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A new westside housing development

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2003 3:07 pm
by KCDowntown
I was driving around the westside today and found another new development. It is across the street to the west from the condos at 16th and Summit. They look pretty cool, here is a link: and click on Dwellings.

There are a couple of really cool modern houses in this area, along with a park with a strange gravestone? for someone named Andrew Drips. I have heard of Andrew Drips Coffeehouse, but other than that I have no idea who he is. Strange area, to find it go west at the corner of 16th and Summit, I think the street was Madison.


Summit Neighborhood

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2003 7:38 pm
by FangKC
I ride my bike in that neighborhood occasionally. It has a strange mix of housing, but it's an interesting neighborhood.

I think it has great potential for future development. Because it is so hilly, I envision streets of townhouses--sort of like neighborhoods in San Francisco. There are also some great sites for apartment towers with great views of downtown, the crossroads district, Liberty Memorial, and Crown Center. It could be the next Union Hill.

Yes, there are a few cool houses in the neighborhood as well. It appears that some of the older homes were built in the 1880s. A few of them have been renovated and are very nice.

There is one particular house at 1630 Summit that has wonderful landscaping. It sits up high on a embankment. It's a great house.

It's a shame that the developer of those new townhouses at 16th and Summit didn't instead try and build a larger apartment tower on that site. That location would have had great views.

Who Was Andrew Drips?

Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 7:23 am
by FangKC
Andrew Drips Park and Monument

That monument sits in Kansas City's "first" public park, West Prospect Triangle, at the juncture of 16th, Jarboe, and Belleview Avenue. The land was given to the City in 1882 by William and Catherine Mulkey for use as a park. Catherine Mulkey's father was Maj. Andrew Drips, an early pioneer and trader for Pierre Chouteau's American Fur Company.

The monument was placed in the park in 1949, and the name was changed to Andrew Drips Park. The cost of constructing the monument was $243.95. It bears a marble plaque featuring a fur trader--symbolizing Drips--and on the reverse side, the figure of an Indian woman--Drips' wife, Mary.

That park figured prominently in the development of Kansas City's Parks and Boulevard System. When City officials decided to assess taxes specifically for the establishment of parks in 1890, some property owners argued that the City owned no park land, and thus had no right to levy taxes.

The Missouri Supreme Court held that the possession of West Prospect Triangle (later Andrew Drips Park) constituted a precedent for City parks, and provided adequate grounds for assessing park taxes.

I think that park used to be connected to West Terrace Park, which is north of the FBI headquarters. When I-670 was constructed, it cut through the area and separated the two parks. There is still a pedestrian bridge and bike path that one can access from Andrew Drips Park (and cross I-670) that ends up in West Terrace Park. West Terrace Park is where the Angus Bull is placed atop that concrete pillar, and is easily one of the City's most remote and less-known parks. A softball playing field is located there.

The Andrew Drips Coffeehouse gets its name from Maj. Andrew Drips. I have compiled a biography on Maj. Drips, which appears below:

Major Andrew Drips 1789-1860

Andrew Drips was born in 1789 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania--of Irish descent. Little is known of his early history. Like his contemporaries, he went to St. Louis, which at the time was attracting attention.

In 1820 he became a member of explorer and trader Manual Lisa's reorganized Missouri Fur Company, and accompanied many expeditions in its interest--gaining a reputation as a mountaineer. In 1842, he was appointed Indian agent by President Tyler for the Indians of the upper Missouri tribes. He served as U.S. Indian Agent from 1842-1846.

After four years in this service he entered the employ of the American Fur Company and for some years lived in the vicinity of Bellevue, Nebraska. The American Fur Company was an enterprise started by John Jacob Astor, and later purchased by Pierre Chouteau Jr. of St. Louis.

Maj. Drips had been a trader for Pierre Chouteau, Jr., & Co. at their Scotts Bluff post, Fort John (later Fort Laramie). After Chouteau purchased American Fur Company, Drips oversaw much of the trade on the upper Missouri River and throughout the West.

Maj. Drips and American Fur Company rivaled Jim Bridger and Kit Carson's trading company for the bounty of Western fur traders. Later on though, Jim Bridger would work as an independent trader for American Fur Company.

Pierre Chouteau Jr., of St. Louis, was a half-brother to Francois Chouteau. Francois was one of the early French settlers who established a trading post at Kawsmouth (in the West Bottoms where the Kansas River joins the Missouri). Chouteau's town, "Chez Les Canses," would later become officially incorporated as "Town of Kansas." Later, the name was changed to Kansas City. Many consider Francois Chouteau the "founder" of Kansas City.

For a time Maj. Drips was associated with traders Lucien Fontenelle and Joshua Pitcher.

In his early life, Drips married an Indian woman, Maoumntameo (aka "Mary"), of the Otoe tribe, who he had met in Oregon. Among the children of Andrew and Mary Drips was a daughter, Catherine. Catherine Drips was born in what is now Yellowstone National Park. After Mary Drips died, young Catherine lived with Berenice Chouteau here in Kansas City while her father was away. Berenice, wife of Francois Chouteau, was known as the French grande dame of Kansas City. Catherine was soon sent away to school in St. Louis. Catherine returned and married William Mulkey of Kansas City.

Maj. Andrew Drips led an expedition to explore the northern parts of the Platte River. He organized and led many supply trains heading into the Western territories along the Oregon and California trails. He was a well-known hunter, trapper, trader, and guide. He is known in Western chronicles as one of the original "mountain men." He led expeditions to the Rocky Mountains from Chouteau's trading post in the West Bottoms--and later one in the River Market district.

Andrew Drips was well-known in the Upper Missouri Territory in the 1830's and 1840's. Accounts about Drips were prominent in Bernard DeVoto's well-known novel "Across The Wide Missouri," written in 1947, and later made into a popular movie (1951) in Hollywood starring Clark Gable.

DeVoto's novel mentions Andrew Drips several times and states on page 71 that "Drips went to St. Louis with Lucieen Fontenelle in summer 1831 for goods to bring back up river. Wintered that year in Salmon River Valley of Idaho." DeVoto states that in 1833 Drips was located at Fort Pierre in business with Lucieen Fontenelle as Upper Missouri River Traders and Packers.

On page 374, DeVoto states "The Company (Rocky Mountain Fur Company) had its Andrew Drips made Indian Agent for the Upper Missouri, with jurisdiction throughout the West. He was directed by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to stamp out the liquor traffic some more, and the Company supplied him with deputies and interpreters from its payroll. Stamping our the liquor traffic meant confiscating opposition liquor, and Drips worked hard at it."

DeVoto writes on page 373 that "Andrew Drips in 1840 at last took to the Flatheads (Indian Nation) the right kind of missionary. He was the famous Jesuit Pierre-Jean de Smet; - de Smet's success with the Indians won them over. This ended the rendezvous system."

The great fur trappers of the West from the 1820's until the 1840's met yearly to trade with the Indians and themselves in "rendezvous"' throughout the Rocky Mountains. The rendezvous was a raucous event. Trappers and traders from throughout the Rockies met to trade supplies and furs, and to revel in each other's company before returning to the solitude of the mountains. I think this event is portrayed in the movie "Dances With Wolves."

Jim Bridger and a brigade, including Joe Meek, Doc Newell, Caleb Wilkins, among others, gathered at Green River, Wyoming, in 1840 for what was to be the last of the big rendezvous. Andrew Drips arrived from St. Louis with trade goods, noting as he entered camp that this too, was the last of the supply caravans. Drips was accompanied by independent missionaries hoping to settle in the West and join the effort to convert the Indians.

Major Drips was as important as the famous explorers and fur traders John C. Fremont, Jim Bridger, Jedediah Smith, and Kit Carson in the development of trade networks in the West. He died in 1860 in Kansas City at the age of 71--quite an old-age for a "mountain man."

Andrew Drips' biography appears with 17 other famous Western explorers in the book, "Mountain Men and Fur Traders of the Far West."

One can also learn more about him by reading: "The American Fur Trade of the Far West" by H.M. Chittenden.

A new westside housing development

Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 3:37 pm
by KCLofts
I believe that McFarland built and owns the new house on the corner of 16th & Madison (its the one on the portfolio page that was featured in Dwell magazaine).

The new townhouses look great. This area is really transforming.

The house under construction at 1627(?) Madison is for sale for $355,000. Amazing considering it sits next to houses that are (or at least used to be) worth around $20-30k.

The big empty lot to the east of the Andrew Drips memorial is also planned for development. Last I read, the owner was trying to get the city to give him some tax breaks or something like that. He's planning 5 or 6 homes for the site. A really nice location.

A new westside housing development

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 8:18 pm
by KCLofts
I just got an update on this project. There will be only 2 houses, instead of the 3 pictured in the renderings.

Essentially, he is selling each of the 2 lots with a custom built house, rather than building spec houses and trying to sell them.

I have some new renderings and will try to get them posted soon.

A new westside housing development

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 8:00 am
by Royals Fan
That really drips....

More Housing on W. Pennway, W. 17th, & Jarboe

Posted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 5:47 am
by FangKC
I was riding my bike on Monday and noticed several vacant lots had been excavated on W. Pennway around W. 17th St. and Jarboe. There is a small printing firm near there.

It appears that new homes are being constructed. Holes have been dug for foundations, and the lots have been marked with temporary signs indicating the corresponding street addresses.

Houses Are Up

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 1:19 am
by FangKC
I noticed this weekend that 3 houses are in the process of being constructed (framed with walls up; window and doors installed) at W. 17th and Jarboe streets next to West Pennway. There are foundations for four additional houses at 1714, 1718, 1720, and 1742 Belleview; and another foundation at 1730 Madison. All appear to be being built by the same developer.

There is also a vacant lot that has been cleared and excavated on W. 20th Street between Madison St. and West Pennway. It's a triangular-shaped lot across from the old West High School building. Does anyone know what is being built there? It's just north of the Ruiz Branch Public Library.

There is a really cool-looking modern-style house on the hillside at W. 21st and Madison (2100 Madison), and another one at the SE corner of 21st and Jarboe that looks like it has an incredible view.

A new westside housing development

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 12:12 pm
by KCLofts
The houses on Belleview and Madison, as well as the lot that was just cleared on 20th street are all Westside Housing Organization projects. They provide affordable housing.

New Houses Started

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 6:28 am
by FangKC
Work has begun on what appears to be 4 new houses under construction near the Andrew Drips marker west of 16th & Madison.

New Houses Started

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 6:30 am
by FangKC
Work has begun on what appears to be 4 new houses under construction near the Andrew Drips marker west of 16th & Madison.