Managing Editor &
The Northeast Kansas City Historical Society’s 10th Annual Historic Homes Tour drew crowds to the Scarritt Renaissance neighborhood on Saturday, October 14, 2023.
Dozens of volunteers acted as docents, explaining the history of the families who built the century-old houses, the architectural details, the neighborhood context, and other unique details, to visitors.
The tour began at 203 North Indiana Avenue, R.A. Longs’ former motor garage that was notable for its automobile turntable and sizable apartments – with many original details – for employees of the family. Outside, a 1914 Ford Model T Depot Hack attracted the eyes of those in line.
Dressed in period attire, Virginia Bettencourt showed off her impressive home at 3401 Gladstone Blvd. The home, which was originally on the site of the Longs’ mansion – now the Kansas City Museum – was carefully moved to its new home for the lumber baron to build his new home. Bettencourt has been restoring the home to its once grand state since 2015, when she bought the vacant and severely damaged property.
The Kansas City Museum at 3218 Gladstone was built as the residence of lumber baron Robert A. Long in 1910. Over the past seven years, Corinthian Hall has been thoughtfully rehabilitated, reopening to the public in 2022 after Stage 1 renovations of the entire 3.5-acre historic property.
At 3425 Gladstone, homeowner Sean O’Toole has continued the restoration started by the Miller family in the late 1980’s. The home, designed by architect Fred Michaelis in the Italianate-Renaissance style, was built in 1909 for Mrs. Margaret L.R. Brower, widow of Harvey Brower, owner of a local cooperage business. It is the only home on Gladstone Blvd that was commissioned and completely built for a woman. Original features include stunning leaded glass entry doors, oak floors throughout, seventeen rooms, five bathrooms and one fireplace.
3616 Gladstone Blvd designed by architect John McKecknie and built in 1904 for Calvert Hunt, was one of the most popular homes on the tour given its checkered past and having undergone an almost impossible restoration to its original, stunning, Arts & Crafts glory.
Mansions weren’t the only homes on the tour, the stone, Tudor-Craftsman styled Renzino home at 3500 Windsor Avenue was open for tour guests. The home, built in 1911 is an excellent example of a more modest home, similar to most of the homes in the neighborhood constructed during that time period.
According to tour chairman Kent Dicus, close to 700 people attended the tour on Saturday, establishing a new benchmark for historic homes tours in Historic Northeast. Next Fall the tour will rotate to a different neighborhood, this time South of Independence Avenue where another six, historic properties will be open to tour patrons.