Plaza living – old school finery

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
March 20, 2013 

This Kodachrome postcard published in the late 1950s shows the numerous apartment buildings built on the south side of Brush Creek near the Country Club Plaza.

The bridge shown in the card was deemed obsolete following the tragic flood of 1977 where 25 people died and more than $100 million in damages were sustained by businesses along the banks of the normally placid creek. A new bridge was erected in 1980-81 that allowed for a more freely flowing Brush Creek during high water periods. Easily visible in the foreground of the card is the concrete-lined bed of Brush Creek.

When J.C. Nichols first developed the Plaza as the premier shopping district in Kansas City, Brush Creek was nothing more than a trickle lined with brambles and small trees. Soon after the Plaza’s heralded opening, political “boss” Tom Pendergast provided his “solution” to the flooding in the creek’s watershed area by lining the creek with his Ready-Mix concrete from roughly State Line to Troost Avenue. Boss Tom’s poorly thought out solution did nothing more than create a swifter moving current over the concrete stream bed after periods of heavy rain. This came to a head 36 years ago when heavy rains deluged the Kansas City area, saturating the ground with more than 12 inches of rain in some areas over a 48-hour period. The resulting tragedy prompted city fathers to aggressively seek a more permanent solution to Brush Creek’s constant threat of flooding. Some 21 years later, the new Brush Creek flood control plan was completed, after the flood of 1998.

The apartments pictured in the background were among the first to be erected overlooking the new Country Club Plaza shopping district. From right to left, the Villa Serena (now the Hotel Raphael); the Locarno; the Riveria (now the Hemingway Plaza East condominiums); the Biarritz, and the Casa Loma. All were built in the mid-1920s.

 

Comments are closed.

  • Memorial an expression of gratitude

    May 17th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News May 17, 2017 H. Van Buren Magonigle of New York was selected from a field […]


    And the rains came

    May 10th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News May 10, 2017 Seems fitting with the spring rains we’re experiencing that we run a […]


    Spring has flowed for nearly a century

    May 3rd, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News May 3, 2017 People from throughout the Midwest have enjoyed drives along Cliff Drive’s rugged […]


    Aviation history took flight at Fairfax

    April 26th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News April 26, 2017 This 1942 Max Bernstein linen postcard depicts the Aircraft Assembly Plant, Fairfax […]


    The Pony Express led the way from St. Joseph

    April 19th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News April 19, 2017 “Beginning April 3, 1860, from St. Joseph, Mo., and continuing through Oct. […]


  • Coaches offered first-class tours of Kansas City

    April 12th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News April 12, 2017 These Real Photo postcards show Coach No. 503 of the Kansas City […]


    The glory days of the Blue River

    April 5th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News April 5, 2017 The North American Postcard Company of Kansas City, Mo., published this Real […]


    Turn-of the century firefighters were hot at competition

    March 29th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News March 29, 2017 In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Kansas City Fire Department […]


    Roses are red … and pink … and white …

    March 22nd, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News March 22, 2017 Between Oct. 21 and 24 of 1864, the area we now know […]


    Sweet sound of St. Pat’s

    March 15th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News March 15, 2017 Greeting postcards such as this have long been used to convey greetings […]


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    NEKC Chamber of Commerce hosts local chefs for cook-off

    By Abby Cambiano Northeast News May 19, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Local chefs are gearing up for a food-filled […]

    KCPD annual memorial service honors fallen officers

    By Abby Cambiano Northeast News May 19, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Kansas City Police Department honored its 119 […]

    Northeast Newscast Episode 11 – A Day in the Life w/ KCMO Illegal Dumping Investigator Alan Ashurst

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News May 18, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – We’re back with a special edition of the […]