Historic Kansas City releases 2017-2018 Most Endangered List

According to Historic Kansas City Board President Jim Wanser, their goal is to save the best architecture. (KCTV5)

Historic Kansas City has released its annual list of the city’s most endangered buildings and places at risk of being demolished or of crumbling into obscurity.

The 2018 list contains historic churches, apartment buildings, historic Kansas City districts, like Westport, African-American heritage sites, like those near 18th and Vine, and the Aladdin Theater in the historic Northeast.

Each year, the organization solicits throughout the community, for nominations for the list to bring awareness to their plight. They hope to attract new owners, developers or community groups who will restore, repurpose and maintain their unique appeal.

“We’ve had some success in the past. When we reviewed the past eight years of our endangered list, there’s 14 properties or structures that have come off the endangered list," Historic Kansas City Board President Jim Wanser said.

According to Wanser, the organization's goal is to save the best architecture.

“Often, people think that we want to save everything but we really want to save the best from whatever period of architecture that the building represents. And reflect not only the style of architecture but the importance of its history to the Kansas City area,” Wanser said.

Historic KC says preservation has a broader context of what is deemed historical significance to the city.

Westport, for example, while seemingly thriving, has made the 2018 list.

According to Historic Kansas City, by 1836 the village of Westport served as the last place for immigrants to purchase supplies before heading west on the Oregon, Santa Fe or California trails. The organization describes it as one of the city’s fastest developing areas.

The organization says ongoing development pressures put Westport on the list. They say they plan to work with the city to develop a long-term plan for the popular entertainment district.

“The primary goal of our endangered list is to elevate awareness and educate individuals about the significance of these buildings. As well as the threat to these buildings,” Wanser said.

To view the full list, click here.

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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