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"Old Judge Douglass House Is Being Razed on Troost" K.C.Star, April 19, 1953 PDF  | Print |

The Large Stone Dwelling at Twenty-Eighth Street Was Erected in 1890, and Once Sold for $90,000—Once a Top Neighborhood

When a franchise was granted in 1886 to a group of Kansas City men for the construction and operation of the Troost avenue cable line, it started one of the biggest real estate booms ever experienced here on a single street.

SE Corner 28th & Troost

One of the property buyers along Troost, and one of the original franchise holders was Shannon C. Douglass, a circuit judge and widely-known as a lawyer here.

On July 10, 1886, Judge Douglass purchased a lot at the southeast corner of Twenty-eighth street and Troost, with a 100-foot frontage on Troost, and later bought an additional 75-foot frontage. About 1890, he erected a handsome, 3-story and basement stone dwelling which has stood until now.

Various uses have been made of the old house in recent years, among the owners being the Kansas City Board of Education and later the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Last week, the tract and house were acquired by Alfred O. Gilbert, an investor, from E. M. Hipsh. The new owner is razing the old Douglass residence. The lot will be graded to level with the Troost avenue frontage, and Gilbert has plans for improvement of the corner with a commercial building. Plans have not been fully developed as to type and size of the new structure, Gilbert said.

A total of 26,250 square feet is included in the site, with a total Troost avenue frontage of 175 feet and fronting 150 feet on Twenty-eighth street to the alley.

Judge Douglass used Vermont granite for his foundation, and the house is believed to be the first here with an elevator, which was used to carry laundry and trunks to the upper floors.

After two years or so, Judge Douglass sold his residence for $90,000 to H. B. Sanborn, July 5, 1892. At that time, the area was one of distinction. Judge Turner A. Gill of the Kansas City Court of Appeals lived at the northeast corner of the intersection. Henry N. Harper lived at the southwest corner of Twenty-eighth and Forest avenue, and Albert M. sills, then a prominent real estate man here, lived at the southwest corner of Twenty-eighth and Forest.

On the west side of Troost to the south were the J. Lee Porters, Dr. C. Lester Hall and William A. Wilson, whose horses and carriages took many prizes in the annual Flower parade.

The sale of the old Douglass house was negotiated by Albert Schoenberg, who also will manage the property for the new owner.