Uncovering History: Have Much of Midtown Has Been Uncovered?

This is the low-tech map I use to keep track of the Uncovering History posts developed for the Midtown KC Post. So far, the project has detailed the histories of more than 150 blocks of Midtown. A very important part of the project is the participation of readers, who add their memories and questions and politely correct my mistakes.

It was four years ago, in Dec. 2014, when I started the Midtown KC Post Uncovering History project, a long-term project to gather the history of each block of Midtown Kansas City. So far, I have put together block histories for about 150 blocks, including 22 last year. In the beginning I tried to post one block history a week but over the past year, I have only managed to post about one every other week.

The map above hangs on the wall of my office. It shows the blocks I have posted about (in yellow). One of the most important parts of this project is a set of 1940 tax assessment photos that show each building in 1940.Here’s the story behind them). The blocks marked in green are not included in the set of photos available from the Kansas City Public Library, so it is a bit harder to document their history.  Some area that are marked with orange or pink lines are areas where I have written about just the street, not the entire block.

The map makes it clear that this is a very long-term project.

I keep a running list of blocks people have asked me to profile, and I’d love to hear the case for profiling your block, especially if there is interesting history you already know. Just email me and I’ll add your block to the list. I would also be happy to include any research you have done on your house, your block or your neighborhood. The whole idea of the Uncovering History project is to share what people know before it is lost forever.

One of the most important parts of this project is the participation of readers, who add their memories and questions and politely correct my mistakes.If you have memories or things to add about a specific block, please comment on the post and your comments will be available for everyone to see.

My New Year’s resolution is to post more regularly. My plan is to put out new stories on Tuesdays. They regularly get posted on Facebook, so you can find them there if you follow the Midtown KC Post. Otherwise, you can ask me to add you to my email list and you will get an update via email when a new story is posted.

email the Midtown KC Post at mjdraper@midtownkcpost.com

Posts in 2018

(Clearly, Valentine got more than its fair share of history posts in 2018. That’s because I have been researching a book on the history of Valentine this year.)

My book, Kansas City’s Historic Midtown Neighborhoods, is available now at local bookstores and on Amazon.com. Or if you want to support a struggling author, you can buy it directly from my for $21.99


  1. Jim Brandes says:

    I lived on 34st between Gilliam and Warwick Blvd in the 1950’s. In an ally behind our house, there was a large old, red barn sandwiched between 2 houses. All homes/structures have now been demolished. Do you know if this barn could have been on a farm at one time and if so, any knowledge of the farm or it’s owner? Thank you.

  2. Wes Hill says:

    Jim, I don’t remember your barn though I know of the neighborhood you are speaking of. I lived at 43 and Warwick from the late 40’s into the mid 50’s, and we too lived adjacent to an alley off which there was a large barn behind a residence located on the east side of Warwick Blvd. In fact that is where my childhood girl friend lived!

  3. Kathy Smith Garnett says:

    We lived at 36th and Pennsylvania and 36th and Wyandotte I would love to see what they looked like back in the day

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