When Cynthia Herrington moved to the imposing limestone edifice that is the old Byers Mansion on Independence Boulevard about a year and a half ago, many friends questioned her decision to live on the area’s busiest and oft maligned east-west thoroughfare. “Everything is smaller and slower here” she said, drawing the comparison between living in New York City, and making the move to Independence Boulevard. “We were in some of the densest parts of Brooklyn so everything everyone warned us about moving to this area, we just kind of giggle.”
Herrington, a former Production Designer, is excited about being a part of the positive change in the neighborhood as well. “We’re super, super, super excited to actually get to be a part of establishing a sense of community; that kind of thing doesn’t exist in the suburbs like it does in a walkable, urban neighborhood.”
Mansion Coffee KC, is the pop-up coffee joint she and partner Johnny Lancaster opened a few months ago in the Byers mansion. The ambiance of the 100-plus year old mansion combined with a wide array of guests make for an eclectic experience that’s a throwback to a simpler time and place. “We really enjoy being here and we’re really excited to have a place where everyone can run into each other and talk to their neighbors.”
She offers this advice to anyone who is interested in moving in to a historic neighborhood: “Do your homework,” she said. “Learn to do your own work too” she added, speaking of the heating system she and Lancaster repaired themselves for a little under $400. Why? Because finding an HVAC outfit that knows what a boiler is and how it operates is next to impossible.
Another thing that excites Herrington about Northeast is its diverse small business community. “There are no big-box stores in this neighborhood and that’s something I absolutely love.”