100-118 West Armour Boulevard
These four historic apartment buildings were built in 1902 and 1903 and designed by noted Kansas City architect John McKecknie. They are located in the Old Hyde Park Historic District and face one of Kansas City’s famous historic boulevards. After being purchased by developers in 2008. Since then they have fallen into disrepair due to a lack of routine maintenance and repair. The owners applied for a certificate of appropriateness to demolish claiming economic hardship and were denied by both the Historic Preservation Commission and the Board of Zoning Adjustment. Kansas City’s Historic Preservation Ordinance only requires a 3 year wait to demolish when a certificate of appropriateness is denied, and the owners are currently claiming that they intend to demolish after the 3 year wait has expired, even though offers have been made by other developers to rehabilitate the buildings. The 3 year wait period will expire in September of 2016. In an article from the Kansas City Star it was reported, “The developer has declined to consider offers by other potential renovators and is poised to sit on the properties for another two and a half years, when the preservation commission’s demolition denial expires. The company recently agreed to seal up the buildings — three duplexes and an 18-unit apartment building — and carefully remove and store some distinctive exterior building features, such as porch columns. Well, as soon as that work began last month the issue of “demolition by neglect,” as local preservationists have been calling it, turned into demolition for real. The developer’s contractor began digging out brick entryways and clumsily backhoed its way beyond the careful seal-up called for in the developer’s agreement with the city. The work infuriated representatives of the Old Hyde Park Neighborhood Association, which has been trying to line up another developer to save the buildings.” By listing here, we hope the owners will be encouraged to either include the buildings in future renovation plans, or turn them over to a more preservation-friendly developer.