In The Loop: April 24, 2022
Sunday, May 1, is the official launch date for the KC Downtown Loop Kickstarter campaign. Beginning on that date, and for only a three-week window, I will be asking for your support to take The Loop to the next level as I expand the content—and hopefully, soon, my team—for this publication.
[Editor’s Note: Instead of Kickstarter, we will be expanding The Loop content this summer through my partnership with Joe and Jomel Nichols. You can support our efforts by upgrading your subscription by going to your account settings and choosing a paid subscription level.]
How will I expand content?
For example, at the Downtown Council Annual Luncheon on Friday, I sat with staffers from Twelfth Street Heritage Development Corporation, where we talked about my interest in writing a story examining the issues of affordable housing, gentrification, and the (re-)development of our inner core in KC. Your support will help make more in-depth articles like this possible.
I also want to write a feature on families who live Downtown with kids. When we lived in the River Market, we lived in the same condo building as a family of five whom we would often see riding bikes or hopping on the streetcar Downtown. (The oldest daughter was also our Girl Scout cookie connection.)
Where we live now, just south of the official Downtown boundary (31st Street), we have at least 14 children living on our block. They attend nearby schools and will ride the future streetcar extension as second nature. Your support will help bring these stories to life.
With expanded resources, The Loop will also produce more frequent “Downtown Diggs” articles—the features that give readers a peek inside the unique homes and businesses of Downtown KC.
This is just scratching the surface, of course. There are many stories to be told, many photos to take, many videos to produce. I’m excited by the possibilities, and hope you’ll join the campaign on May 1.
Today marks the birth date in 1830 of Edward Herrick Allen, also known as E.H. Allen, mayor of Kansas City from 1867 to 1868. He was a Connecticut-born Union Army veteran who moved to Kansas City after the Civil War. He served as president of the First National Bank and was among the founders of the Kansas City Board of Trade and the Kansas City Club. His sterling reputation in KC—and with East Coast financiers—bode well for his adopted town. When Allen died in 1895, Howard Holden, a bank colleague and city leader, told a newspaper, “He was one of the keenest observers in commercial and public enterprises I ever knew.”
One hundred years ago this Thursday, the Kansas City Blues of American Association baseball celebrated Opening Day at Association Field, near 20th and Olive. The parade mentioned in this news clipping below would have originated in the heart of today’s Power & Light District, then traveled more than two miles east and south to the ball field. The Blues lost 7-4 that day, and ultimately lost their stadium that year when the railroad company that owned the land optioned to build tracks through the outfield. The owner of the Blues, George Muehlebach, would build the next stadium a few blocks away at 22nd Brooklyn—the precursor to Municipal Stadium.
1922 was also the year in which the first Kansas City radio stations emerged in our city. Possibly the first-ever broadcast station in Kansas City was WOQ-AM, licensed on February 17 of that year. Owned by the Unity School of Christianity for most of its short-lived history, it broadcast mostly on Sundays and one weeknight during the week. In an era of political maneuverings and fierce competition for broadcast space among radio stations, WOQ lost its license and was ordered to be off the air by January 7, 1932. After more than two years of subsequent litigation, WOQ lost its bid to stay on air, and ceased operations on June 14, 1934.
The Kansas City Star launched radio station 9XAB in February 1922, and was soon renamed WDAF. The station, with studios at Star headquarters at 18th and Grand, had a signal that stretched from coast to coast—and beyond. During late-night broadcasts when there was less interference from fewer stations in the country than we have today, it was claimed that WDAF could be heard as far away as London and Hawaii. WDAF’s live broadcasts of Kansas City’s Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawks Orchestra helped make the band—and radio technology itself—famous nationwide.
Other stations founded 100 years ago include KMBZ (started as an amateur station in 1921, but founded as commercial broadcast station WPE on April 5, 1922) and WHB.
If I wrote for a traditional news outlet that followed traditional journalistic principles, I’d present you with this following story about a Johnson County-based developer tearing down historic buildings on the corner of 31st and Main in Kansas City, Mo., without bias or opinion.
However, I do not work for such a publication, and therefore I can tell you that what appears to be the impending demolition of these classic buildings—one built in 1888, the other in 1905—makes me want to puke.
The Kansas City Star explains the situation with much more journalistic integrity than me at this link:
Lux Living is a developer based in St. Louis with plans to enter the KC market on the riverfront, the old Katz store in Midtown, and the Crossroads. I think everyone who is considering—or knows someone who is considering—leasing from or doing business with these folks needs to read this unbelievable article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to be informed about their track record.
As the St. Louis mayor's director of policy and development said in a November interview: “We are going to be vetting developers and looking at their track record in terms of actually delivering projects with real community benefits, and I don’t think Sid and Vic would fare very well under such a vetting process.”
Finally, some good news: Before Friday’s Downtown Council Annual Luncheon, officials announced progress toward putting a 5.5-acre lid over the South Loop. The land could provide green space running west to east (from Wyandotte to Grand), reunite Downtown and the Crossroads, spur development—and make the area a lot quieter. The Kansas City Star has more:
So, Leonardo DiCaprio was trying to remain incognito by wearing a certain baseball team’s cap? It didn’t work….
Artful City: One weekly selection with a Downtown connection
Quick Clip: The city in motion—just a few seconds at a time
Downtown Lens: A single image depicting the urban aesthetic
Give a friendly Downtown-Kansas City welcome to audiences and attendees of….
Kansas City Symphony presents Miraculous Mandarin with Rachmaninoff's Fourth Piano Concerto, 2 pm today at Kauffman Center
Pianist Daniil Trifonov, tonight at the Folly
Planet Comicon Kansas City, wrapping up at Bartle Hall
VIP Dance Competition, in its final day at the Music Hall
WEDNESDAY the 27th
The Queen's Cartoonists, at Kauffman Center
Disclosure and DJ Boring at the Midland
THURSDAY the 28th
Spring Members Concert & Reception: The Elders, at Kauffman Center
FRIDAY the 29th
Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, Friday night and Saturday noon at the Folly
Megadeth and Lamb of God at T-Mobile Center
Mad Machelle at KC Live!
The Halo Championship Series, today through Sunday at the Bartle Hall
Imagine Dance Challenge, today through Sunday at the Music Hall
SATURDAY the 30th
Girls Gotta Eat/Ashley Hesseltine and Rayna Greenberg at the Midland
Bubbles & Broadway at Music Theater Heritage, Crown Center
Noe Palma at KC Live!
Morgan Wallen at Sprint Center
Love & Laughter Tour: Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly; The Isley Brothers; and Chrisette Michelle at Municipal Auditorium
Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents Tosca, tonight, May 6 , and May 8 at Kauffman Center
Got a tip about Downtown KC?
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Until next week—enjoy the city!
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