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    Press Releases

    Press Statement – Demolition at 31st and Main Street

    The following press statement is issued by Historic Kansas City in regard to the demolition at the intersection of 31st and Main.

    April 21, 2022

    2020 – 21 HKC Most Endangered Places List

    Every day, all year long, HKC works to revitalize historic structures that give our community visible connections to its past and lends irreplaceable visual character to the streetscape. Once a year, we announce the Most Endangered, a list of historic places on the brink of extinction and too important to lose. These places shape lives, and when they’re gone, they leave a void that can’t be filled.

    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.

    May 14, 2021



    March 17, 2021

    Press Statement – Demolition of Westminster Congregational Church

    The following press statement is issued by Historic Kansas City in regard to the demolition of the Westminster Congregational Church.

    February 26, 2021

    Press Statement – Proposed QuikTrip at 39th Street & SW Trafficway

    December 17, 2020

    Board of Education Building Demolition – Position Statement

    Historic Kansas City sadly acknowledges the intended demolition of the stately Board of Education Building located at 311 E. 12th St. by Copaken Brooks.

    The Board of Education Building has been vacant since the KCMSD moved offices to its current location. Before it was owned by the school district, the building served as the Kansas City Public Library’s main branch. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and designed by Edward W. Tanner & Associates, this building is an outstanding example of the Modern Movement: International Style – specifically the influence of Miesian design.

    Recent changes to the federal and Missouri historic tax credit programs contributed to thwarting several renovation proposals. The historic structure would be demolished in connection with a proposal at 13th and Grand, which thus far remains a proposal.

    Historic Kansas City recognizes the need for Downtown to evolve and adapt to a changing set of office, retail, and economic circumstances. Circumstances may be changing dramatically even at the present moment.  We are not adverse to development but want it to proceed in a manner that reflects the historic and scenic nature of the Civic Mall plan that includes the three iconic art deco designed buildings, City Hall, Municipal Court and County Courthouse. One of Downtown’s strongest cultural attributes.

    Whatever the future holds for this site, any infill development proposal must be compatible with the Civic Mall plan. Further, the colorful historic glass mosaic tile murals should be preserved in consultation with the Kansas City Municipal Art Commission.


    May 21, 2020

    KNICKERBOCKER APARTMENTS – Statement from Historic Kansas City

    After years of sitting vacant, the far eastern section of the KNICKERBOCKER APARTMENTS at 501 Knickerbocker Place in Midtown Kansas City, was damaged by fire this morning. The building complex is currently vacant and there have emerged no viable rehabilitation options according to the owner Kansas City Life. Over these many decades, the Valentine Neighborhood Association has made significant efforts to engage and work with the owner.

    Listed on Historic Kansas City’s “Most Endangered List” since 2011, the Knickerbocker Apartments represent an important subtype of the Kansas City Colonnaded apartment, a departure from the typical apartment complex of the period. With their prominent porches and a wide expanse of front lawn, they remained the largest apartment group in Kansas City until around 1921. The building is a representative and rare surviving example of the work of L. G. Middaugh. Built in 1906 in the Century Revival style for developer James A. Rose, the Knickerbocker Apartments are located on what remained as one of Kansas City’s few private streets until it was deeded to the city in 1958.  The elegance and prestige of the Knickerbocker were highly expressed in its design features and its private street status.

    In 1966 Knickerbocker Place was purchased from the Charles F. Curry family by Kansas City Life Insurance for future expansion of their facilities. In 1981 an attempt to protect Knickerbocker Place from demolition was made by the Valentine Neighborhood Association and the Landmarks Commission of Kansas City. The owner stated that the cost of saving the buildings would place undue hardship on Kansas City Life and that the addition of a new Computer Center to the company’s facilities at Broadway and 36th Street outweighed the issue of preserving the Knickerbocker apartments. In 1982, the north building (500-530 Knickerbocker Place) was demolished. One-half of the complex still remains.

    Although listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003, the National Register provides limited protection. If there is no federal funding, license, or permit involved in a demolition or any proposed new construction on the site, the owner has absolutely no obligation to confer with local officials. As owners’ consent is a matter of City Council custom and practice, an attempt failed to designate the property in 1981 to the Kansas City Register of Historic Places. The Knickerbocker Apartments is a unique and rare surviving example of the Kansas City Colonnaded apartment. Successful models for renovation of historic Midtown apartment properties can be found up and down Armour quite nearby Knickerbocker.


    May 21, 2020