.

HKC was a leader in the City’s update of the Midtown/Plaza Area Plan, which culminated in a zoning ordinance that limits height and land use in the historic core of the Plaza and an updated Plan that provides the framework for protecting the Plaza area and Midtown. Thank you to Highwoods, City staff, and all parties involved in this momentous effort!

100 -118 W. ARMOUR BLVD

Location: 100 W. Armour Blvd Kansas City, MO 64111

On the Endangered List since 2014, the “Colonnades”, 100-118 W. Armour Blvd, four apartment buildings in the Old Hyde Park Historic District, built in 1902-1903 and designed by architect John McKecknie, a prolific Kansas City architect.

HKC partnered with the Old Hyde Park Neighborhood Association to oppose the demolition. After months of community engagement, meetings with stakeholders, and testimony presented to the Historic Preservation Commission in 2013, the commission voted unanimously to reject MAC Property’s application to demolish based on economic hardship. Denial of the application triggered the Historic Preservation Ordinance 3-year waiting period to demolish the properties.

Nearing the end of that waiting period, a solution was sought to avoid demolition by former Councilwoman Shields. MAC Properties then presented a new plan that would save the buildings utilizing Historic Tax Credits and the availability of some surplus “building interruption” funds of about $800,000. The City backed the plan; resulting in the completed project you see today.

HKC’s efforts paved the way for success.  The outcome is evidence of the value of historic designations and a three-year wait period. They are quite stunning!


Location: 9550 NE Cookingham Drive Kansas City, MO

The Poage-Arnold Farm, Three Gables, 9550 NE Cookingham Dr. was destined for demolition.  As the Kansas City area grew into Clay County, the farmland was sold for residential development. By the 1970s, Three Gables was part of a growing suburban area. The property was sold in 2000 and new owners planned to eventually invest in demolishing the building to improve their ability to sell the land to support new construction. This plan was halted by foreclosure on the property in 2013.

HKC worked with the Clay County Historical Society, MO Preservation and other interested parties to raise awareness for this 1824 Gothic Revival house. HKC helped facilitate an application for listing on the KC Register of Historic Places and included the house on our Most Endangered List in 2013. After an article published in a local newspaper, Liberty businessmen Andy Mackey and Mike Yeates purchased Three Gables at auction with the intention to maintain and preserve the historic house. By 2014 the two partners had preserved the building and used it as the headquarters of a real estate business. Three Gables is now home to The Real Estate Store. They’ve worked diligently with the help of their families to bring Three Gables back to life.


Location: 340 Ward Parkway Kansas City, MO

In August 2011, alarms were sounded by Plaza supporters when roof tiles and gables were removed from the graceful façade of the former Wolff Brothers store at Ward Parkway and Wornall Road.  The next day, metal framing was erected over the building entry, obliterating the lighted star and graceful ornamentation that had become a Plaza landmark.  Historic Kansas City obtained drawings from the City of the restaurant’s plans for the building and posted them on Facebook.  Seasons 52 was inundated with outraged calls, emails and entries on social media sites.  Within 48 hours of the framing going up, Seasons 52 announced it would restore the original appearance of the building.  The following day, the star which had shown for decades over the courtyard fountain was visible again.

Cosby Hotel

The Cosby Hotel, constructed in 1881, is one of the oldest extant buildings in downtown Kansas City.  Originally known as the Wood’s Building, it was joined with the adjacent Wright Hotel to become the Cosby Hotel in 1899.  While the 1st floor had commercial tenants into the 1990s, the hotel on the 2nd and 3rd floors was unoccupied after the 1960s.  Sometime after 1976, fire destroyed the westernmost portion of the building, exposing the west party wall.

The exposed west wall crumbled for decades before the City of Kansas City declared the Cosby Hotel a Dangerous Building in 2011. Several individuals attempted to buy the building, but nothing came to fruition.  When the City approved plans for the demolition and construction of a parking lot on the site, preservationists led by Historic Kansas City, the Downtown Council, and an active social media campaign convinced the City to invest in the building’s stabilization rather than fund its demolition. In 2011 Sunflower Development stepped in to complete the restoration creating the Milwaukee Delicatessen!

Plaza Rezoning

In August 2010, Highwoods Properties, the east coast suburban office park developer that owns much of the Plaza, announced a plan to bulldoze the Balcony Building and 94 apartment homes to build a 200,000 square foot office tower.  Under this plan, the Balcony Building, a 90 year-old landmark in the core of the original Plaza, and the Neptune Apartments would be razed to make way for a bland office building that would rise the equivalent of 15 stories above 47th Street, towering over the one and two story historic Plaza buildings there.  The response was immediate and resounding. The Historic Kansas City and an affiliated group, Friends of the Plaza, organized marches, phone calls, letters and social media to push back. Over the next 12 months, Plaza supporters throughout the city – and the world — worked to preserve this unique neighborhood.  They pointed out that Highwoods’ plan included converting hundreds of prime parking spaces used by the public into private, restricted parking reserved for the law firm tenant of the building.  Supporters publicized Highwoods’ admission that the building would generate 2,200 car trips each day through already crowded Plaza streets.  They observed that the combination of the parking losses, the conversion of residential land uses into office uses and the increased traffic could damage the already difficult retail environment on the Plaza.  They argued that there were many sites on and around the Plaza that were far better suited to a large scale office building than the site selected by Highwoods, which had long ago been designated as one for which no rezoning was recommended.

Although the building design went through several renditions, the fundamental problems surrounding the development remained.

On August 25, 2011 – just two months after the referendum petition drive that collected 18,000 signatures was certified as successful – the City Council of Kansas City voted unanimously to repeal their earlier rezoning of the Neptune site.  This vote followed the announcement of an agreement between Highwoods and Plaza supporters that there would be no organized opposition to a similarly sized building if it were built west of the Neptune site, near other large scale buildings.  The result was characterized by The Kansas City Star as a “total victory” for the opponents of this project.


On the night of January 28, 1978, the Coates House fire killed 20 persons, and more than a dozen were injured; the south wing of the Coates House Hotel had collapsed. While some downtown interests eyed the 10th and Broadway location for a parking facility, Historic Kansas City worked with the owners to buy the building. A down payment was scraped together from Historic Kansas City’s revolving fund and grants were hurriedly written. For five years, much longer than any real estate investor would keep a property, Historic Kansas City paid on two mortgages that kept the Coates House safe from demolition. McCormack, Baron and Associates began the Quality Hill redevelopment project starting with the Coates House. A strategic move that worked.