Lee’s Summit, Jackson County
The Methodist Episcopal Congregation of Lee’s Summit chose architect Carl Sechler to design its new church building, which was completed in 1922. It is a large rectangular shaped masonry building constructed of red brick. Four Corinthian columns on the building’s façade frame three large arched stained glass windows. Two large doors at each end of the building are surmounted by demi-lune transoms. The building is crowned by a belvedere with windows that allow access to a walkable flat roof. The building here represents the unification of Northern and Southern rival branches of the church, and the founder of Lee’s Summit, William B. Howard, was a member of the Church. The current building is one of only two remaining churches in Lee’s Summit of masonry construction. Built in the Renaissance Revival style, it is the only building standing in this distinctive style within the city limits. The property is endangered by a proposal that includes construction of four story apartment building and parking lot for four hundred cars. The proposed project, named Summit Church Redevelopment calls for the demolition of its namesake church. The project would receive tax increment financing (TIF) giving a tax incentive to demolish a valuable historic resource that could be repurposed rather than replaced. It is hoped that by listing here, the local city council will seek to promote a redevelopment plan that calls for preservation of its historic buildings, and make historic buildings a part of its plan for future economic development planning. An eligibility assessment for listing on the National Register of Historic Places might help find a developer sensitive to the repurposing of the church building, and make it eligible for other financial incentives, including the state historic preservation tax credit.
Listed in 2018
This building has been saved! In 2019 it was announced that the building complex threatening the property would incorporate it as a community center in their design.