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.

  • Uncle Sam ‘Wants You’ to know his origins

    June 30th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Historians aren’t completely certain how the legendary character Uncle Sam was created or how he got his name.
    One prominent theory is that Uncle Sam was named after Samuel


    Winnwood has faded, but its legacy lives

    June 23rd, 2015
    by

    Northeast News A mere three stops after boarding the Interurban car of the KCCC&SJ’s Excelsior Springs line at 20th Street and Burlington Avenue in the then newly chartered North Kansas


    Flooding no is stranger to Kansas City’s West Bottoms

    June 16th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News This week’s postcard shows the result of countless days of rain and the lack of a levee system in the West Bottoms during a flood in June 1908.
    The


    Katz’s stores remain an architectural icon

    June 9th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News When Isaac “Ike” Katz was 13-years-old, he quit school and went to work for the Great Northern Railway to help support his family.
    Katz walked the aisles of passenger


    Memories of the 1908 flood

    June 2nd, 2015
    by

    Northeast News As we approach the rainy summer season, it is fitting that we run a postcard showing three scenes from the West Bottoms area immediately following the great flood


  • Ruskin Heights tornado still conjers horror for some

    May 19th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Fifty eight years ago today, a string of savage storms rose from the southern plains states and tore a devastating path across the Kansas City area that some


    Motel Capri – Northeast’s Gold Standard for Motor Inns

    May 12th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News In the late 1950’s, an empty plat of ground just north of the old Boy’s Hotel at Admiral Boulevard and Highland Avenue caught the eye of three local


    Cursed be the villain who molests these graves

    May 5th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News In January of 1859, the town of Wyandot was incorporated and two streets were cut across what we now know as the Huron Indian Cemetery.


    Cliff Drive’s legacy endures time as a world-class park

    April 28th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News “Cliff Drive, Kansas City, Missouri.”
    So reads the description on the front of this postcard published by the Fred Harvey Company.


    As KC grew, so grew the City Market

    April 21st, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Building the imposing new City Hall at Fifth and Main Streets required the installation of roughly 60 circular caissons, five feet across, to support the massive structure.


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Snyder’s gives back to the community

    Michaela Bishop Northeast News July 6, 2015 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Snyder’s thanked its shoppers and Northeast residents for their […]

    Weather causes havoc in HNE

    Weather damage. More than 40,000 trees were severely damaged or downed Thursday night just in Kansas City, Mo.

    Children’s Choice helping kids for nearly 40 years

    By Michaela Bishop Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Children’s Choice Daycare has helped over thousands of children within the past 39 years. The daycare itself helps children from ages ranging to