This might be the most important fight for middle-class white people in Midtown and right now TKC is FIRST to offer the plan for critical review beyond the social media bubble imposed the these local denizens.



Historic Kansas City (HKC) and Friends of the Plaza (FOP) are launching an aggressive campaign to save the Plaza from new high rise development. The Plaza’s historic nature is immediately threatened by the demolition of the 7th Church of Christ Scientist at the corner of 47th and Pennsylvania to be replaced with a 12-story, mixed-use project by Legacy Development.

We need your help! Join HKC and FOP in the fight to Save the Plaza. Here are some things that you can do:

1) Contact your city council person by email, letter or telephone--see our talking points below for some ideas about what to say.

2) Support this effort by become a member of HKC:

3) Join HKC or Friends Of The Plaza to show your support and stay informed on upcoming rallies, protests and future Plan Commission hearings . . .

4) Support Pending Legislation to Protect the Plaza: The building complies with current zoning, B4-5, which allows unlimited building height. Reaffirming the need for a higher level of protection on the Country Club Plaza. This can be achieved through the third expansion of the “Plaza Bowl” Overlay District, scheduled to be heard by the City Plan Commission on January 15, 2019. Show your support and contact your city council person using the link above.

Key points in this case are:

The Country Club Plaza was the first outdoor shopping center of its kind and was completed in 1923. It was developed by J.C. Nichols and designed by architect Edward Buehler Delk in the Spanish style.

The Country Club Plaza is central to the identity of Kansas City and is a major tourist attraction. It supports a vibrant, 24-hour community and its charm, appeal, and popularity can be attributed to its historic nature and pedestrian friendly atmosphere.

Over the years, the historic fabric of the Plaza has been slowly disappearing. It is under immediate threat due to “bottom line” driven development decisions that irresponsibly compromise the character of the Plaza by ignoring established city policy.

Legacy Developments’ plan is in violation of the city’s Midtown/Plaza Area Plan, a document that guides development in the Plaza area. Specifically, the project violates the “bowl concept”, allowing for smaller buildings within the center of the Plaza, with larger skyscrapers surrounding that bowl. The building’s proposed 12-story height is four times the maximum building height set forth in the “bowl concept”. Also, the proposed building is grossly incompatible with the existing architecture.

The building complies with current zoning, B4-5, which allows unlimited building height. Reaffirming the need for a higher level of protection on the Country Club Plaza. This can be achieved through the third expansion of the “Plaza Bowl” Overlay District, scheduled to be heard by the City Plan Commission on January 15, 2019. More to follow on this issue.

This development plan necessitates the demolition of the 7th Church of Christ Scientist. The church, which opened in 1942, is an excellent example of the Romanesque Revival style, specifically the latest evolution of the style that witnessed a resurgence in the 1940s; is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and has no protection from demolition. HKC submitted an application for local historic designation, originally to be heard in December. HKC has asked the Preservation Commission to delay consideration of the application to January 25th to allow us time to talk with affected parties.

Will it work??? You decide . . .


  1. Why aren't their more protections for historic buildings on the plaza? This is really just an absence of leadership.

    1. developers are so dumb. If you tear down all of the beautiful buildings there won't be any reason for people to go there. This is a BAD idea.

    2. You can't stop progress.

  2. I support Historic KC and their efforts. They are doing the right thing.

  3. Destroy a classy building and replace it with a rubik's sitting on astroturf and two deep dish pizza boxes. Does it come with sidewalks and bullet proof glass ?

  4. Destroy a classy building and replace it with a rubik's cube sitting on astroturf and two deep dish pizza boxes. Does it come with sidewalks and bullet proof glass ?

  5. KC’s indifference to historical structures is shameful. I hope those fighting the good fight in this matter are successful.

  6. They paved paradise
    And put up a parking lot
    With a pink hotel, a boutique
    And a swinging hot spot
    Don't it always seem to go
    That you don't know what you've got til its gone
    They paved paradise
    And put up a parking lot

    Big Yellow Taxi---Joni Mitchell

  7. ^^^^ YES!

    Tearing down the plaza is STUPID. Stop this nonsense.

  8. I agree with the earlier comment what an arrogant stance of this developer to not attempt at all to use a design that blends in with the historical feel of the Plaza. Why would you want the Plaza to become a generic looking place? What makes the Plaza special is the historical and classy vibe. This is just so dumb it has to be stopped. If this is the level of intelligence of this development I would say the entire thing will end up badly for the area.

  9. Will city council members even care what their constituents think, or are they all behind the developer$??

  10. Count to seven. I assume Kathryn Shields, a huge supporter of of the Foundation, opposes this monstrosity. But what about Jolie? She's never done right by Westport, and she represents the Plaza district. I assume she votes with the developer?

    Now let's not forget, that developers often present a red herring at first, to assess the oppossition and pre-count the votes they have in their pocket for ANY crappy design, as long as they are writing checks to council members running for re-election. This happened with several Plaza projects.

    Guess what, the REAL design, the Plan B, was already rolled up and in their briefcases. So they could PRETEND to have been bested by a vocal Historic Kansas City Foundation and the little old ladies with blue hair. PRETEND to capitulate. But it was always the one they secretly showed to supporters who signed on.

    So this won't be built. Something else will.

    The thing that hurts HKCF is this is an obsolute building for a church that is in decline. There's no big congregation. It's not like it's Unity Temple on the Plaza, led by Rev. Duke Tufty. This Christian Science church is heavily subsidized by the national organization. Can't afford to pay the heating or air conditioning bills.

    Strike 2: Retail is dead. So the idea of perpetuating a shopping center is getting weaker by the day.

    If this were strictly based on economics, it would make infinite sense.

    We shall see, we shall see.

    Where is Mary O'Halloran on this--who fought so valiantly to scale down the development on the EAST end of the Plaza, the Saylors project?

    Glad Tony is writing about this. Rob Roberts died Dec. 10th--he was the real estate reporter for the Kansas City Business Journal--and would have loved this David and Goliath story, expecially given the Biblical connotations!!!

    It's a story that Mahoney can't cover in 45 to 70 seconds on KMBC. And the STAR? Well, they are suffering the "slings and arrows" of obsolescence. Their readers are dropping faster than the stones hurled by David at Goliath. (That's for you, Rob. RIP..)

    1. I attended a Christian Science church service a few years ago. Most of the members were over 70 with no youth in sight. It's dying out. It's founder Mary's Baker Eddy would crap to see the decline.

  11. Tired Taxpayer12/16/18, 1:37 PM

    Good to see Tracy's back with always insightful comments.

    Does Cordish allow this destruction of historical architecture in Baltimore?

  12. 12:31 I COULDN'T have said it better

  13. Replies
    1. Nice ass licking, Retro.

  14. "The Country Club Plaza is central to the identity of Kansas City and is a major tourist attraction."

    This statement as Go4KC claims the 25 million anally tourists are downtown. Highly doubt many tourists will visit the Plaza since it is in such deplorable condition. It is no longer a destination spot.

  15. If a building is registered as a historic building it can not be torn down. I would tell this group to get the building registered as a historic site then it would be illegal to tear it down.

  16. Of course it gets torn down, just like the cleave before, sLIE is doing the same thing, remove all that nasty white history and build a new legacy for the kolored people.

  17. Some plan.

    Build, baby, build!

    Churches are for negroes and lord knows we don't need any of THEM on The Plaza.

  18. The plan is illegal it should be garbage and scrapped there's no way that City Hall needs to give money to developers to destroy our history.

  19. I am always annoyed at people who talk about "little old ladies with blue hair," a cliche so outdated, sexist and ageist--and really meaningless. Ms. Thomas surely is bright enough to know that ageism and sexism are wrong (and that some of our best & brightest are older people, including women); the people today with blue(and green and orange, etc.) hair are young people. Mocking hair color, trying to associate it with old age and ineptitude doesn't work, and detracts from Thomas's comment.

  20. 'Build, baby, build', eh? I suppose it would depend on the condition of the building, but why not just leave something that actually has some imagination to it, other than the plan for yet another vanilla fucking high-rise and all you dumb-asses that support it?

  21. I once went to a Sunday service at the Unity Temple. It was strange to sit through over an hour of church and not hear "God" mentioned even once.

  22. Build it and they will come. That is the killers, thieves, drug dealers, panhandlers, hipsters and hoodrats will all be there.

  23. ^^^^ they’re already there

  24. What a joke.

    It's like a pall, a miasma, the ongoing pretense that the smell will go away if tax payers spend more money on "White Guilt" initiatives sponsored by THUGS who wear suits.

  25. Welcome, 4:00!! You might be new. I see you have succumbed to the Troll Swamp, and are thus too timid to use your name, but criticize me. Oh, well. If you want to make a difference, use your name.

    I concede: You are right, "Little old ladies with blue hair" is trite. I'll try to do better.

    Ironically, I am among the oldest commenters here on TKC.
    I've been protesting against developer abuse of taxpayers for 50 years--while my hair has been every color.

    Please comment on the actual story. And tell us what you will be doing...

  26. I have a very good friend who is an architect in San Francisco. He came to visit KC. He wanted to see the curtainwall building downtown which was one of the first, the building which won an award at the corner of 31st and Southwest Trafficway and the Plaza. The new addition to the Nelson he thought looked like a Butler building and the preforming arts center was a couple of kettle drums. His explanation was that the first three had historical context within American Architecture. The last two were hubris. He was also amazed that the area that developed around the Plaza showed some transitions rather than incursions. One mans opinion but I found some validity to ideas I had never read about or thought about .

  27. Good comments, 7:58! Ah yes, the famous Boley Building downtown. It survived thanks to HKCF and a generous new owner refusing to tear it down. I wrote about it in my Doubleday book in 1976.

    Now, did you take your friend INSIDE the new Stephen Holl wing of the Nelson? Because unlike many buildings, that's where the magic happens. I agree about the bland exterior. And it does not "pair well" with the original museum architecture. But the interior use of light (especially a rarely used conference room on the third floor?) Best views in midtown.
    And the area beneath the reflecting pond--those really are spectacular. Must get out of the car to experience it.

    As for the Kauffman Center, kettle drums? It's a Moshe Safdie building. Probably more akin to the Sydney Opera House, to most trained eyes. Might be a dismissive skosh of jealousy there? Easy to be a critic driving around in a Lexus, which is really just a Chevy.

    And yes, the Plaza has survived but largley because for decades this town stood still. Until the recent crime wave washed over from resentful teens east of Troost. Combined with the death of retail. I still don't believe Nordstrom's is going to build on the Plaza. That won't end well. Tho management had to know that Oak Park had outlived its usefulness.

  28. I don't trust the clowns over in the big top (City Hall) to make any decisions for our city anymore. Nor do I trust anyone hired to consult with said clowns to make any such decisions. I mean, after all, they've done such a bang-up job with the airport, right? Mayor Bowtie shouldn't be allowed to weigh on on anything from now on, he's an angry lame duck and is going to wreak havoc during his last few months as the ringmaster. As for our historic buildings, etc. for goodness' sake let's preserve them and not make them into micro-breweries, hipster coffee houses, etc.


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