Plaza homes replaced by “modern” apartments as Plaza developed

While families came and went and homes were replaced with apartment buildings, the Charles McCallum family lived on this Plaza Westport block from at least the 1920s to the 1940s. McCallum was a Scottish-born carpenter and his widowed son, also named Charles, lived in the home after his father’s death, according to census records.


This block just north of the Plaza started out as a residential area, but as the Plaza developed over the early decades of the 1900s, several of its homes were replaced by “modern” apartments. At least one of the homes may have been moved to make way for multi-family structures, but both single-family residences and apartments provided homes for a changing array of middle-class families through the years.

As part of our Uncovering History Project, the Midtown KC Post is taking a look at each block in Midtown, including a set of 1940 tax assessment photos which is available for many blocks. (Many people seem confused by the tax assessment photos, which all include a man holding a sign. Here’s the story behind them).  Today, the block from W. 45th to W. 46th from Broadway to Wornall.

Slow development before 1910

A 1907 Tuttle and Pike map of the block.

Although a Tuttle and Pike map from 1907 shows the area had been platted, it also shows only two houses on the block that year.  Also note that the early map shows 45th Street Terrace as Ohio Avenue that year.

By 1923, however, J.C. Nichols’ County Club Plaza had opened, offering up a new shopping district to Kansas City residents. As seen on a later map, homes had filled in along Wornall from 45th to 46th Streets, but the surrounding area along Broadway and W. 45th Street Terrace (as Ohio Avenue was now known) was being covered with apartments. The Sanborn map shows that apartment buildings have been pasted over at both the corner of Broadway and 45th and the corner of Broadway and 46th, meaning the map had been amended sometime between 1909 and 1950 as the apartments were added.

A 1909-1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance map of the block.

Some information is available about the Wornall homes. In 1918, the J.R. Allen Mortgage Company was offering for sale “two new homes” each with six rooms and a sleeping porch at 4538 and 4540 Wornall. Although maps do not show a 4540, it was common for street numbers to change over the years. The ad went on to list a large sitting room, built-in bookcases in the den, oak floors and new bathrooms The residence at 4506 was for sale in 1924, advertised as a nearly-new Queen Anne with a double garage, double heated sleeping porch and breakfast rom. The house just to the south, 4510, was for sale in 1927 due to death and illness, and also advertised as modern.

In 1928, an advertisement in the Kansas City Star offered the opportunity to buy a house at the southwest corner of 46th and Broadway and move the house to another location. This may indicate the ground was being cleared to build the apartments there.

Apartments added from 1920s to 1940s

As the Plaza grew and many Kansas Citians embraced the mix of luxury apartment living and convenient shopping it offered, the western half of the block morphed into an apartment community. In 1941, prominent building company Master Craftsmen, Inc. opened its new Country Club Apartments, offering “the latest word in decorations; model kitchens with G.E. stoves and refgrs.; tile baths with tubs and showers, extra-large rooms and closets; garages.”

 Census records from the 1920s and 1930s show the range of families living in both the homes and apartments on the block. The slideshow at the end of the post shows the rest of the buildings on the block as they looked in 1940.

This ad extolled the features of the new apartments at 46th and Broadway in 1941.

 1920 Census

  • 4502 Wornall: Ice company driver Jessie Dunn rented this home along with wife Stella and two sons.
  • 4510 Wornall: Charles Jacobson, a manufacturing company manager born in Wisconsin to Swedish parents, owned this home with wife Ethel, also born in Wisconsin to a Canadian father and English mother, and a son.
  • 4520 (24) Wornall: Charles McCallum, a Scottish-born carpenter, owned this home with wife Annie, two sons, and a daughter-in-law.
  • 4538 Wornall:  Locomotive engineer Daniel Bartholomew owned this home, shared with wife Myrtle and two sons.
  • 4538 Wornall: Charles Zabriskie, a grain company traffic manager, owned this home with wife Rose, mother-in-law Elicita Lipscomb and brother-in-law Elswood Lipscomb, a grocery clerk.
  • 312 W. 45th Terrace or Ohio: Honey product salesman Verne Holloway owned this home with wife Mabel, two sons and brother Floyd, a newspaper stenographer.
  • 310 W. 45th Terrace or Ohio: Locomotive superintendent James Dean owned this address, shared with wife Helen, a son and father-in-law Edwin Folsom, a casket maker.
  • 315 W. 45th Terrace or Ohio: Cement finisher William Tull owned this property shared with his wife Florence, a daughter and a son.
  • 313 W. 45th Terrace or Ohio: Widower William Tull Senior owned this property, shared with daughter Mary.
  • 317 W. 45th Terrace or Ohio: Telephone lineman Dewey Towner rented this duplex with wife Fairol and a son.

 1930 Census

  • 4500 Wornall: Refrigeration engineer Stanley Garnett owned this home with wife Cornelia, a daughter and a son.
  • 4502 Wornall: Optician Frank Phenia owned this home with wife Maud.
  • 4506 Wornall: Specialties salesman Charles Schee rented this home with wife Nettie, a son and a daughter.
  • 4510 Wornall: Automobile sales manager Richard Kagey owned this home, shared with wife Hazel, a son and a daughter.
  • 4512 Wornall: Hungarian-born Peter Schorr, a grocery salesman, owned this home with wife Cora, born in Illinois.
  • 4516 Wornall: Widowed railroad engineer Steven Minard owned this home with sister Elizabeth Lee. Both had been born in Michigan to English immigrant parents.
  • 4518 Wornall: Auto assembly foreman Flur Callahan owned this home shared with his wife Bonzie and three auto assembly boarders: Sherman Tye, Lawrence Tye and Evon Elting.
  • 4524 Wornall: Charles McCallum, a carpenter who was born in Scotland, owned this home with his Scottish-born wife Annie, widowed son Charles, who was born in Missouri, and granddaughter Arline.
  • 4630 Wornall: Hungarian-born Edward and Lillie Lefkovits owned this home, shared with their three sons and two daughters, all born in Missouri. Edward was a retail clothing salesman.
  • 4534 Wornall: Widow Esther Doyle, who was born in Iowa to Irish parents, owned this home with her daughter Mary. They had a boarder named Donald Woodard, an oral surgeon.
  • 4538 Wornall: This home was owned by Charles Carlson, a building carpenter who had been born in Finland. His wife Bettie was born in Sweden. They had three daughters who had been born in Missouri. Another household also lived here, headed by livestock dealer Irvin Danneberg, who was born in Kansas to German immigrant parents. He lived with his wife Frances, two sons, and a white servant named Thelma Whipple.
  • Broadway-Plaza Apartments
  • Cigar manufacturer Leland Layson and his wife Nellie.
  • Real estate secretary and son of German parents Edward Sandler and his wife Mary.
  • Physician Hollis Thomas and his wife Bertha.
  • Auditor Stacy Douglas, wife Ethel, and son John.
  • Retail department store buyer Bert E. Meyer and wife Kathryn, a retail women’s’ wear secretary.
  • Real estate builder Fred Mixon was listed as owning this apartment building, shared with wife Stella and mother Carrie Little.
  • Realty investment company secretary John A. Moore and wife Marjorie.
  • Railroad secretary John E. Rockwell and his wife Elizabeth.
  • Apartment janitor Paul Grant, and his wife Luella the only black couple on the block.
  • Public chauffeur Bert C. Wyatt and his wife Leah, a laundress.
  • Industrial arts teacher John R. Manly, his wife Jessie and a son.
  • Wholesale glass and paint salesman Ira Osgood, his wife Genevieve and a son.

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

 Do you have memories or more details about this area of Midtown? Please share them with our readers. Would you like us to focus on your block next week? Send us an email.

 Our book, Kansas City’s Historic Midtown Neighborhoods, is available now at local bookstores and on 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. 


One Comment

  1. Stephen Craig says:

    I loved my apartment @328 w 45th ter. I was there from 2001 to 2006. Sadly they have been torn down. The picture in the artical shows beautiful trees around it. Those were long gone when i moved in.

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