Annual historic homes tour to shine a light on Independence Plaza

Reece Bentzinger
Editorial Assistant
Northeast News

Step through the doors of 2821 Independence Avenue, and you’ll be swept into a time where telephones and electric lights were new. The sweeping wooden staircase perfectly matches the trim of the walls and doors. There are three fireplaces on the first floor alone, ranging from smoothly carved stone to metal that remains cold unless there’s a fire roaring within.

The home stands in stark contrast to the minimalist houses that are common today, with the lack of an open floor plan revealing its true age. But this makes the house all the more charming, and unique, in this day in age.

In order to celebrate these historic houses, the Northeast Kansas City Historical Society will be hosting its 7th Annual Homes Tour on October 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The curious can tour five houses and one church in the Independence Plaza neighborhood; it’s the first time the tour will be held in that area since 2013.

“These days, there’s a push to make everything modern,” said Northeast Kansas City Historical Society President Kent Dicus. “The craftsmanship they used back then is even better than used today.”

The detail of the craftsmanship can be seen at the house on Independence Avenue. A close look at the doors reveals smooth, polished carvings that couldn’t be recreated with modern power tools.

For homeowners of these historical homes, maintenance can be a difficult, though worthwhile, investment.

“There were supply lines and stuff in here leaking through the ceiling from the bathrooms above,” stated Cynthia Herrington, the homeowner of the Independence Avenue house, gesturing toward the living room that surrounded her.

Making sure that the tiled roofs and classic light fixtures are kept up can prove to be costly in both time and money. The current owner of the Independence Avenue house bought it after a long period of neglect, arriving at a home without working plumbing.

After a little bit of tender loving care, the house is now ready to be shown off so that those in the neighborhood can appreciate the historic value. Recently, the place underwent a ceiling resurfacing, proving that with just a little polish, an original feature, can look new.

Dicus believes that the ‘original character’ of the houses on tour will prove to be exciting to anyone that stops by. The event is sure to be filled with fascinating stories about the rich history of Kansas City’s Northeast neighborhood.

He also believes that the event is a celebration of the dedication that homeowners put into their renovations.

“Come and see the hard work that people are putting in to sustain it,” he said.

If learning little tidbits of Northeast history fascinates you, be sure to check out the house tour on the 13th.

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