Do you know the history of this Old Hyde Park block?

11-54-sanbornAs 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.

Today’s slideshow features the 3400 block of Broadway and Central, as well as the blocks of Armour Boulevard and 34th Streets between Broadway and Central.

The area includes the historic Ellison Apartment Hotel at 300 West Armour and Warwick Cleaners at 3421 Broadway.

You’ll also see the Hollywood Café and Standard Service Station on Broadway. Along Central Street, a number of small frame homes housed families in these 1940s photos.

This Sanborn Fire Insurance map (right) shows the homes, businesses and apartments as they stood around the time these photos were taken.

The slideshow at the end of this post shows all of the buildings that existed when the 1940 tax photos were taken.

But we’d like to hear what you remember of this block. We’ll share your history and help to preserve it on our website.

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

Maps and photos courtesy Kansas City Public Library Missouri Valley Special Collections.

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The Ellison Apartment Hotel at 300 West Armour in 1940.

The Ellison Apartment Hotel at 300 West Armour in 1940.


  1. rebecca britt says:

    Ty for the pictures and history.It has been thirty years since I lived in kcmo.I grew up in a nice neighborhood on between 59th and main and Troost.fine,beautiful houses there.

  2. Cheryl Mason says:

    Growing up in midtown in the 1950s, I recall the Rexall/Crown drugstore at Armour Blvd. and Broadway. It was across the street from the gas station. It had the beautiful circular marquee pictured in your slideshow. It was a handy little drugstore with parking surrounding the side and rear of the building. It competed with the Katz Drugstore at 39th and Main. Armour Boulevard was a beautiful street and one of the shorter boulevards in KC, stretching straight east/west from Paseo Boulevard to Broadway.

  3. Paul Young says:

    I Believe it was Parkview Drug Store

  4. Kitty McFarland says:

    My Mother’s parents lived in the Ellison Apartment Hotel before and during WWII. The family was from Liberty and had lost their banking interests during the depression. My grandfather worked for New York Life, which is not included in your pictures. The famous lions outside I believe are still there. I have many picture of my little sister and myself sitting on those lions when we were 3 and 2, and of us skipping up and down the side walk in front of the Ellison Hotel. We would stay with them often as my mother would leave us there while she and my father moved from Army Post to Army Post. She would find us all a place to live and then come to fetch us on the train. Our hometown was in southern Missouri on the Arkansas line. But back to the neighborhood, the Rexall/Crown Drug Store was a magically place in those days. The concrete sidewalk has the sprinkles in them that would sparkle in the lights. Occasionally we would go inside with my grandmother. It was nothing like our drug store in our small town. She did her all her grocery shopping in the neighbor, and we loved to go into Wolfermans. And often my grandfather would take my 3 year old hand and cross to a bar in the neighborhood, I believe next to the drug store. I would sit on the stool next to him and he would order me a coke in a little bottle, the highlight of my day. I remember the three way corner, we would diagonally cross the street to wait outside of the New York Life building, holding my grandmother’s hand, to wait for my grandfather to come out of the building. Then some evenings after dinner or on the weekend just my grandfather and I would go to the bar to listen to the war news together. Their apartment had a little passthrough under the kitchen sink. Everyday an unknown hand would pass by in the hallway and get the trash. The bed linens were taken care of by the management and there was a hugh laundry in the basement. My grandmother was friendly with a woman who worked in the laundry, her name was Inze and sometimes she would take my sister and me to a neighborhood carnival that would be crowded into a nook someplace near. The management was very tolerant of my sister and I wandering about. Sometimes taking over the elevator, which usually had an operator. But when he was not there we would “take” folks to their floors. I have so many wonderful memories of that hotel and neighborhood. The best one was when my father came back from overseas and came to the apartment to get us.

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