Colonnade restoration on the horizon

This design illustrates the Concourse Park Master Plan, of which repairs to the Colonnade are a key component. The master plan is courtesy of Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department.

Michael Bushnell

Roughly a dozen Scarritt Renaissance neighbors met with representatives of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department on the afternoon of Monday, July 13, under the historic Colonnade in Concourse Park to discuss how the 112-year-old historic landmark can be restored and brought back as an integral part of a larger park plan.

However, getting that process under way and funded to the tune of roughly $600,000 may be a tougher nut to crack given the hit the city has taken in tax revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Colonnade was completed in 1908 as a link between Cliff Drive below, Concourse Park and the mansions of Gladstone and Benton Boulevards above as part of George Kessler’s comprehensive parks and boulevards plan that was introduced during the City Beautiful movement that was popular during the early 1900s.

In recent years the majestic monument that offers sweeping vistas of the Missouri River Valley below has slowly fallen into disrepair. This year, the Historic Kansas City Foundation listed the Colonnade as one of its 100 most endangered structures in the city, spurring action by neighborhood residents.

An eight page independent engineering study prepared by Skeens Consulting Service in Lake Winnebago, MO in August, 2019, spotlighted over twenty key areas of the Colonnade that would require immediate attention in order for the structure to maintain its structural and historical integrity, among them the caulking of joints between the cut limestone sills and repair and replacement of the clay roof tiles that cover the domed rotundas.

Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood Vice President Leslie Caplan presented the engineering plan, pointing out areas inside the Colonnade that drastically needed attention.

“The garden needs weeding, there are areas where the asphalt is pitted and missing and the eternal flame isn’t so eternal anymore,” Caplan said. “The hope is to identify enough funding sources to complete the project over the next two or three year city budget cycle through PIAC grants and a hope for some matching private or public funds at the state level.”

Fierce competition for a piece of a smaller PIAC pie could mean the project is held up for lack of funding. Additionally, debt service has begun on the city’s GO Bond funds meaning a smaller pie exists for city funded infrastructure projects, some that have been in cue since the Bonds were approved in the April, 2017 municipal election.

“Splitting up the project over a couple of city budget cycles may be the key to getting funded through PIAC or GO Bond funding,” said Scott Wagner, Director of NEAT and an eight-year City Council veteran.

However, lack of funding is not deterring progress on the project. The planning process is continuing and funding sources are being identified. The city’s Parks and Recreation department is reviewing the engineering study to ensure the $600,000 figure is as accurate as possible and PIAC grant requests are being prepared in order to meet the August 31 deadline for funding in the city’s fiscal 2021-2022 budget year.

As those plans gel and funding is secured, we’ll have the details here. The engineering study and 2016 Concourse Master Plan can be found at

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.

  • Suspicious Death Investigation, 10th & Winner Road

    13 hours ago

    At approximately 6:15 this morning Kansas City Missouri Firefighters responded to the area of 10th Street and Winner Road on […]

    KCATA seeks feedback on the future

    16 hours ago

    The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) has been conducting a series of public meetings to receive feedback on an […]

    Municipal court goes online due to COVID-19 increase

    December 2nd, 2020

    Due to positive COVID-19 tests among staff and a rising number of cases area-wide, all Kansas City Municipal Court hearings […]

    Residents wary of Route 9 changes

    December 2nd, 2020

    Abby HooverManaging Editor Columbus Park residents are voicing their concerns over a plan to tear down and reconstruct Route 9 […]

    Mattie Rhodes Center provides Thanksgiving meals

    December 1st, 2020

    Abby HooverManaging Editor Last week, Mattie Rhodes Center (MRC) provided 100 Thanksgiving meals to families in need. The center began […]

    Local youth boxing club robbed over holiday

    December 1st, 2020

    Over Thanksgiving weekend, nearly $15,000 worth of boxing equipment was stolen from Whatsoever Community Center’s amateur boxing club at 1201 […]

    Thanksgiving for all

    November 26th, 2020

    Making sure it’s Thanksgiving for all, Lisa’s. Posse led by Lisa Lightfoot Taylor served up Thanksgiving dinner to some of […]

    Mayor proposes waiving fees for struggling local businesses

    November 25th, 2020

    On Wednesday, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas introduced a proposal directing the City Manager to review all annual licensing fees […]

  • Northeast historians fund raise for future

    November 25th, 2020

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The Northeast Kansas City Historical Society (NEKCHS) has been a mainstay in documenting the past of […]

    Della Lamb provides turkeys, gifts to families in need

    November 25th, 2020

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor This weekend, Della Lamb Community Services persevered with its 48th year celebrating the holiday season by […]

    St. John Ave gets PIAC funds

    November 25th, 2020

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Traffic calming measures will soon be implemented on St. John Avenue after a funding application by […]

    Gov. announces COVID-19 vaccine website, medical unions call for mask mandate

    November 24th, 2020

    While research and development of multiple COVID-19 vaccines continues to advance, showing promising results, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced the […]

    KCFD mourns two more deaths from COVID-19

    November 23rd, 2020

    Over the weekend, the City of Kansas City, Mo. Fire Department (KCFD) announced the deaths of two employees from COVID-19. […]

    Providing for those in need

    November 21st, 2020

    Once again, Eleos Coffee House at Independence and Indiana is providing holiday meals for the areas less fortunate families.Roughly 110 […]

    Police arrest shooting suspect after car chase through Northeast

    November 20th, 2020

    Around 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, police vehicles swarmed a car at St. John and Hardest avenues. They arrested the […]

    Charges filed in Monday’s fatal Independence Ave shooting

    November 19th, 2020

    On Thursday, Nov. 19, charges were filed against a 28-year-old Independence man in the fatal shooting of Michelle P. Capell […]

  • Faces Of Northeast

  • Postcard

  • Remember This?

  • 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.