News From HKC.

Press Releases

2019 Most Endangered List

Kansas City, MO, August 19, 2019 – Historic banks. Corner commercial stores. Old gas stations. Historic apartment buildings. Places we pass by so often we no longer notice. But these places face threats everyday – perhaps more so because we’ve grown accustom to seeing them.

That is why HKC manages this list to highlight important historic buildings, districts and landscapes that are in danger due to threat of demolition, poor condition, neglect, alterations, poor maintenance, redevelopment pressures, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy, or lack of funds.

Many historic places throughout the city are endangered. The endangered list is intended to provide a wide exposure for the value and plight of these historic resources, in the hope that interested parties within the community can come together to provide concepts and solutions which will return these assets to a vital use while preserving their historic character.

“The list of Most Endangered Buildings calls attention to threatened one-of-a-kind resources throughout Kansas City and galvanizes the local community to help save them,” said Jim Wanser, president of Historic Kansas City. “We also know that many important places throughout Kansas City remain endangered,” said Lisa Briscoe, executive director of Historic Kansas City. “Buildings that once seemed safely preserved can later confront new, unforeseen threats.”

Two examples of endangered buildings that have recently been saved include the Kemper Arena/Hy-Vee Arena, 1800 Genessee Street and the Hotel Savoy/21C Museum Hotel, 219 W. 9th Street, both of which were recognized for their successful rehabilitation with Preservation Awards this year.  The use of the federal/state historic preservation tax credit was an essential factor in making these award-winning projects possible. As you read the 2019 Most Endangered List, note the importance of Historic Tax Credits in the future preservation of these historic Kansas City buildings.

This year’s list includes a century-old saddlery & mercantile store, a bank, African-American sites, commercial districts and corridors, modern architecture, and neighborhood commercial nodes. Historic properties are selected for listing based on several criteria; sites must be listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places or the KC Register of Historic Places, and sites must be subject to a serious threat to their existence or historical, architectural integrity.

The list is based on information publicly available at the time of deliberation and allowing a reasonable interval for preparing the list and publishing it.  The list is a call for action by all stakeholders. It follows no prioritization order.

August 14, 2019

Plaza Bowl Special Character Overlay District

Following a two year process involving dozens of property owners, city officials, developers and citizens, the Council approved the third expansion of the Plaza Bowl Overlay District, championed by Councilwoman Shields and led by HKC. As a city ordinance, it codifies existing recommendations, adding more “teeth” to height and use regulations for the heart of our iconic Country Club Plaza.

The goal of the Overlay is to preserve the character and integrity of the Plaza, maintain the Plaza Bowl concept, and protect the property values and expectations of Plaza property owners, residents and visitors. The overlay district is a major “win” for preservation in Kansas City.

How did we get here? Adoption of the overlay was a top priority of the Midtown Plaza Area Plan, resulting from 3 years of community engagement, of which HKC was a major player. Adoption of the overlay district enables future developers and current owners to reasonably rely upon and predict what heights and uses will be allowed for future buildings.
HKC’s position: Would it not be better for everyone if we have a clear development policy that no longer necessitates neighborhoods bringing 500 people down to city hall to fight development that is inconsistent with the Plan. An overlay district will defuse sometimes contentious and protracted processes that take away from a coherent and orderly development of the concentric rings around the base of the Country Club Plaza.

Current property owners already have substantial investments in the Plaza area. 50% of the impacted developers/landowners, Taubman (owners of the Plaza), area neighborhoods and stakeholders support this overlay. No one is averse to development. We want reasonable development consistent with City adopted policy, the Midtown Plaza Area Plan.

June 14, 2019

2019 Most Endangered Nominations Form

Historic Kansas City has used its annual list of Most Endangered Buildings to spotlight important examples of architectural and cultural heritage that were at risk of destruction or irreparable damage.

Do you know of a threatened historic place? If so, nominate it for the 2019 list of the Most Endangered. Nominations will be accepted until Monday, July 8, 2019.

Inclusion on the Most Endangered list has proven beneficial for Kansas City’s historic places. For some properties, nomination to the list is a last chance for survival.

A “Most Endangered” designation:
• Focuses media and public attention on the plight of threatened historic places
• Spurs positive action and generates public support
• Creates opportunities for preservation solutions

What is an endangered property?
• A threatened historic place important to the community
• An irreplaceable local landmark fallen into disrepair
• An architecturally significant building or structure that’s been abandoned
• A historic district or building type threatened by poor planning or public policy

If you know of a historic resource that fits these descriptions, do something!

Nominate the property for inclusion on the Most Endangered list and make the effort to preserve it heard around Kansas City. The nomination process is simple, see attached.

Nominations will be accepted until Monday, July 8, 2019.

June 06, 2019

2018 Preservation Award Winners

Historic Kansas City is pleased to announce the winners for the 2018 Historic Preservation Awards.

April 01, 2019

2018 Preservation Awards Nomination Form

Historic Kansas City is accepting nominations for our annual Preservation Awards.  Award categories cover a broad array of preservation issues in order to encourage nominations from a wide range of professionals and disciplines.  Nominations are due Friday, February 15th 2019.  The nomination process is very simple—it will just take a few minutes of your time.   Please fill attached form and send to hkcf@historickansascity.org.

January 10, 2019

Plaza Bowl Overlay District – Expansion #3 – Staff Report_11_20_18

The purpose of the third expansion of the Plaza Bowl Overlay District is to establish land use regulations and limit building heights for an area generally along 47th Street.

January 03, 2019

Statement by the President of Historic Kansas City, Jim Wanser.

Today, September 24th may mark the end of the large stately carriage house on the UMKC campus as part of the planned addition to the School of Computing and Engineering. The historic structure is being demolished for an enhanced driveway and loading area.
The Dickey carriage house is in good condition, and is one of the two original buildings of the University of Kansas City (UKC). It was built in 1913 as the power plant, maintenance facility and caretaker’s residence for the Dickey mansion, now named Scofield Hall. Walter Dickey was a prominent Kansas City business man who also owned two historically important newspapers in Kansas City, The Kansas City Journal and the Kansas City Post. The demolition of the building would be a significant loss to UMKC’s history, as well as the history of Kansas City.
HKC posted the scheduled demolition on our social media platforms on August 10th and August 14th, the response has been overwhelming. The news has reached over 54,000 individuals, resulted in 420 comments and been “shared” well over 200 times. As taxed payers, alumni, donors, employees and students, the community is applauded. It has reminded all constituents about the poor track record of preservation by the University of Missouri Kansas City.
Everyone appreciates the importance of UMKC to the City of Kansas City and the region, the need to expand growing educational programs and have great facilities tor student learning. What is not understood is the insensitivity to the history and built environment of the campus.
Many other institutions have experienced significant growth while finding creative and innovative ways to protect their historical buildings and heritage. When you think of great college campuses, great old buildings are an integral part of that experience.
HKC encourages UMKC to think more creatively to address their educational needs while protecting the historic structures of the campus and the history they represent. Growth and preservation are not inconsistent, but require vision, innovation and sound leadership.

September 24, 2018