Brush Creek synonymous with Plaza living

Michael Bushnell
Northeast News

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, which killed 25 people and caused over $100 million in damages to 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. This poorly thought-out solution, however, did nothing more than create a swifter moving current through the Plaza after periods of heavy rain.

This came to a head September 12, 1977, when heavy rain clouds literally parked over the Kansas City area, saturating the ground with more than 12 inches of rain in some areas in a 48-hour period. The resulting disaster prompted city fathers to aggressively seek a more permanent solution to Brush Creek’s constant threat of flooding. 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 Plaza business district.

From right to left are the Villa Serena (now the Hotel Raphael), the Locarno, the Riviera (now the Hemingway Plaza East condominiums), the Biarritz, and the Casa Loma. All were built in the mid- to late-1920s.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Many teams played at Polo Grounds

    May 27th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week we continue our tour of baseball stadiums now long forgotten. The Polo Grounds was the […]


    Remember This? Cracker Jack prizes

    May 27th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Candy-coated popcorn, peanuts, and a prize- that’s what you get with Cracker Jack! This tasty snack was […]


    Tiger Stadium in Detroit

    May 20th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher We continue our tour of iconic major league baseball stadiums that while not standing any longer, still […]


    Remember This? All Star Ballots

    May 20th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Royals Stadium was brand-spanking new when Kansas City hosted the 1973 All-Star Game. Votes for the selected […]


    Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, NY

    May 13th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, New York, named for baseball’s founder Abner Doubleday, is our next stop as […]


  • REMEMBER THIS: Baseball Scratch Off

    May 13th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Batter up! Want to play ball but don’t have a field or enough players? Before the advent […]


    Barnstorming Baseballers play ball to benefit Mercy Hospital

    May 6th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher While there might not be live baseball due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we here at the House […]


    Remember This? Push button cans

    May 6th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Me and my RC, and the 1976 MLB All-Star team. To commemorate players featured in the 1976 […]


    Ebbets Field in New York

    April 29th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher Continuing our tour of old ballyards across the country— and the fact this is probably some of […]


    Remember This? MLB Pinback Buttons

    April 29th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Don’t forget the Guy’s- Guy’s Potato Chips, for this special offer. Inside specially marked bags, chip munchers […]


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Postcard


  • Remember This?

    Remember this? Radio

    April 22nd, 2020
    by

  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.