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Old 09-25-2010, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Old Hyde Park, Kansas City,MO
1,145 posts, read 1,164,484 times
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What was there before it was built. When did the hotels and other buildings all go in?
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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It happened in phases, but mostly in the early 70's. It was much like the crossroads area. Industrial buildings, some hotels, hospitals. The westin hotel sits where "signboard hill" once was.

You need to get the "Then and Now" books from the KC star. The first one has some great before and after photos of Crown Center from the same angles. It's pretty cool, but they are great books. So is "A Splendid Ride" It's all old photos of the city's trolleys and street cars, but shows what the city used to look like at one time.

Much of it is quite sad though. KC used to be a very urban and vibrant city and one of the nation's top urban centers.
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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So, I'm looking at some of those books about KC (yea, I have them all ) and did you know that in the late 1920's, KCMO's city limits only went to about 39th, yet it had 400,000 people? The street car system (one of the largest in the nation) carried over 500,000 people a day. To put that in perspective, KC would have the fourth largest rail system today if they still had that kind of ridership. Today the entire boston rail system carries 475,000 passeners a day. Bart in San Fran and Septa in Phila carry about 330,000. The entire CTA rail system in Chicago averages about 630,000 daily riders today. So for KC to have 500,000 in the 20's is impressive. Today the entire metro area has about 45,000 daily bus riders.
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Old Hyde Park, Kansas City,MO
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Wow, it would have been great to see what this city was like back then. So in the 20's the plaza was basically just suburban. where was the city limits on the east side? Van brunt,Benton?
Kansas city really was a jewel back in the day with great urban planning. When did the city start going down and what caused it? 50's/60's and was it leadership/social programs or the automobile?
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Old Hyde Park, Kansas City,MO
1,145 posts, read 1,164,484 times
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During the same time, didn't St Louis have close to 900,000 in a small area as well
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:55 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
4,081 posts, read 2,289,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewcrew1000 View Post
Wow, it would have been great to see what this city was like back then. So in the 20's the plaza was basically just suburban. where was the city limits on the east side? Van brunt,Benton?
Kansas city really was a jewel back in the day with great urban planning. When did the city start going down and what caused it? 50's/60's and was it leadership/social programs or the automobile?
Bingo! Why..the automobile..of course! The pinnacle of evil on 4 wheels.

And when you add to that: the advent of hot and cold running water, indoor toilets, the light bulb, telephones, and the wheel itself, Kansas City didn't stand a chance.

Just look at the daily destruction, pain, anguish, and suffering in Overland Park today. I mean - the city is doomed and how could it not be with all those cars? It's enough to make you cry....when you stop and think about what Overland Park could have been - but for the evil automobile.
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:09 AM
 
805 posts, read 1,236,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
So, I'm looking at some of those books about KC (yea, I have them all ) and did you know that in the late 1920's, KCMO's city limits only went to about 39th, yet it had 400,000 people? The street car system (one of the largest in the nation) carried over 500,000 people a day. To put that in perspective, KC would have the fourth largest rail system today if they still had that kind of ridership. Today the entire boston rail system carries 475,000 passeners a day. Bart in San Fran and Septa in Phila carry about 330,000. The entire CTA rail system in Chicago averages about 630,000 daily riders today. So for KC to have 500,000 in the 20's is impressive. Today the entire metro area has about 45,000 daily bus riders.
So every man, woman and child rode the street cars 1.25 times per day? That seems a little high. How many cars did the trolley system have back then?

Let's guess they had 200 cars. Each car would have to haul 2500 passengers during a 16 hour day, or 156 per hour. If it held 50 people, it would have to load and unload a full car every 20 minutes.

Not saying couldn't be done or wasn't, but that seems like a lot of movement of people when movement wasn't really in vogue.
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Old 09-26-2010, 01:20 PM
 
29,990 posts, read 20,965,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewcrew1000 View Post
Wow, it would have been great to see what this city was like back then. So in the 20's the plaza was basically just suburban. where was the city limits on the east side? Van brunt,Benton?
Kansas city really was a jewel back in the day with great urban planning. When did the city start going down and what caused it? 50's/60's and was it leadership/social programs or the automobile?
My late grandmother had a first cousin who used to tell stories of hunting rabbits along Brush Creek where the Plaza sits now on his way home from school (Westport High school). My grandfather rented a new house along the Ward Pkwy corridor (Stratford Rd.) about 1922 before purchasing it from the builder during the depression. At that time Ward Parkway was gravel road before the point where Meyer Circle is now and beyond that to the South was still rural farmland with dirt roads where there were roads.

Basically Kansas City grew straight South from the river to Westport in its early years as a trading center. Kansas City wealth came from cattle, lumber and the railroads. As these went to the wayside so did the this city. Corrupt city leaders (power-mongers) took their toll on this city as did Prohibition. The civil uprisings of the late 1950's and 1960's and then the Italian mafia wars of the 1970's drove business from the city's center and mid-town areas.

Back to the OP. It took nearly a decade from the time plans were approved for Crown Crown Center (1967) to the completion of the main first phase of hotels and shops. It was only after Crown Center proved successful and became a destination location the Hyatt Regency was built and significant attempts to restore Union Station took place. The area was basically slums prior to the Hallmark endeavor of the Westin Crown Center and was greatly responsible for saving that part of town near their original headquarters (26th & Grand).

Last edited by lifelongMOgal; 09-26-2010 at 01:39 PM..
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
7,819 posts, read 9,671,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cp1969 View Post
So every man, woman and child rode the street cars 1.25 times per day? That seems a little high. How many cars did the trolley system have back then?

Let's guess they had 200 cars. Each car would have to haul 2500 passengers during a 16 hour day, or 156 per hour. If it held 50 people, it would have to load and unload a full car every 20 minutes.

Not saying couldn't be done or wasn't, but that seems like a lot of movement of people when movement wasn't really in vogue.
Actually, in the late 1920's, KC had 769 street cars and 76 buses and it also serviced KCK which had about 140,000 people. So crunch those numbers
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:12 PM
 
805 posts, read 1,236,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
Actually, in the late 1920's, KC had 769 street cars and 76 buses and it also serviced KCK which had about 140,000 people. So crunch those numbers
Wow. I never would have thought it. OK, multiply everything I said by 200/769 and you've got it. Oops, that doesn't account for the KCK people. How'd they ever work that deal?

769 street cars. That's amazing.
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