The Alta Vista Christian Church (Mexican Institute Chapel) was constructed in 1931 by the Mexican Christian Institute in Kansas City, whose congregation has served the area since 1917. Its mission was to serve as a site for worship, evangelization, and social relief for the Mexican railroad workers who labored in the Historic West Bottoms and Armourdale districts of Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas. The church is of Spanish Mission Revival design, with an “L” shaped floorplan and gabled roof finished with Spanish tile. A second wing was added to the building in 1945 to house classrooms. After 99 years of serving the community, the Alta Vista Christian Church congregation dissolved and donated the building to La Gloria de Dios in 2016. The building continues to serve the Hispanic community today, although with a congregation of smaller numbers. Members have dedicated themselves to renovate and had planned to engage in wider community outreach, when in December 2018 they discovered considerable structural issues — the south and east walls of the sanctuary were pulling away from one another. The Church is in Peril due to the impending repairs and financial burden to the congregation. It’s importance as one of the first structures built for and by the Mexican community – necessitates the structure’s listing on our Places in Peril. While not in immediate danger of collapse, repairs are necessary. It is hoped that by listing, a financial supporter can be identified and interested parties come forward to provide technical assistance to complete the full structural/geotechnical assessments and partial stabilization repairs needed. In addition, a full survey of Kansas City’s west side focusing on the Latinx community could bring necessary protections to an already dwindling stock of important cultural heritage resources in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.
The congregation seeks assistance to complete the following:
Install and repair downspout connections; add dirt around foundation for a negative grade away from the foundation. Gutter repair where appropriate.
Make a thorough engineering assessment and estimate of work regarding basement walls, floors, and overall structure to determine appropriate solutions to extend the serviceable life of Alta Vista.
Make modifications: Install peering and foundation support as indicated by the final report. Epoxy Caulk for concrete where needed and remove and replace buckling flatwork in the basement. Over time, the basement floor has dropped from its original position due to water incursion. The remediation steps listed above will likely prevent further damage to the building.
*When making your donation, be sure to indicate that funds to towards ALTA VISTA SANCTUARY/ LA GLORIDA DE DIOS FUND