North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

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: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby FangKC » Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:55 pm

This street scene downtown at 10th and Walnut clearly pre-dates the 1950s. It's probably around 1920. This was the image I was remembering when I made the statement about downtown streets being much busier than they appear to be today.

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby flyingember » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:51 pm

Are you certain that photo wasn't taken to maximize the number of cars? Pick the time of day when there's a lot of traffic?

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby moderne » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:28 pm

Look at all the streetcars. All the automobiles were stuck between them!

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:42 pm

flyingember wrote:Are you certain that photo wasn't taken to maximize the number of cars? Pick the time of day when there's a lot of traffic?


One has to remember downtown of old was way different than the downtown of today. More workers there, more people living there, more people shopping there. One thing I am trying to figure out is people are complaining now about narrow sidewalks but the sidewalks were the same size back then with more people on them, and it worked then.

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby joshmv » Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:52 pm

Not sure if this angle has been shared yet.

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby FangKC » Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:04 am

aknowledgeableperson wrote:
flyingember wrote:Are you certain that photo wasn't taken to maximize the number of cars? Pick the time of day when there's a lot of traffic?


One has to remember downtown of old was way different than the downtown of today. More workers there, more people living there, more people shopping there. One thing I am trying to figure out is people are complaining now about narrow sidewalks but the sidewalks were the same size back then with more people on them, and it worked then.


Yes, that is an important thing to remember about downtown. The employment base was much larger than today, and that was where most of the shopping was done not just for city residents, but for the region. The Plaza and shopping malls would come later. The other thing to remember is that the employment base was mostly men.

When the kids were in school, the women went downtown to do a lot of their shopping during the day. When the kids were out of school, that is where they went to see movies. Most of the bigger theaters were downtown. Those two things alone don't happen any longer.

During that era, there were thousands of people employed just in the garment district. There were also a lot more banks than there are today.

It was before the interstate highways, which when constructed through downtown removed a lot of housing, and displaced residents that lived near downtown, and used it as their primary shopping district.

It was around that time that 200 trains a day arrived at Union Station, so there would have probably also been a lot of taxis on the street taking people to downtown hotels. They probably wouldn't have taken streetcars, because of their luggage. Interurban trains also brought people in from regional towns on a daily basis--because those towns didn't have the same big department stores. It would not been uncommon for people to take interurban trains in from Liberty, Lenexa, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Independence, Olathe, Excelsior Springs, and St. Joseph. Not all these trains arrived at Union Station, but also the station at 2nd and Wyandotte.
Last edited by FangKC on Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:32 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby Eon Blue » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:01 am

I would wager that a not insignificant numbers of sidewalks were narrowed during the decades of car ascendancy, especially as a result of urban removal projects such as the destruction of The Junction.

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby moderne » Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:09 am

There are probably more people living DT than at any time since the late 19th century. The throngs there were working, shopping, being entertained, but not living there, especially if you were middle class or better. The residential component left after the stockyards and slaughterhouses fouled the air. The DT residential highrises that other cities have ended up in KC on the Plaza. The sidewalks were just as narrow but there were no tree well obstacles. Really the only street that is wide enough for trees in the heart of DT is Grand.

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:16 pm

moderne wrote:There are probably more people living DT than at any time since the late 19th century. The throngs there were working, shopping, being entertained, but not living there, especially if you were middle class or better. The residential component left after the stockyards and slaughterhouses fouled the air. The DT residential highrises that other cities have ended up in KC on the Plaza. The sidewalks were just as narrow but there were no tree well obstacles. Really the only street that is wide enough for trees in the heart of DT is Grand.

False with regards to the number of people living downtown.
There were elementary schools downtown, and it's perimeter, utilized well into the 50's, one closed in '73 -Benjamin Franklin at 1325 Washington Street. The high school on Truman Road -Manual - served those kids and others. The many churches downtown served its residents. There were apartment buildings throughout the area that housed families. There were many buildings that had storefronts on the street level but had one or two stories of residential above. Many of the old hotels, such as the Coates House, became residential.

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby FangKC » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:02 pm

It is true that the neighborhood east of Cherry to around Woodland, from Independence Avenue south to around 18th Street, most of what we refer to today as the Paseo West neighborhood, was probably the densest residential neighborhood in Kansas City at one time. And it was that was well past the 1940s, because the 1940 tax assessment photos show that area will still highly residential, and packed with apartment buildings and rowhouses. Those housing units are all gone now. The Paseo West industrial area was residential, but it's hard to realize that today.

While smaller, the Quality Hill neighborhood was also very densely residential at one time clear down to 16th Street. It remained that way until the 1940s.

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby FangKC » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:11 pm

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Above: Looking east from downtown before the 1950s showing the area south of Independence and centering around Paseo. Most the the neighborhood east of Cherry was apartments and rowhouses.

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Above: The Paseo West neighborhood looking west towards downtown before the freeways were built. The photo was probably taken around 1925, since City Hall, the Jackson County Courthouse, and the Power & Light Building don't appear in the photo. Much of the area east of Oak was residential, and it even extended south of Truman Road (then 15th Street).

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Above: Looking SW towards downtown after the interstate was constructed. There are still a lot of apartment buildings in the neighborhood.

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Above: The area around 13th and Jefferson on Quality Hill sometime after 1900. The convention hall appears in the photo, and it was completed in time for a political convention in 1900. On the right edge of the photo, you see the Grace and Holy Trinity Church surrounded by townhouses on the same block.
Last edited by FangKC on Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby FangKC » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:33 pm

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Above: In 1926, there were still rowhouse apartments on the west side of Oak south of 12th Street.

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Above: A 4-story apartment building on the NW corner of E. 9th and Forest. The church is still there, which you can compare the lamp post built into the stairs going into the church with a Google Streetview photo at the link below.

http://tinyurl.com/znbu9xz

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Above: This is an apartment building on the corner of E. 7th and Woodland that still existed when the 1940s tax photos were taken.

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Above: This is an apartment building that used to stand at E. 15th and Harrison. It was probably taken out when the interstate was built.

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Above: These were rowhouses on the block bounded by E. 8th and 9th, and Lydia and Tracy, that are show in the 1940 tax photos.

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Above: These were rowhouses near 9th and Charlotte shown in the 1940 tax photos.

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Above: This 4-story apartment building was on the NW corner of 10th and Tracy in the 1940 tax photos.

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Above: These rowhouses were near 11th and Campbell in the 1940 tax photos.

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Above: These rowhouses were on the block of E. 15th and 16th between Harrison and Campbell in the 1940 tax photos--south of what is today Truman Road. 71 Highway runs through there today.

These examples are to show that the area around downtown once had fairly dense residential blocks, that are gone now. So it's hard for us to imagine today that it ever existed. By the 1940s, many people would have begun to have their own cars--especially after WWII. My father and uncles did, and they were certainly not wealthy. So downtown would have had a lot of traffic just from people living nearby who went there to shop. People who worked downtown probably took the streetcar or buses still, since there had not yet been widescale clearing of blocks for surface parking. That didn't start happening until later. There were some parking garages built as early as the 1920s and '30s though.
Last edited by FangKC on Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:28 am

Fang and harbinger911, thanks for the details.

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby moderne » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:45 am

From the architectural styles of the housing it appears mostly that it was built in the latter part of the 19th century. It seems new multifamily construction from after WWI occurred outside of DT, along Broadway, Armour and the Plaza. Why were no elevator residential buildings constructed DT?

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby smh » Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:41 pm

Holy shit this is depressing.

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby FangKC » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:11 pm

moderne wrote:From the architectural styles of the housing it appears mostly that it was built in the latter part of the 19th century. It seems new multifamily construction from after WWI occurred outside of DT, along Broadway, Armour and the Plaza. Why were no elevator residential buildings constructed DT?


There were a few. The Eleanor Apartment Building on Jefferson and 10th was 8-stories, and I believe it was built around WWI. It has been demolished though.

There were also five "residential apartment hotels" east of Oak. All have been demolished. I think most of these were built in the 1920s.

Hotel Schuyler on Locust -- 9 stories.
Drake Apartment Hotel on Locust -- 9 stories.
The Densmore Apartment Hotel on Locust -- 7 stories.
Chase Apartment Hotel on Holmes -- 11 stories.
The Albany Apartment Hotel on Charlotte -- 6 stories.

There were also seven other elevator buildings constructed on Quality Hill (two of those have been demolished), and Posada Del Sol senior apartments (6 stories) on Summit south of 17th. There are the View apartments on Admiral and Cherry; the Metropolitan and Manhattan condo apartments (formerly University Towers rental apartments) on E. 8th; the Walnut Tower apartments on E. 8th and Walnut; and the Santa Fe Place Apartments, and San Francisco apartment tower at Crown Center.

A little outside of downtown were the Wayne Miner public housing towers, which consisted of four 11-story buildings near 11th and Woodland--completed in 1960. They have been demolished. There are three, maybe four, buildings on the west side of Paseo, which remain, that are also elevator buildings (4-6 story).
Last edited by FangKC on Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:28 pm

"Why were no elevator residential buildings constructed DT?"

Why be different than other downtowns when these buildings were built. Walk-ups.

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby moderne » Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:37 am

I was not asking about the time period when these buildings were built, I was asking about post WWI. These photos were from the 1940s and many elevator buildings were built in midtown and plaza between WWI and 1940, but not DT.

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby FangKC » Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:45 pm

moderne wrote:I was not asking about the time period when these buildings were built, I was asking about post WWI. These photos were from the 1940s and many elevator buildings were built in midtown and plaza between WWI and 1940, but not DT.


These apartment hotels were all built in the 1920s.

Hotel Schuyler on Locust -- 9 stories. Built 1925.
Drake Apartment Hotel on Locust -- 9 stories. Built 1925.
Chase Apartment Hotel on Holmes -- 11 stories. Built 1923.

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Re: North Plaza Hotel- 46th and Broadway

Postby Eon Blue » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:35 pm

smh wrote:Holy shit this is depressing.

"throwingtable.gif" was playing in my head the whole time.


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