Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Discuss items in the urban core outside of Downtown as described above. Everything in the core including the east side (18th & Vine area), Plaza, Westport, Brookside, Valentine, Waldo, 39th street, & the entire midtown area.
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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by Midtownkid » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:38 am

horizons82 wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:35 pm
Midtownkid wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:57 am
The thing is, The Plaza is/was so great because the developer had a clear vision. He really cared about well-to-do white people and how his development looks and functioned. He also had a ton of pride for his developments and for KC.
FTFY
Midtownkid wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:57 am
Racism aside, he really was a great developer with a great vision for the city.
You can't pick and choose attributes of someone's history. His actions (along with plenty of others) are why east of troost struggles still today, why KC has a more segregated city than some in the south, etc. He fucked up KC as much as help "helped" it, with some neoclassical retail buildings.
Name me one developer who cares about non-wealthy people!

Most developer just aim to build something as cheaply can, cramming as many units into the property as possible. My point is that Nichols developed the area for aesthetics. The homes have large lots. The plaza has ridiculously elaborate buildings with towers that are purely aesthetic. Sure he did it to make money, but clearly money was not his only goal. Clearly he had a love of making beauty.

Can't you blame the citizens as must as Nichols for racism and 'killing of Troost'. They all bought into it.

Also, neo-classical is not the right designation.
Last edited by Midtownkid on Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by mykn » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:59 am

Midtownkid wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:38 am
horizons82 wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:35 pm
Midtownkid wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:57 am
The thing is, The Plaza is/was so great because the developer had a clear vision. He really cared about well-to-do white people and how his development looks and functioned. He also had a ton of pride for his developments and for KC.
FTFY
Midtownkid wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:57 am
Racism aside, he really was a great developer with a great vision for the city.
You can't pick and choose attributes of someone's history. His actions (along with plenty of others) are why east of troost struggles still today, why KC has a more segregated city than some in the south, etc. He fucked up KC as much as help "helped" it, with some neoclassical retail buildings.
Name me one developer who cares about non-wealthy people!

Most developer just aim to build something as cheaply can, cramming as many units into the property as possible. My point is that Nichols developed the area for aesthetics. The homes have large lots. The plaza has ridiculously elaborate buildings with towers that are purely aesthetic. Sure he did it to make money, but clearly money was not his only goal. Clearly he had a love of making beauty.

Can't you blame the citizens as must as Nichols for racism and 'killing of Troost'. They all bought into it.

Also, neo-classical is not the right designation.

JC Nichols had a lot of power and wealth and used that power to restrict non-whites from his developments. From the wikipedia on him:

"Nichols did not invent the practice, but he used it to effectively bar ethnic minorities from living in his properties during the first half of the century. His restrictive covenant model was later adopted by the federal government to help implement similar policies in other regions of the United States."

He popularized a model that was exported all over the United States to create the mess that we are barely even starting to recover from today. Yes, I would say he has an enormous amount of culpability. Yes, other white citizens that played into white flight are to blame as well, but you cannot deny how much of an influence Nicholes had on racial segregation in KC. If you care about beautiful buildings just look at wha was lost on the East side of town due to disinvestment, that was due to people like Nicholes. The responsibility for segregation, poverty, neglect, and (state sponsored and other) violence that has plagued this city lays at the feet of wealthy and powerful white people like JC Nicholes and those that support them.

Honestly the entire district should be renamed along with the boulevard.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by KCPowercat » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:02 am

Someone reads the Rag over at the Star
https://www.kansascity.com/news/busines ... 64950.html

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by flyingember » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:23 am

KCPowercat wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:02 am
Someone reads the Rag over at the Star
https://www.kansascity.com/news/busines ... 64950.html
The people on this site are good at quoting sources all organized into a single thread. I wouldn't blame them for taking some of the facts posted here and using them.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by earthling » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:24 am

^Taubman mentions transitioning retail spaces to more restaurants but that's about it. They need to target much broader than that such as nightlife/cultural venues that target perhaps 40+. Like Highwoods, no mention of a neighborhood surrounding it, which Nichols always acknowledged and partly catered to.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by Midtownkid » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:42 am

earthling wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:24 am
^Taubman mentions transitioning retail spaces to more restaurants but that's about it. They need to target much broader than that such as nightlife/cultural venues that target perhaps 40+. Like Highwoods, no mention of a neighborhood surrounding it, which Nichols always acknowledged and partly catered to.
Nichols not only acknowledged the surrounding neighborhoods, he developed them! Everyone knows that the Country Club District was developed by Nichols right? I'm talking about the Ward Parkway area, Loose Park, Brookside etc...some of our city's best neighborhoods. The Plaza was like a town center for his developments.

He wasn't just some guy who built a few Spanish inspired shops.

Without the Country Club District, could the city have fallen out of favor and JOCO taken even more citizens? White flight was not a KC-only problem and it wasn't created by Nichols.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by horizons82 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:45 am

Midtownkid wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:38 am
Name me one developer who cares about non-wealthy people!
You were the one alluding to this not being true with Nichols.
Midtownkid wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:38 am
Most developer just aim to build something as cheaply can, cramming as many units into the property as possible. My point is that Nichols developed the area for aesthetics. The homes have large lots. The plaza has ridiculously elaborate buildings with towers that are purely aesthetic. Sure he did it to make money, but clearly money was not his only goal. Clearly he had a love of making beauty.
None of this negates what I've said. He made a beautiful area that was not welcoming to all, and it contributed to sprawl and segregation of the metro. I mean heck, he jumpstarted the beast that would become JoCo with Mission Hills, Fairway, and PV.
Midtownkid wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:38 am
Can't you blame the citizens as must as Nichols for racism and 'killing of Troost'. They all bought into it.

Also, neo-classical is not the right designation.
Reread what I wrote, I didn't say he alone did it. But it's absurd to argue he wasn't a driving force in the KC metro.

And Spanish Colonial Revival, happy?
mykn wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:59 am
He popularized a model that was exported all over the United States to create the mess that we are barely even starting to recover from today. Yes, I would say he has an enormous amount of culpability. Yes, other white citizens that played into white flight are to blame as well, but you cannot deny how much of an influence Nicholes had on racial segregation in KC. If you care about beautiful buildings just look at wha was lost on the East side of town due to disinvestment, that was due to people like Nicholes. The responsibility for segregation, poverty, neglect, and (state sponsored and other) violence that has plagued this city lays at the feet of wealthy and powerful white people like JC Nicholes and those that support them.
This. Thank you. =D>

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by mykn » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:05 pm

Think of the resources our city spends uphold racism on one had and help alleviate it's effects on the other. Think of what those resources could go to if we didn't have to do this.

Look at the police budget, if I recall, it's a HUGE portion of the city budget. It's primary job is to police our east side, sometimes to "keep the black folks in line" and sometimes to respond to the terrible conditions that we've left those neighborhoods in.

Look at our sprawling city, who's primary purposes is to keep some people out of "desirable neighborhoods" due to distance and poor transit access. The cost to maintain that is staggering.

Look at our public school system that is completely decimated by lack of proper funding, white flight, and (previous) poor leadership. We are leaving our neighbors without a proper education or even a fighting chance, because the primary makeup of those students is not white.

Look at the lost economic activity due to the bulldozing of entire neighborhoods and areas of commerce. Our neighbors that cannot get loans to start businesses or who have to travel great distances to keep a job.

It took me awhile to realize this, but advocating for urbanism needs to also incorporate social justice. If it is not a focus, we will be just building more nice outdoor shopping malls for white people.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by loftguy » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:23 pm

mykn wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:05 pm
It took me awhile to realize this, but advocating for urbanism needs to also incorporate social justice. If it is not a focus, we will be just building more nice outdoor shopping malls for white people.
I applaud your full post, but most especially this last sentence.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by Highlander » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:54 pm

mykn wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:05 pm
Think of the resources our city spends uphold racism on one had and help alleviate it's effects on the other. Think of what those resources could go to if we didn't have to do this.

Look at the police budget, if I recall, it's a HUGE portion of the city budget. It's primary job is to police our east side, sometimes to "keep the black folks in line" and sometimes to respond to the terrible conditions that we've left those neighborhoods in.

Look at our sprawling city, who's primary purposes is to keep some people out of "desirable neighborhoods" due to distance and poor transit access. The cost to maintain that is staggering.

Look at our public school system that is completely decimated by lack of proper funding, white flight, and (previous) poor leadership. We are leaving our neighbors without a proper education or even a fighting chance, because the primary makeup of those students is not white.

Look at the lost economic activity due to the bulldozing of entire neighborhoods and areas of commerce. Our neighbors that cannot get loans to start businesses or who have to travel great distances to keep a job.

It took me awhile to realize this, but advocating for urbanism needs to also incorporate social justice. If it is not a focus, we will be just building more nice outdoor shopping malls for white people.
If you are looking for a culprit for segregation in KC, I think you would be more accurate if you placed the blame on Eisenhower's administration decision to push the interstate highway system through urban areas more so than on Nichols. The Plaza opened in the 1920's, restricted covenants or not, few blacks at that time would have been able to afford to live in Nichol's developments. They would have been 99% white simply because 99% of the people who could afford to live there at that time were white. The urban interstate system allowed white people to move to the suburbs but still commute to work in downtowns and that really when segregation went on steroids. I spent my early years at 50th and Prospect in KC. We lived in a neighborhood of mixed ethnicity - they were common throughout inner city KCMO at that time (late 50's/early 60's). Then the white people started to leave to the point that my family was the next to the last white family on the block. Then my parents moved to far south KC. Then businesses followed. Ironically, my early home in KC which became part of a segregated neighborhood was demolished to make room for the Midtown Freeway (Bruce Watkins Drive) so suburbanites could still get into downtown (the actual highway was built long after the fact and finished when DT was in rapid decline).
Last edited by Highlander on Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by mykn » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:11 pm

Highlander wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:54 pm
mykn wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:05 pm
Think of the resources our city spends uphold racism on one had and help alleviate it's effects on the other. Think of what those resources could go to if we didn't have to do this.

Look at the police budget, if I recall, it's a HUGE portion of the city budget. It's primary job is to police our east side, sometimes to "keep the black folks in line" and sometimes to respond to the terrible conditions that we've left those neighborhoods in.

Look at our sprawling city, who's primary purposes is to keep some people out of "desirable neighborhoods" due to distance and poor transit access. The cost to maintain that is staggering.

Look at our public school system that is completely decimated by lack of proper funding, white flight, and (previous) poor leadership. We are leaving our neighbors without a proper education or even a fighting chance, because the primary makeup of those students is not white.

Look at the lost economic activity due to the bulldozing of entire neighborhoods and areas of commerce. Our neighbors that cannot get loans to start businesses or who have to travel great distances to keep a job.

It took me awhile to realize this, but advocating for urbanism needs to also incorporate social justice. If it is not a focus, we will be just building more nice outdoor shopping malls for white people.
If you are looking for a culprit for segregation in KC, I think you would be more accurate if you placed the blame on Eisenhower's administration decision to push the interstate highway system through urban areas more so than on Nichols. The Plaza opened in the 1920's, restricted covenants or not, few blacks at that time would have been able to afford to live in Nichol's developments. They would have been 99% white simply because 99% of the people who could afford to live there at that time were white. The urban interstate system allowed white people to move to the suburbs but still commute to work in downtowns and that really when segregation went on steroids. I spent my early years at 50th and Prospect in KC. We lived in a neighborhood of mixed ethnicity - they were common throughout inner city KCMO at that time (late 50's/early 60's). Then the white people started to leave to the point that my family was the next to the last white family on the block. Then my parents moved to far south KC.
Totally, the blame is not just on JC Nicholes.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by chrizow » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:03 pm

obviously, segregation is a historical and present issue in KC, but it is worth noting that fairly large swaths of the city are still pretty "mixed." like the "East Side" north of 39th, and the entirety of the Old NE (which is enormous) are about 30% white, 30% black, 30% latinx, 10% other and fairly "integrated."

"West" midtown, Plaza, and BKS/Waldo are overwhelmingly white (about 80%) and east KC south of 39th and E of Prospect are overwhelmingly black (80+%) - that is really where segregation is very pronounced.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by LCDSI » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:19 pm

fyi; on the lululemon store expanding in the old Cole Haan spot.

https://www.kansascity.com/news/busines ... 40870.html

and once again members on this forum are always one step ahead of the Kansas City Star.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by empires228 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:14 pm

Midtownkid wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:42 am
earthling wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:24 am
^Taubman mentions transitioning retail spaces to more restaurants but that's about it. They need to target much broader than that such as nightlife/cultural venues that target perhaps 40+. Like Highwoods, no mention of a neighborhood surrounding it, which Nichols always acknowledged and partly catered to.
Nichols not only acknowledged the surrounding neighborhoods, he developed them! Everyone knows that the Country Club District was developed by Nichols right? I'm talking about the Ward Parkway area, Loose Park, Brookside etc...some of our city's best neighborhoods. The Plaza was like a town center for his developments.

He wasn't just some guy who built a few Spanish inspired shops.

Without the Country Club District, could the city have fallen out of favor and JOCO taken even more citizens? White flight was not a KC-only problem and it wasn't created by Nichols.
You say that, but isn't Nichols the one who got Mission Hills and Prairie Village started in the first place and built the country club and the Prairie Village Shops to make his new developments in KS more enticing to Missourians? There's a good chance that KS would haven been developed to have more than a few hundred thousand without him. Look at almost any other bi-state metro and you'll see that primary development almost always stays in the state of the core city regardless of how nice or convenient the area across the state line is. For the closest example, here are some very nice areas in STL's metro east including one of three malls in the city that is actually healthy, but they've never boomed like JoCo.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by flyingember » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:28 am

empires228 wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:14 pm


You say that, but isn't Nichols the one who got Mission Hills and Prairie Village started in the first place and built the country club and the Prairie Village Shops to make his new developments in KS more enticing to Missourians? There's a good chance that KS would haven been developed to have more than a few hundred thousand without him. Look at almost any other bi-state metro and you'll see that primary development almost always stays in the state of the core city regardless of how nice or convenient the area across the state line is. For the closest example, here are some very nice areas in STL's metro east including one of three malls in the city that is actually healthy, but they've never boomed like JoCo.
Post-war development was the cause of most of JoCo. I don't see Nichols having much influence on the scope of growth and only played a part in a small aspect of the early years. He died in 1950.

Prairie Village was Nichols
Leawood was begun in 1948 grew ten fold in the 20 years from 1950-70. It was a Kroh Brothers development
Overland Park incorporated in 1960 and tripled in size in a decade. This area was founded around the original Strangline railroad development.
Mission was a Indian Mission site and was your classic family farm sold off for development we saw in the early years of downtown

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by Midtownkid » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:42 pm

empires228 wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:14 pm
Midtownkid wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:42 am

Without the Country Club District, could the city have fallen out of favor and JOCO taken even more citizens? White flight was not a KC-only problem and it wasn't created by Nichols.
You say that, but isn't Nichols the one who got Mission Hills and Prairie Village started in the first place and built the country club and the Prairie Village Shops to make his new developments in KS more enticing to Missourians? There's a good chance that KS would haven been developed to have more than a few hundred thousand without him. Look at almost any other bi-state metro and you'll see that primary development almost always stays in the state of the core city regardless of how nice or convenient the area across the state line is. For the closest example, here are some very nice areas in STL's metro east including one of three malls in the city that is actually healthy, but they've never boomed like JoCo.


Yes I thought of that after I made the post. He did jump start the development in Kansas. To be honest though, those areas are the best parts of JOCO!

Anyway, I can't say Nichols was a great MAN but he was a great urban planner and visionary. And I like that he demanded high quality building materials. I think we should leave the Plaza's core alone (the block with the Classic Cup being the only exception.) Develop the adjacent Main Street Corridor into something much more dense and pedestrian friendly. Concentrate on developing what's actually broken.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by WSPanic » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:54 pm

empires228 wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:14 pm
Midtownkid wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:42 am
earthling wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:24 am
^Taubman mentions transitioning retail spaces to more restaurants but that's about it. They need to target much broader than that such as nightlife/cultural venues that target perhaps 40+. Like Highwoods, no mention of a neighborhood surrounding it, which Nichols always acknowledged and partly catered to.
Nichols not only acknowledged the surrounding neighborhoods, he developed them! Everyone knows that the Country Club District was developed by Nichols right? I'm talking about the Ward Parkway area, Loose Park, Brookside etc...some of our city's best neighborhoods. The Plaza was like a town center for his developments.

He wasn't just some guy who built a few Spanish inspired shops.

Without the Country Club District, could the city have fallen out of favor and JOCO taken even more citizens? White flight was not a KC-only problem and it wasn't created by Nichols.
You say that, but isn't Nichols the one who got Mission Hills and Prairie Village started in the first place and built the country club and the Prairie Village Shops to make his new developments in KS more enticing to Missourians? There's a good chance that KS would haven been developed to have more than a few hundred thousand without him. Look at almost any other bi-state metro and you'll see that primary development almost always stays in the state of the core city regardless of how nice or convenient the area across the state line is. For the closest example, here are some very nice areas in STL's metro east including one of three malls in the city that is actually healthy, but they've never boomed like JoCo.
I'm curious to see all of the examples there are of divided metros with locations as good/convenient as PV and Mission Hills that remain undeveloped/under developed because they fall on the opposite side of a state line. And why aren't Westwood, Rosedale and Roeland Park receiving the same ire? They are in the evil empire of KS, after all.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by empires228 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:58 am

WSPanic wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:54 pm
empires228 wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:14 pm
Midtownkid wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:42 am


Nichols not only acknowledged the surrounding neighborhoods, he developed them! Everyone knows that the Country Club District was developed by Nichols right? I'm talking about the Ward Parkway area, Loose Park, Brookside etc...some of our city's best neighborhoods. The Plaza was like a town center for his developments.

He wasn't just some guy who built a few Spanish inspired shops.

Without the Country Club District, could the city have fallen out of favor and JOCO taken even more citizens? White flight was not a KC-only problem and it wasn't created by Nichols.
You say that, but isn't Nichols the one who got Mission Hills and Prairie Village started in the first place and built the country club and the Prairie Village Shops to make his new developments in KS more enticing to Missourians? There's a good chance that KS would haven been developed to have more than a few hundred thousand without him. Look at almost any other bi-state metro and you'll see that primary development almost always stays in the state of the core city regardless of how nice or convenient the area across the state line is. For the closest example, here are some very nice areas in STL's metro east including one of three malls in the city that is actually healthy, but they've never boomed like JoCo.
I'm curious to see all of the examples there are of divided metros with locations as good/convenient as PV and Mission Hills that remain undeveloped/under developed because they fall on the opposite side of a state line. And why aren't Westwood, Rosedale and Roeland Park receiving the same ire? They are in the evil empire of KS, after all.
Illinois side of STL, Arkansas side of Memphis, Iowa side of Omaha, Kentucky side of Cincinnati, then you have smaller cities like Joplin, St. Joseph, and Fort Smith, AR that don't spill over at all.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by moderne » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:43 pm

For anyone interested in the legacy of J C Nichols I recommend "The King of Kings County" by Whitney Terrell. It is a fictionalized account of the development of JoCo in the post wars years. Had to be fictionalized not to be sued for slander and defamation.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by missingkc » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:39 pm

An important difference between all of these (Illinois side of STL, Arkansas side of Memphis, Iowa side of Omaha, Kentucky side of Cincinnati, St. Joseph) and Johnson County/Kansas City. In Kansas City, northeast JoCo lies adjacent to the historic direction of assimilation into the urban fabric. Specifically, the areas where people with money wanted to live. In river towns, which describes every example in the list, growth tended in one direction from the riverfront. New growth, moneyed growth continued to favor that direction. You can see it very clearly in KC with the southward succession through time of nice neighborhoods. Jumping the state line was a small feat compared to fighting the mindset that southward was good by making a jump across the river. Look at how long it took the Northland to take off.

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