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3605 Gillham, Historic Kansas City Foundation, July 1976 PDF  | Print |

3605 Gillham Road

In July 1976, representatives of Historic Kansas City Foundation and the Landmarks Commission met with the owners of the house at 3605 Gillham to discuss its future. At that meeting, they learned of the owner’s plans to tear down both the house at 3605 and the one immediately north of it, presently the Hyde Park Nursing Home. In their place, a modern 76-bed nursing home facility was to e constructed. This proposal was distressing not only to residents of the Hyde Park neighborhood, where a resurgence of interest in the homes of the area is taking place but also to historic Kansas City Foundation and the City’s Landmarks Commission. Mbr

As a result of their concern, discussions began with the owners to encourage them to sell the 3605 property rather than tearing it down. After initial skepticism on their part as to the value of the property, the owners finally put it on the market. Though interest was active, the asking price was too high to allow for the necessary repairs to make the building habitable.

Over the long winter months, the house remained vacant and unsecured. It was sporadically occupied by vagrants who did further damage to it. And the low temperatures and frequent moisture continued the already serious deterioration of the roof.

By spring, the owners decided it was not going to sell and the city listed it as a “dangerous buildingrdquo; which required it to be boarded up or demolished. Not wanting to waste further funds on it, the owners decided not to board it but to allow plans for demolition to proceed. At this point, Historic Kansas City Foundation voted funds to pay for boarding up the house but the owners were reluctant to give permission since they felt the Foundation would be losing its money.

In May, the Foundation decided the only way to rescue the house was to purchase it. Negotiations began in May and a contract was signed June 7th. It is hoped that the sale will have been closed by the time this article is printed.

The Foundation has already boarded up and secured the building. Estimates are being gathered for a new roof and other emergency repairs will be done as needed. The Foundation hopes to have a group of volunteers spend a Saturday in the near future cleaning the interior and the yard of the house.

Historic Kansas City Foundation plans to hold the house until a buyer is found who will restore it. Protective easements or covenants will be placed on the faç;ade and made part of the deed of trust. Such easements protect the original design of the house from modern intrusions. The Foundation is not interested in making a profit on the house and will sell it for its expenses to date. Their interest is in seeing it restored and once more made a viable part of the Hyde Park neighborhood.

Westport Bank deserves tanks and congratulations for its foresight in making a loan to the Foundation for the purchase. Without that support, the purchase would not be possible. Both Westport Bank and Historic Kansas City Foundation have given the Hyde Park neighborhood a vote of confidence by their willingness to invest in this house. They believe Hyde Park is making a come back. Let’s convince them its true.