Flavel B. Tiffany was born in New York in 1846 and migrated to Kansas City in 1878, becoming one of Kansas City’s first ophthalmologists.
Founding the University Medical College in 1889, he went on to oversee the merging of a number of medical schools here in Kansas City into a single medical department at Kansas City University. Tiffany chaired that department for many years and also authored many books on ophthalmology and diseases of the eye.
Originally settling in a brick mansion near 29th and Troost, the doctor soon followed the migration of the elite Kansas Citians to more fashionable neighborhoods in what we now call Pendleton Heights. In 1908, Tiffany hired noted architect Clifton C. Sloan to design a home situated high on the bluffs overlooking Cliff Drive, the Missouri River and the East Bottoms. Through his travels, Dr. Tiffany had become enamored with the great castles of England and Scotland and commissioned Sloan to design his home out of quarried limestone, with battlements, a castellated roof line and a thee-story tower.
The “Tiffany Castle,” as it was known, bore the address of 100 Garfield and cost more than $75,000 to build. In the late 1880s, Tiffany purchased 1,100 acres of land in central Platte County near the present-day Kansas City International Airport with the intent of opening a resort and spa area to rival then-prosperous Excelsior Springs, Mo. Despite Dr. Tiffany’s grandiose plans, only a few structures were built around the Artesian Springs that now bear the name, Tiffany Springs. A majority of Tiffany’s land was annexed by Kansas City and developed as its main airport. The park itself is located off 152 Highway and N.W. Hampton Road.
This photo-style postcard was sent by the Kansas City Language & Art Club to Dr. Tiffany himself, advertising their meeting at Dr. Tiffany’s home: “Regular work of the club starts at 8 o’clock.”