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Demolition Of Historic Plaza Apartments On Hold While City Ponders Their Fate

courtesy: Eric Bowers

Demolition has been postponed – at least for now – for three 1920s apartment buildings on the Country Club Plaza. On Friday, Historic Kansas City applied to include these structures in the Nelle E. Peters Thematic Historic District, created in 1989 to protect other Peters-designed buildings. 

As an architect, NellePetersdesigned nearly 1,000 buildings in the Kansas City area, mostly hotels and apartment buildings, such as the ones at 4728-4735 Summit (pictured above).

"They are certainly distinctive along the Plaza," says Historic Kansas City's executive director Amanda Crawley. "They seem to hold a special place in people's minds as well as having historic significance, having been designed by Nelle Peters (who was) one of the few female architects who was designing in Kansas City when these buildings were designed in 1927." 

In August 2014, the buildings along Summit were bought by 47 Summit LLC, part of Price Development Group. They're no longer occupied. On Friday, it was reported the company had obtained pre-demolition inspection permits for the buildings. A call to Doug Price on Monday for a comment was not returned. 

This action by Historic Kansas City delays demolition by at least 45 days, while the city's Historic Preservation Office considers the issue. 

"The buildings, although not in perfect condition, certainly do not seem from the exterior to warrant a case for demolition," says Crawley. "These are certainly buildings that would be a loss to the historic character of the Plaza if they were torn down."

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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