Do you remember the area east of Winstead’s on Cleaver Boulevard?

It might be hard to guess that this home was near the corner of 48th and McGee in 1940. Most of the small homes and apartment buildings on the block have now been replaced.

It might be hard to guess that this home was near the corner of 48th and McGee in 1940. Most of the small homes and apartment buildings on the block east of the Plaza have now been replaced.

Modern offices and commercial buildings today dominate the streetscape just east of the Country Club Plaza where small homes and apartments buildings stood 75 years ago.

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The block is highlighted in yellow, extending from Cleaver Boulevard to Brush Creek, from Grand to McGee.

The block of the Country Club Plaza (from Emanuel Cleaver Boulevard to Brush Creek, from Grand to McGee) just east of Winstead’s, is the subject of today’s look back in history. And it has changed a great deal since the photo of the small home was taken in 1940.

The block is in the news as the city Historic Preservation Commission considers adding the Plaza Towers at 209 Emanuel Cleaver Boulevard to its list of significant buildings as an example of modern, working-class and moderate- income apartments.

The Country Club Plaza had opened in 1923 as a shopping district, but the Plaza Towers and other large buildings in the area  had not built in 1940.  Instead, there were a number of apartment buildings and the southern end of the block was made up of small bungalow-style homes.

This slideshow shows all of the houses that stood on the block. See the 1917-1945 map of the block (under the slideshow) to see where the houses stood.

A 1917-1945 Sanburn Fire Insurance Map shows the homes and apartments on the block.

A 1917-1945 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map shows the homes and apartments on the block.

 

The rest of the block was made up of apartment buildings, including two long buildings facing Forty-Seventh Street (now known as Emanuel Cleaver Boulevard). Eight additional apartments lined Grand Avenue and McGee Streets.

The last photo below shows a 1926 shot of those apartments and some of the houses taken from the roof of the Sophia Plaza at 4618 Warwick.

But there’s much more history to this block. Do you remember the area? If so, please share your memories with our readers by leaving a comment.

As part of our Uncovering History Project, the Midtown KC Post is taking a look at the 1940 tax assessment photos of each block in Midtown. 

Would you like us to focus on your block next week? Send us an email.

 Our new book, Kansas City’s Historic Midtown Neighborhoods, is available now. Let us know if you want us to come to your neighborhood association or organization’s meeting to share what we’ve learned about Midtown neighborhood history and tell your members how they can help preserve Midtown history. Order the book 

Historic photos courtesy Kansas City Public Library – Missouri Valley Special Collections.

A 1926 photo of the block taken from the roof of the Sophia Plaza showing proposed street changes. In the background is the E.C. White School.

A 1926 photo of the block taken from the roof of the Sophian Plaza showing proposed street changes. The E.C. White School is on the other side of Brookside Boulevard.

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