Spanish Architecture in Kansas City

By
Real Estate Agent with BHG Real Estate - Kansas City Homes SP00229578 2007027091

Spanish Architecture in Kansas City

Architecture Plaza KC The reason we have Spanish style architecture in Kansas City is because Jesse Clyde Nichols took a European vacation. Sounds simple enough.

In actuality, JC bought the land that is now the Country Club Plaza in the early 1900's. The main form of transportation was still horse and buggies and trains for cross country. Automobiles were owned by a few of the wealthier individuals but everyone did not have a car as they do today.

When JC shared his vision of an upscale shopping center with his friends, most of them told him he was crazy. Brush Creek was a watering hole for horses. Kansas City was the last civilized stop for travelers heading out west.

When I look at what this man envisioned and made happen, I am amazed at his foresight. He left enough room for roads so that all these years later, today's traffic is still accommodated.

There are wide sidewalks for pedestrians and two or three lanes going each way for cars. The buildings conform to the Spanish style of architecture yet each is unique and beautiful in it's own right.

As one walks the Plaza in Kansas City, one finds fountains, statues, and art in many forms to admire. Over the last two decades the chain stores have moved into the Plaza but even they cannnot diminish its' beauty.

Hats off to JC Nichols whose vision became a reality that we will all enjoy for many generations!

Active Rain members are invited to post photos, history and stories of your locale in the new group Architecturally Interesting.

Thanks for reading!


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Anonymous
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Wow, isn't it wonderful that there were visionaries like JC?  Listening to the Jefferson Hour on NPR on Sunday they were discussing how TJ encouraged building city offices, etc, with significant architecture, (based on European designs) so that as cities developed there would be a standard of sorts, something to aspire to, rather than throwing up any old building...

July 22, 2009 11:09 PM #1
Rainmaker
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Maria Morton
BHG Real Estate - Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Cheryl, it is truly amazing that individuals felt strongly enough about their dreams to pursue in spite of naysayers. Building with function and beauty is timeless and something to aspire to in any age. As long as we have people like this, we will survive and thrive - and I hope that I am one who adds to the aesthetic rather then one who detracts.

July 22, 2009 11:20 PM #2
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate

I love your articles on the local area sites...thanks again for the tour :)

July 22, 2009 11:59 PM #3
Rainmaker
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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Authentic Feng Shui Expert

Maria, What a lovely sight and not something I would expect to see in Kansas!  Visionaries are just that and have the ability to make their vision come to life for everyone to enjoy.  This is just beautiful and certainly unique!

July 23, 2009 04:55 PM #4
Rainmaker
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Maria Morton
BHG Real Estate - Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Thank you, Sally!

Carole, glad to have improved your impression of Kansas City, MO. Visionaries inspire, yes?

July 23, 2009 09:30 PM #5
Rainmaker
290,791
Monique Hailer
CENTURY 21 New Millennium - Solomons, MD

Maria,

I didn't realize how beautiful Kansas City is. I love European architecture. Thanks for sharing  Kansas City!

July 24, 2009 07:02 AM #6
Rainmaker
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Ann Hayden
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Wildwood, MO
SelectAnn.com

Maria,

This is very cool...  I need a vacation.

Ann

July 24, 2009 11:38 AM #7
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Todd Clark
Keller Williams Realty - Beaverton, OR
Broker - Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert - (503) 524-9494

Look at how many people today we consider to have had great minds at the time they were considered crazy. Sometimes vision comes at a cost!

Todd Clark - www.LivingBeaverton.com

July 25, 2009 08:12 AM #8
Rainmaker
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Maria Morton
BHG Real Estate - Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Monique, you're welcome!

Ann, where would you like to go for vacation?

Todd, it seems to me that the most successful people see and do things that are outside the "norm."

July 25, 2009 11:25 AM #9
Rainmaker
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Ann Hayden
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Wildwood, MO
SelectAnn.com

Maria,

I would like to go somewhere and stick my toes in some sand on a beach! 

Ann

July 26, 2009 09:32 PM #10
Rainmaker
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Maria Morton
BHG Real Estate - Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Ann, there's a beach where you can do that over in Shawnee Mission Park!

July 28, 2009 09:00 AM #11
Rainmaker
250,197
Debi Boucher
Real Estate Showcase Photography - Woodland Park, CO
"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours

Maria - interesting story, and great photo! Would love to visit KC one day. Wish interesting and quality buildings were the norm everywhere. Imagine the eye candy if that were so!

Debi

July 28, 2009 09:59 AM #12
Rainmaker
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Maria Morton
BHG Real Estate - Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Debi, that's a high compliment, coming from you. Glad you enjoyed the photo and little story.

July 28, 2009 07:40 PM #13
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

That's not just architecturally interesting, it's just flat out pretty. They sure don't make them like that anymore.

July 30, 2009 01:56 AM #14
Rainmaker
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Maria Morton
BHG Real Estate - Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

I think a lot of man hours are spent keeping the buildings clean and re-grouting and tuck pointing so that they stay pretty. Well worth it, in my opinion.

July 30, 2009 05:45 AM #15
Rainmaker
128,498
Laura Monroe
Inman News - San Francisco, CA
Social Media Director

Wow Maria~ I love this building..I'm a lover of color so this really is beautiful. A wonderful blog about its history, sounds like a wonderful place to shop!

August 01, 2009 12:16 PM #16
Rainmaker
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Maria Morton
BHG Real Estate - Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Laura, the Plaza is a great place to shop - and eat and drink and just walk around! Thanks for stopping by.

August 02, 2009 09:23 AM #17
Rainmaker
558,659
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Maria -- I have heard over time that KC has some amazing architecture.  Looking at this photo just draws me in, making me want to go inside and see what treasures await!

January 16, 2011 11:08 PM #18
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Maria Morton

Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758
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