Mansion returns to life on Armour Boulevard

This large home at 500 E. Armour was designed in 1910 and stood proudly among the many lavish homes on Armour Boulevard. It’s now being restored by a developer.

A development company restoring 20 apartment buildings along Armour Boulevard will soon have something a little different for rent: units in an historic Hyde Park mansion.

The house at 500 E. Armour called “The Duke” is the former home of Henry B. Duke, who was president of the Safety Savings & Loan.

The Georgian style home was designed in 1910 by the architectural firm of Smith, Rea & Lovitt. Among the firm’s work were many other lavish homes, the Kansas City Club, 1228 Baltimore Avenue, and the Firestone Building, 2001 Grand Avenue.

The Duke is the only mansion that MAC Properties is restoring along Armour, said Peter Cassel, community development director for the firm.

A previous owner divided it into six rental units and it will still be six units when it is completed later this year, he said.

It was built in Hyde Park, which was then a lavish Kansas City suburb, and features cut stone trim and art glass windows.

MAC works with Antheus Capital, the New Jersey investment company that in the last six years has purchased the 20 buildings along Armour and recently bought the troubled Ambassador apartments on Broadway.

They plan to begin renovation of the Ambassador next year after current tenant leases expire.

“We see the Armour corridor matching up with what is going on Broadway,” Cassel said at a recent meeting.