Re: Kansas City Workhouse on Vine
Lucian Development, of Rochester, NY, owns the property, and it is for sale.http://www.lucianglobal.com/lucian-development/
I've been thinking about this for awhile, and I've come to the conclusion
that the City should purchase the site, stabilize it as a ruin that could be explored, and build a landscaped garden around it. It could serve as a park for the Beacon Hill neighborhood, and a tourist attraction (for photography, weddings, graduations, etc.). The building could be dramatically lit up at night.
Or a wealthy benefactor could purchase the parcel, prepare the park and site, and turn it over to the City.
The Vine Street firehouse, formerly the Black Archives, could be converted into a restaurant with an outdoor dining courtyard, and small museum, to tell the history of the workhouse and firehouse. It would not be a formal museum, but would be part of the restaurant.
The Public Works buildings across the street could be restored and converted into some type of rentable public space. If the Beacon Hill neighborhood eventually gets built back up, and repopulated, these buildings could also serve as stores or restaurants.
In a perfect world, the former Wheatley-Provident Hospital, at E. 19th and Forest, could be moved and re-sited behind the Public Works buildings, and restored as something.
Another idea would be to move other threatened houses and structures around this area and conserve them, and create a sort of heritage village, but reusing the structures for other purposes.
For example, Buck O'Neil's former house could be moved and placed next to the Buck O'Neil Education Center. Or the house Jean Harlow lived in on Gillham could be moved into this area.
I got the idea for a landscaped garden around the old Workhouse from looking at these images and sites:
The historic landscaping of the Workhouse.http://www.vintagekansascity.com/places/workhouse.htmlhttp://kchistory.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/Mrs&CISOPTR=992&CISOBOX=1&REC=4