Modern Archeology

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staubio
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Modern Archeology

Post by staubio » Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:35 am

I love to explore this city. One of my favorite things is finding "modern ruins" -- remnants of what used to be that was left behind or changed somehow. This can be as significant as buildings and as simple as an old roadbed in the woods. I thought I'd share one of my favorites in the hopes that others have similar simple finds and maybe even some memories or pictures of this spot.

The location is here, in the original Riverfront Park, in a now disused and overgrown area:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source= ... iwloc=addr

When you enter the park, the road splits with the only not-barricaded option being to the left toward the boat ramp. Back in the woods, however, you'll find 4 abandoned ball diamonds.

The road, in remarkably good shape:
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The first sign of the outfield fence:
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The ruins:
Image

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Here is what the location looks like from the air today. You can still see the faint outlines of the fields.
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I always assumed that the park flooded out in 93 and was never rebuilt. However, this image from '90 shows what looks to be flooding damage and disrepair:

Image

It was never clear to me why the fencing was never removed. Perhaps rehabilitation was planned but never happened. This is the perfect "world without us" case study. Trees are growing up, around and through fencing. Among the tree cover and weeds, sections of bright green field grass is still sprouting.

Does anyone know the story of these fields or have any memories of them?

More importantly, what are your modern history spots in KC?

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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by staubio » Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:51 am

Found this flickr set:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/relentless ... frontpark/

and a blog post:

http://www.relentlesslyoptimistic.com/2 ... rness.html

Per the blog, a dioxin contamination was the reason for the closure. If this is the case, it met the same fate as this town, one of the mothers of the Superfund. You can still see the grid from the abandoned city.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source= ... 9&t=h&z=15

...which reminds me of the childhood memories that probably explain this fascination: Niobrara, NE. It was moved up the hill because of the threat of flood. As a kid, my parents would take me on a tour of its old creepy, abandoned grid. You can still see its remains.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=niobrara, ... 9&t=k&z=16

I love this stuff. :)
Last edited by staubio on Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by Stockton » Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:34 pm

One of my favorites is the Kansas City, Leavenworth and Western electric railway, because I grew up 2 blocks from one of its stops.

There's not much left except evidence. It's fascinating paying attention and seeing the clues. These are as simple as one spot in particular at 46th and Georgia Ave where there are parallel lines of trees showing the exact route and this is true for a lot of abandoned/ripped up rail lines. Also, just the clusters of historic houses that sprang up along the route on relative grids in contrast to surrounding more modern suburban housing. The street-grid of Wolcott, KS, which housed the carbarns and power, is still intact even though there are no buildings left.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_Cit ... rn_Railway

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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by DaveKCMO » Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:58 pm

i like spotting the old trolley catenary poles throughout the city. i never noticed until a year or two ago, now i see them everywhere!

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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by staubio » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:01 am

Stockton wrote: One of my favorites is the Kansas City, Leavenworth and Western electric railway, because I grew up 2 blocks from one of its stops.

There's not much left except evidence. It's fascinating paying attention and seeing the clues. These are as simple as one spot in particular at 46th and Georgia Ave where there are parallel lines of trees showing the exact route and this is true for a lot of abandoned/ripped up rail lines. Also, just the clusters of historic houses that sprang up along the route on relative grids in contrast to surrounding more modern suburban housing. The street-grid of Wolcott, KS, which housed the carbarns and power, is still intact even though there are no buildings left.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_Cit ... rn_Railway
http://www.kckpl.lib.ks.us/KSCOLL/lochi ... w/TN26.htm
Image

Found this note from a 1912 Kansas "cyclopedia":

Wolcott, a post-village in the northern part of Wyandotte county, is situated on the west bank of the Missouri river and the Missouri Pacific R. R., 11 miles northwest of Kansas City. It has several general stores, a school, a money order postoffice, telegraph and express facilities and is the supply and shipping town for a considerable district In 1910 it had a population of 200.

I wonder why it was abandoned. Perhaps part of the creation of the lake even though that area wasn't involved?

Cool example, thanks for sharing.

EDIT:

Actually, Walcott disappeared sometime in the early '90s.

Today: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=wolcott,+ ... 5&t=k&z=17

1991:
Image
Last edited by staubio on Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by Stockton » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:11 am

Cool. You found the KC and Western Railway picture I had tried to find!

That aerial of Wolcott is awesome! I'm pretty sure everything was torn down after the Flood of '93. Wolcott is just west of Wyandotte County Lake. The site of another, even smaller place, Loma Vista, is now part of the lake.

Thanks for taking interest in my post.

~Brian

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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by PumpkinStalker » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:54 am

The very faint remnants of Webb Castle are off Truman Road right across from Washington Cemetery.  Some stone pillars, a small retaining wall, broken cement slab or two are all that remain.  I've read that all rooms were round when this place was built.

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UT ... 6&t=h&z=17

Here is a postcard of it from my collection
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And a present day shot I took (about 2 years ago)
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Some stuff we found:
Part of a patio or retaining wall?
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Part of a driveway entrance column
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Possibly a chimney/fireplace
Image

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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by lock+load » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:33 am

Awesome post Staubio, thanks.

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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by PumpkinStalker » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:44 am

The other thing I thought of is there is an old mill of some sort.  It's on private property and they will prosecute.  It's over by TSC off Blue Ridge.  Deep in the woods of this property is a narrow but deep creek.  It's hidden by the vegetation from the air, but it has a rock wall along it and eventually leads to a very small stone shell from an old mill.  The footprint is square about about 15X15 or so.  The owner's nephew is one of my best friends.  No pictures, sorry!

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UT ... 3&t=h&z=16

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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by scooterj » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:01 am

Here's some older ruins that I know about...


Just east of Blue Springs, in the woods south of US-40 and just north of the railroad, you can find the foundation of an 1800s home and some remnants of a wood fence.   There is also a well here, be careful as there is no wall around it, it's totally exposed.   

I haven't been there in about 25 years but I have no reason to believe it's changed as development hasn't quite reached that location.


http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8& ... 6&t=h&z=18



At Monkey Mountain Park in Grain Valley there are still old farming fences along the west ridge and a handful of barely-visible foundations here and there.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source= ... 5&t=h&z=15



There is an old stone wall and a foundation at Prairie Center Park in Olathe.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source= ... -94.890525



There's easilly accessible foundations and ruins at Burr Oak Woods in Blue Springs.  You can find them on the Bethany Falls trail at the west end of the park.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source= ... -94.890525


There are supposedly some ruins of the foundations of the town of Pink Hill in a farmer's field north of Grain Valley but I can't seen them.  The only surviving building is a former church on Pink Hill Road that was actually in use until the 1990s.  It's on private property now and has been converted into a home, I believe.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source= ... iwloc=addr
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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by scooterj » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:09 am

Another Flood of 1993 victim:  Pattonsburg.


Pattonsburg where it is now:   

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source= ... 15192&z=16



Pattonsburg where it used to be:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source= ... 3&t=h&z=16
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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by staubio » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:32 am

scooterj wrote: Another Flood of 1993 victim:  Pattonsburg.
Wow. There is even street view on some of the old streets. Incredibly stark. Thanks for sharing!

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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by PumpkinStalker » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:43 am

What happened to this area N of Columbus Park?  I have always wondered if this was a planned subdivision that never got off the ground or were they all dilapidated and blighted?

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UT ... 3&t=h&z=18

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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by staubio » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:52 am

PumpkinStalker wrote: What happened to this area N of Columbus Park?  I have always wondered if this was a planned subdivision that never got off the ground or were they all dilapidated and blighted?

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UT ... 3&t=h&z=18
The old Guinotte project housing was there. That part wasn't infilled when they rebuilt the rest. I think the housing authority still owns the land and there is a project planned for the spot.

Image
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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by mlind » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:59 am

I love this kind of stuff!  More, more.

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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by staubio » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:12 pm

scooterj wrote: Another Flood of 1993 victim:  Pattonsburg.
Fed a bit more of the archival image addiction.

Here is Pattonsburg in 1997. The old town remains and they are just starting with getting the new grid built. If this was the flood of '93, what did that town do in the meantime?

EDIT: http://www.freshstart.ncat.org/case/dpnewpat.htm

Image
Image

New downtown Pattonsburg:
Image
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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by PumpkinStalker » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:25 pm

How about underground archaeology?  When they were building Benedictine College in Atchison KS, they mined out the rock underground and built the college up on the bluff.  Somewhere in this area (hard to tell from aerial) there *used* to be some entrances up some gravel roads.  Others had pulled away rocks that the city had piled up in front of the entrances.  Very creepy, take PLENTY of flashlights because it's DARK DARK DARK.  Huge man made caves that seemed to be laid out in a circular patter like a wagon wheel.  Very hard to tell with just flashlights.  Some big puddles down there too, with lots of mud.  In one little "room" there is a rusty iron excavator about the size of a medium size tractor.

Approx location:
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UT ... 6&t=h&z=17

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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by staubio » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:29 pm

PumpkinStalker wrote: How about underground archaeology?  When they were building Benedictine College in Atchison KS, they mined out the rock underground and built the college up on the bluff.  Somewhere in this area (hard to tell from aerial) there *used* to be some entrances up some gravel roads.  Others had pulled away rocks that the city had piled up in front of the entrances.  Very creepy, take PLENTY of flashlights because it's DARK DARK DARK.  Huge man made caves that seemed to be laid out in a circular patter like a wagon wheel.  Very hard to tell with just flashlights.  Some big puddles down there too, with lots of mud.  In one little "room" there is a rusty iron excavator about the size of a medium size tractor.

Approx location:
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UT ... 6&t=h&z=17
Good idea.

There is a old quarry cave you can access from the bluffs off of 63rd street. The edge has caved in and you can crawl down into it. It is full to the brim with bats and pitch black inside. Plenty of neo-nazi graffiti and other things to make someone feel unwelcome. The place is huge and my nerves run out before I'm able to see all of it.

Around here: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=39.0 ... 6&t=h&z=17

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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by PumpkinStalker » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:35 pm

staubio wrote: Good idea.

There is a old quarry cave you can access from the bluffs off of 63rd street. The edge has caved in and you can crawl down into it. It is full to the brim with bats and pitch black inside. Plenty of neo-nazi graffiti and other things to make someone feel unwelcome. The place is huge and my nerves run out before I'm able to see all of it.

Around here: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=39.0 ... 6&t=h&z=17
Awesome!  Might have to get up the nerve to check it out.  There was plenty of graffiti if you shined your light in the Atchison caves, but mostly it was just tags and people wanting others to know they had been there. 

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Re: Modern Archeology

Post by loftguy » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:43 pm

PumpkinStalker wrote: What happened to this area N of Columbus Park?  I have always wondered if this was a planned subdivision that never got off the ground or were they all dilapidated and blighted?

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UT ... 3&t=h&z=18
Up until 8/9 years ago, this area was filled in with low income housing projects which were built in the late 1940's and 1950's.  They had been poorly maintained and managed by the Housing Authority of Kansas City and were demolished.  To the east, a number of similar buildings were torn down and new structures built which seem to be much better managed this time around.

The area shown in the photo is slated for redevelopment by a consortium including Urban Coeur Developers and Zimmer.  The new development(s) are to include single family, multifamily, and townhouses; perhaps for sale and for lease; and perhaps to include some retail/commercial.  It's been a long time coming and I'm not holding my breath on this one.

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