Most endangered list for 2016 includes Midtown areas, buildings

The Luzier Cosmetic Building at 3212 Gillham Plaza is an example of neighborhood commercial structures that Historic Kansas City has placed on its endangered list for the year.

The Luzier Cosmetic Building at 3212 Gillham Plaza is an example of neighborhood commercial structures that Historic Kansas City has placed on its endangered list for the year.

Historic Kansas City’s (HKC) annual most endangered list is out, and it includes not only specific structures but broad categories of architecture that it says are facing an ongoing threat.

The 2016 list includes;

  • The Plaza. HKC points out that the developers are taking a great interest in the Plaza, especially the north side. After several hundred Midtown residents spent two years developing a new Midtown Plaza Area Plan, the group says it is important for the city to follow its land use, zoning, height, density, and architecture principles and preserve the bowl concept that limits heights of buildings within the Plaza.
  • Midtown apartments and apartment. Mid-sized apartments and apartment hotels are a basic component of Midtown neighborhoods, yet HKC says redevelopment can be challenging and calls for creative design solutions. It lists the Hawthorn Plaza Apartments at 39th and Main, the Steuben Club/Boulevard Manor Hotel at Armour and Troost, and the Knickerbocker Apartments on Knickerbocker Place as examples.
  • “The Nelsonhood,” the area around the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: HKC says the Nelson’s consideration of expanding its footprint threatens five large, architecturally significant homes and raises concerns about institutional expansion.
  • The Old Northeast area of Kansas City. HKC warns that not enough formal protections are in place to stop the lost of historic homes and commercial buildings in this area.
  • Neighborhood commercial structures. While Midtown neighborhoods are filled with small commercial buildings that once housed local businesses, the changing retail landscape can be a threat to their future. Specifically, the list includes Luzier Cosmetics building and the Acme Cleansing Building, also near Costco in Midtown. STOP
  • Historic churches. Like commercial structures, historic churches in Midtown and other parts of the city are at risk as their congregations diminish. HKC suggests that creative planning and funding are required to reuse the churches rather than destroying them.
  • Modern architecture in general.
  • 18th and Vine. While the city council is considering a $27.6 million proposal to upgrade this area, HKC says the area needs clear policies and design guidelines, and several important African American heritage sites are endangered.
  • KCI Airport. KCI has been the subject of debate over whether to keep the current airport or build a new one. “As a civic policy, our City shouldn’t make a habit of tearing down major buildings every 40 years, especially those iconic and influential designs that may prove fashionable and functional in the not too distant future,” the group says.
  • MGM building at 220 W 18th Street
  • Sauer Castle in Kansas City, Kansas.
  • Francis Xavier School. The former school at 52nd and Troost is on the 2016 watch list. It has been the subject of a bitter conflict between the Catholic diocese’s plan for student housing and neighbors.

The goal of the annual list is to raise awareness and advocate for the city’s historic buildings and resources.

Entire 2016 Most Endangered List


  1. patricia Allegri says:

    You might wish to add 400 north 18th st, kck to your list. We had wished to return that bldg. to it’s original glory (beautiful living quarters upstairs and business on the first floor) but life happens.
    ALSO, going north from our bldg. are apartments that have great potential; that would insure the stability of Donnelly College, Ward High, and the Sister Servants of Mary as well as the elegant St. Peter’s neighborhood.

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