NEKCHS still accepting sponsors for “Then and Now” book

By LESLIE COLLINS
Northeast News
February 5, 2014

It’s not a secret that Historic Northeast is brimming with history, and the Northeast Kansas City Historical Society (NEKCHS) wants to bring some of that history to light through its “Then and Now” book.

The hardbound book will feature properties from all six Historic Northeast neighborhoods: Indian Mound, Scarritt Renaissance, Independence Plaza, Lykins, Pendleton Heights and Sheffield. NEKCHS is still accepting applications to sponsor a property; cost is $60 per property and each sponsorship includes a copy of the book. Those wishing to sponsor a property do not have to be the current owners of the property.

“As part of the sponsorship fee, we’ll research the property and find out as much history as we can to include in the space,” said Kent Dicus, NEKCHS president.

Joy Brandon, a historian and board member of NEKCHS, is heading up the research and several NEKCHS board members are assisting in the process. Information will include current owners, previous owners and their history, previous and current use of the property, architecture style, and other pertinent information. Sponsors may also submit their own pictures and information on the property. Each property will include a current picture and past picture, which may be provided by the sponsor or obtained through the 1940s collection of county assessors pictures, turn of the century publications and other sources.

“We’ve really had some amazing responses to it, which we’re really happy about, but we can always use more before we go to press,” Dicus said. “One question I hear a lot is, ‘I’d love to include my house or my parents house, but it’s not on a great street, or it’s not a mansion, or it doesn’t look that great today.’ We’re like, “Go ahead and include it; it’s part of the neighborhood.’ Not all of the properties were built to be high end, but they all add so much interest. As long as it’s within our boundaries, we’re not turning it away.”

Submission deadlines will be at the end of March or April, he said, to provide ample time for publishing the book before Christmas.

“I think we’re all proud of the neighborhoods in our area, but now’s the chance to really put it in print,” he said.

Current submissions are a mix of churches, businesses and residential properties, he said. If someone wants to sponsor a property but is unsure of which one to choose, Dicus said the individual can choose which neighborhood to feature and he will provide several properties to choose from.

“Thacher (Elementary) is up for grabs, and I certainly think that’s a really important one to include,” Dicus said.

Sponsorship registration forms are available on the NEKCHS website at http://www.nekchs.com/uploads/BookOrderForm.pdf. Interested individuals may also contact Dicus for a registration form by emailing president@nekchs.com.

“It’s a really great mix so far, and we’re really excited about it, just to put it all in one cohesive volume,” Dicus said. “It’s about time the Northeast area got some of the attention it deserves and I think something like this will help promote us.”

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