Catch up on some Midtown history over the holidays

karnopp buildingAs the New Year rolls around, we’re looking back at some our most popular local history stories from 2015. Those included: history of 43rd and Main, where the Nature’s Own store operates today in a historic building; a look back at the Valentine neighborhood; and blocks in the Old Hyde Park, West Plaza and Heart of Westport neighborhoods.

Each Monday, the Midtown KC Post features a block of Midtown. We share the historic photos we can find, maps of the area and newspaper stories from the late 1800s through the 1950s. We also ask our readers to share their memories so we can help to preserve Midtown history.

This week, we’re looking back at some of our most popular history features from the year. Here are seven block we wrote about in 2015. We’ll have more tomorrow. And we want to remind readers they they can share memories, old photos and stories through our Uncovering History project.

  • Among the fathers of Midtown, Dr. Joseph Feld: . Before Penn Valley Park was created and before the Valentine, Roanoke, Coleman Highlands and Old Hyde Park neighborhoods were built, the northwest part of Midtown had a huge public park known as Feld Park, named for German immigrant Dr. Joseph Feld. Jan.
  • West Plaza history: from 45th Street south to 46th Street, from Bell to State Line.  The block included several businesses including Phillips Market and Wright’s Lunch on 45th and a number of small residences.
  • Old Hyde Park: The 3400 block of Broadway and Central as well as the blocks of Armour Boulevard and 34th Streets between Armour and Central.
  • Old Hyde Park: The 3400 block of Broadway and Central, as well as the blocks of Armour Boulevard and 34th Streets between Broadway and Central, including the historic Ellison Apartment Hotel at 300 West Armour and Warwick Cleaners at 3421 Broadway.
  • Valentine neighborhood: From 35th Street south to Valentine Road, and Jefferson Street east to Pennsylvania Avenue. Just east of these blocks on Broadway were the Kansas City Life Insurance Company at 3520 Broadway, and the luxury Woodlea Hotel at 3544 Broadway, demolished in 1955 after Kansas City Life bought it in 1950. The Norman School is just to the west on Summit Street (Southwest Trafficway).
  • Southmoreland: From 43rd Street south to 44th Street, and Main Street east to Walnut Street. The Karnopp Building, at 43rd and Main, is among the featured buildings. Now operating as Nature’s Own,iIn 1930, it housed Paul. J. Mason’s Drugs.
  • Heart of Westport neighborhood: The 3900 block of Central in the Heart of Westport neighborhood. Reader Janet Pickett says she grew up on the block. “I watched the city tear down 8 or 10 houses and build the Westport Station post office,” she wrote.

One Comment

  1. Wes Hill says:

    I was very familiar with the intersection of 43rd. and main when I was about 10-13 years old. I lived at 43rd. and Warwick, just about two blocks east of there. In fact 43rd. and main is where the streetcar line split going either east or west to south- east of the Country Club plaza and after crossing main on a diagonal just before 47th. St., it proceeded south again alongside Brookside Blvd.all they way to Waldo and a little beyond.
    The line that split to the east proceeded east then turning south near 43rd. and oak and continued all the way to Swope Park before turning around near the zoo. Of course, according to the schedule or the day of the week, some of them may have turned around or terminated @ the car barn at 47th and Troost.

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