Parks department replacing Scarritt markers

By Paul Thompson
Northeast News

Next time you’re driving  through Scarritt Renaissance, you might notice new signage celebrating the historical value of the neighborhood.

If you’ve lived in the area long enough, you may even recognize the historical markers, which were originally placed throughout the neighborhood more than a decade ago.

The signs were secured by the Scarritt Renaissance neighborhood in the early 2000’s in order to mark the neighborhood’s Historic District boundaries. The signs took a heavy toll, however, as two of them were knocked over by errant vehicles. The sign at Benton Blvd. and Anderson was knocked over during a 2007 snowstorm, and the sign at 3900 Gladstone Boulevard was knocked over by a speeding car as it careened into the woods.

Both signs were rescued by former neighborhood association president Michael Bushnell.

“We got a call from someone about the Benton sign right after it happened, so we trekked out in the snow to make sure nobody stole it for scrap,” Bushnell said.

Both signs have been stored in his back yard since, waiting for the Parks Department to secure the funds for new poles.

“It’s good they’re being re-set so people can see the history of the neighborhood,” Bushnell added.

Current Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood Association President Leslie Caplan has been working with Kansas City Parks and Recreation to replace the signs. Caplan told the Northeast News that the plaques will be placed at five intersections: Lebelle and Lexington, the east side of the roundabout at St. John and Gladstone, Jackson and Independence, the new roundabout at Benton and Independence, and Gladstone and Independence. Caplan noted that the Gladstone and Independence signage, which is already in place, will first be removed for repair.

Caplan is excited about the return of the historical markers.

“I think it’s awesome. When I learned about them once being there and now being gone, I was sad about that,” said Caplan. “But when the Parks Department was willing to put them back up, and we tracked them all down, I thought that was great.”

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