January2010 Hpna Newsletter


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January2010 Hpna Newsletter

  1. 1. The Hyde Parker Volume 37, Issue 1 A publication of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association January 2010 Good cheer spreads along Armour Blvd. December 15 offered a warm-spirited night of fun-filled holiday caroling by a children’s choir and adults along the many apartment buildings on Armour Boulevard. Hot chocolate and cookies were provided at several stops as well as security that included Kansas City mounted police. New owners breath life into 39th Street properties In the worst of economic times, one of Hyde Park's crossroads has been making a turnaround in the past year amid the restoration of several long vacant single-family homes and rental properties. It's a stretch of 39th Street from Gillham to Troost that includes 19 single-family homes and five low-density apart- ment buildings where new local property owners have replaced absentee owners. Despite the harsh lending climate, they have been making changes that are increasing the area's walkability and attractiveness. The latest property to get facelift is 916 E 39th Street, (shown to the right) the long derelict three-story Belmar building at the northwest corner of Harrison and 39th. Old Hyde Park resident Aaron Clements is creating six market-rate, two-bedroom apartments to be offered in March. Clements’ company, Wyandotte Apartments, LLC purchased the building for $56,000 in September and he says he is putting in about $200,000 to restore the 1908 building's clawfoot bathtubs, woodwork, upgrade the electrical system and rebuild the brick wall that faces 39th Street. "It's the busiest street I've tried to market" , says Clements who is hoping a cosmetic overhaul and new amenities such as washer-dryers in each unit can command $650 a month rents. Clements' organization owns 3936 Har- Inside rison in South Hyde Park and multiple properties in Old Hyde Park. He considers 3700 Washington his flagship market rate rental building. An interview with Sly James Continued on page 3
  2. 2. PAGE 2 THE HYDE PARKER VOLUME 37, ISSUE 1 December/January HPNA member honor roll Each month we recognize new and renewing Hyde Park Neighborhood Association members. Several levels are available. See our website for details. New Households Jeffrey Psota; Jeff and Maria Smith Patrons Stephen Metzler & Brian Williams; Angela Splittgerber & Justin Azbill; Pam & Jeffrey Gard; Edwin Gladbach & Kevin O’Brien Renewing Households Mark Shaprio & Lynn Anderson; Nancy & Ross Lowdon; Edna Wethy; Warren & Nancy Green; Bill & Margeret Jonte; William Mathis II; Ethan & Heidi White- hill; P Mitchell & Cindy S. Woolery; Richard A. Nichols; M.M. Carter & Brenda Swinney; Stephanie Smith; Chris Harper & Amanda Loflin; DeAnne Bloom- quist; Russell & Phoenix Criswell; Robert & Ann Donovan; Bill & Susan Ford; Terri Hiebert & Rhonda Reist; Alan Johnson & Shannon Hoffman; Ann & Frank Uryasz; Charles William & Robert Lawrence; Cindy & Mike Witner Calendar of Upcoming Winter heating tip: A shade of difference Events Did you know that window shades are more effective in reducing heat loss than venetian blinds and lined draperies? Shades can prevent the Through Jan. 20 escape of as much as 31% of the heat lost through windows. From Shoals in Time Source: The Old-House Journal Seashell-theme art exhibit; Community Christian Church, 4601 Main St. FREE Hyde Park: Through Jan .23 For a time, a History exhibit 75th years of The mother of mayors National Archives (400 West Pershing) FREE Three Hyde Parkers served as mayor of Kansas City between February 6 1908 and 1924, the era just prior Chinese New Year Celebration to the city charter that created Nelson-Atkins Museum the current mayor-city manager power structure. The structure Through Feb. 21 has been credited as one mecha- Photography exhibit Hide & Seek: nism that expanded the power of Democratic political boss Tom Picturing Childhood Nelson-Atkins Pendergast. All three men Museum FREE served only one term. Tom Crittenden Jr, KC’s mayor 100 years ago Here’s who they were, where they lived and when they served: Congratulations to new HPNA board members! Thomas J. Crittenden Jr., 711 Manheim Road, 1908 to 1909, The following HPNA members were elected Democrat; Son of a former Missouri governor, Born near Springfield, to the respective positions below at last Illinois month’s general membership meeting. George H. Edwards, 3533 Harrison Boulevard, 1916 to 1918, Re- Kevin Sullivan – First Vice President publican. Manager of Edwards & Sloane Jewelry, born in St. Louis Clara Keller – Treasurer Frank H. Cromwell, born on a farm that was once at 39th and Har- Abigail FitzGerald – North Hyde Park Repre- rison Streets, 1922 to 1924, Democrat; Engineering surveyor and a sentative salesman for a butter and egg company. His company went out of Rikki Honnold-Helvick – South Hyde Park business in the stock market crash of 1929. Representative Ben Nemenoff – Central Hyde Park Repre- Also, Darius A. Brown , one-term mayor from 1910 to 1911, lived in sentative Old Hyde Park at 3641 Wyandotte St.. A Republican, he was a city attorney and judge.
  3. 3. PAGE 3 THE HYDE PARKER VOLUME 37, ISSUE 1 Walking and sliding in a winter wonderland In the aftermath of one of Kansas City’s worst blizzards in years, some Hyde Parkers took time out to enjoy the snow sunshine and scenery on New Year’s Eve. The Hollingsworth family rides on the hill near Notre Dame de Sion school while a couple walks hand-in-hand toward the Gillham/Harrison/39th Street intersection. . 39th Street’s road to revival Continued from page 1 The most visible work on 39th -- the crossroads of Central and South Hyde Park -- has been at century-old single- family homes -- notably 3900 Holmes and 3900 Charlotte (photo at right), both of which are now owner-occupied after many years of vacancy. In December 2008, Robert and Lezlie Paden of 3902 Charlotte closed on the shirtwaist next door, 3900 Char- lotte, at the 39th street corner lot. Lezlie had bought 3902 just two years earlier and had remodeled when opportu- nity knocked. The owner next door wanted to sell. The timing was tricky, though. The couple secured financing Other properties along the block are also showing sales ac- from Citimortgage just a few weeks after its banking par- tivity, and improvements. A third property -a cedar-shake ent required a federal bailout under the government's bungalow at 701 East 39th - is being remodeled after Holmes Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Street apartment owner Sue McCann acquired it in a foreclo- sure sale from a California lender. Other South Hyde Park A block away, at 3900 Holmes, Sarah Roman and Ronald side bungalows between Charlotte and Campbell and arts Garriss had also moved in as the stock market was plung- and crafts style-homes between Kenwood and Holmes have ing. They purchased their home on Nov. 12, 2008 buying had facelifts in the past year, too. a completely renovated two-and half-story property that DZ Investments had acquired as a vacant shell in Janu- At a glance ary 2007. DZ's improvements included rebuilding a sec- ond-story deck that faces Holmes and removing an old 39th St. from Harrison to Gillham Rd: chain link fence that surrounded the 39th Street side of 19 single-family homes, one vacant Five blocks, eight Metro bus stops the house. 3 low-density apartment buildings, 2 duplexes Mature trees: Oaks, walnuts, magnolia, lilac Since closing on Dec. 1, 2008, the Padens have been build- Architectural styles: Center hall colonial, arts & crafts, bun- ing a new retaining wall at 3900, replacing windows and galow, tudor, four square, shirtwaist a deck, adding fencing and a painting scheme that has Other properties: commercial, none; one church (St. James); brightened the entire Charlotte-39th intersection. one KC Parks & Recreation building Housing built: 1905 to 1920, most in 1908 Further west this past year, volunteers from the Hyde Speed limit: 30 miles per hour Park Neighborhood Association cleared brush along 39th Range of 2009 annual property taxes: $800 to $3,850 along the parkway hillside overlooking Harrison Boule- Source: Jackson County web site vard. For the first time in decades, homeowners south and west of the park have unobstructed park views.
  4. 4. VOLUME 37, ISSUE 1 THE HYDE PARKER PAGE 4 An interview with Sly James Can a Hyde Park lawyer help Kansas City sing? Recently, Hyde Parker Editor Mark Dillon met with personal injury attorney and Hyde Park resident Sly James at Mama's Restaurant to learn James' views on issues affecting our neighborhood. The story that fol- lows inside is the first of a series providing insight and perspective on KC’s mayoral candidates, including Mayor Mark Funkhouser and former Councilman Mi- chael Burke. In order to provide insight on issues rele- vant to Hyde Park, we anticipate providing these dis- cussions in forthcoming publications. The profile that follows is for informational purposes only. Neither The Hyde Parker nor the Hyde Park Neighborhood Associa- tion has endorsed any mayoral candidate. Sly James doesn't have to go far from his Manheim Road home to see the challenges facing Kansas City. Just three doors from his stone porch is a large, long vacant single- family home. Three blocks to the north is Armour Boulevard. Three blocks to the east is Troost Avenue. A few blocks west is Westport High School. It's a much different city than when the 58-year-old first moved to Hyde Park in 1969 to an apartment at the south- west corner of Holmes and 39th Street. Back then he was Sly James poses at his downtown law office, de- just out of high school and a singer in a rock band that signed by Hyde Park architect Craig Shaw. opened for Jefferson Airplane. The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl that year, which was also the Royals' inaugural season. Outgoing, usually wearing a flawless suit, James drives a 2009 black Lincoln MKS sedan. His house usually has more Today supporters of James' 2011 mayoral candidacy and Christmas lights than most along Harrison Parkway, and at those of his rivals, Northlander Mike Burke and incumbent night it accents the century-old stone colonial he's called home Mark Funkhouser of Brookside, might agree that whomever for the past 13 years as well as any storefront along Country wins has to create and execute a strategy for working to- Club Plaza. A sign for the Barstow Knights where his gether after a period of acrimony and litigation. teenage daughter, one of four children, goes to school, is on the front steps. Strategy: Accountability without micro-management “We were looking for diversity, a Over breakfast, James outlined his proposed approach to stable environment and good people. governance, one that seems to blend the tenacity of a litiga- tor with the disciplined goal-setting of a Marine Corps ser- We’ve found Hyde Park to be the geant. His overall philosophy: Create clear plans and objec- tives, foster a sense of ownership among public stakeholders perfect neighborhood.” and consistently follow through. "It's all about creating consensus, building a sound process and delivering results" James says. "We've got to hold An unconventional career path people accountable, and be accountable. Our division of re- sponsibilities between the mayor, the council and city man- James' background suggests someone who can negotiate with ager has hurt us. We've got to make good choices without the powers that be at The Capital Grille, but is equally com- micro-managing.'' fortable chatting with staff at a diner like Mama's. The steak- house of his youth was the Black Angus at 60th and Troost, Does that mean he's in favor of a structurally stronger where his father was a chef. His family lived at 81th and mayor's office and replacing the form of city government Holmes before moving to a three-block stretch of Hyde Park that's been in place since 1924? Perhaps, but he says not at that has elected three mayors. “We really wanted to be in Mid- the expense of getting lost in an argument over structure town,” James says. “We were looking for diversity, a stable and division of power. There's too much to do, James says. environment and good people. We’ve found Hyde Park to be the perfect neighborhood. There’s easy access to everything.” Continued on page 5
  5. 5. VOLUME 37, ISSUE 1 THE HYDE PARKER PAGE 5 Armour comes alive with the sound of music A children’s choir sings at the footstops of Clyde Manor on Dec. 15. It’s one of sev- eral apartment build- ings along Armour Boulevard that MAC Properties is restoring into market-rate rental housing. MAC, based in Chicago’s Hyde Park, sponsored the caroling festival and hopes to make it an annual event. Breaking barriers, A housing policy based on three "E"s building trust Continued from page 4 Perceived housing neglect and lack of security are the fore- most issues on the minds of many Hyde Parkers these days. While James’ ties are local, his life perspective is global. His Violent crime around high-density apartments has generated path is unconventional. He gave up the band scene in 1971 to the most concern, but code enforcement and property crime enlist in the Marines during the Vietnam War, and served in issues for single-family homes abound as well, marring even Japan and the Philippines as a military policeman, or MP. James' own block. James says the city lacks a comprehensive He came back to KC four years later to get his bachelor's de- housing policy. The absence of clear standards, goals and gree in English at Rockhurst College at age 28. Law school at objectives has contributed to both the relatively high concen- Syracuse University in New York and the University of Min- tration of low-income rental housing along Armour Boule- nesota in Minneapolis followed. vard and an inability to effectively address unsafe single- family properties, he says. James says he agrees with On New Year's Day 1990, James became the first African- HPNA’s belief that current level of Section 8 apartment con- American partner at Kansas City's Blackwell Sanders law centration along Armour is inappropriate public policy. firm. Breaking down barriers created by political infighting and regional parochialism is something he's says he'd like to A combination of increased resident education, new employ- do at City Hall. ment opportunities and stepped up enforcement — 3 “E”s — may begin to change the current environment and reduce "In many ways, we treat State Line Road as if it were the crime, James says. He also wants to break down a long- Berlin Wall. I say we tear down all the walls we have -- standing communication barrier both the city and state have between Missouri and Kansas, between the two sides of had with the Kansas City, Kansas office of the U.S. Depart- Troost, between the City Council and the Mayor, between the ment of Housing and Urban Development. James says he Mayor and the City Manager, between the City Manager and would push for the appointment of a new regional director to department heads" James says. fill the currently vacant spot. Regional dialogue and cooperation (something Funkhouser "Government has to be willing to change" by proactively lis- has also advocated) is essential to helping revive economic tening to what residents in affected buildings have to say, growth, creating jobs and being competitive, James says. and develop a comprehensive action plan that values people's However, James says he would take the concept further and input, James says, adding that "imposing a solution doesn't reopen the City's International Affairs and Trade office, shut work. It just breeds resentment and pushback." On many down this past April amid budget cuts. issues "we need to be talking to each other to create trust" he says. Like Funkhouser in 2007, James is seeking his first elected office. His law office web site biography has a seven- Part Two of this interview will appear in a subsequent paragraph description of civic groups, non-profit boards and newsletter and will discuss the city's education, infra- economic development organizations that he's been involved structure, mass transit and budget issues. with over the years. His legal expertise has been in medical and nursing home negligence, legal malpractice and products liability.
  6. 6. Important Meetings Your Board Members President David Kimmis 561.7766 president@hydeparkkc.org Board Meetings: Second Monday of every month, 6:30 1st Vice Kevin Sullivan 913.231. 1stvp@hydeparkkc.org p.m., Pilgrim Chapel at 38th & Gillham President 4873 General Meetings: Third Tuesday of every month, 7:00 2nd Vice Kerrie Tyndall 561.7339 2ndvp@hydeparkkc.org President p.m., Central Presbyterian Church at 3501 Campbell Treasurer Clara Appel 960-4669 treasurer@hydeparkkc.org Crime and Safety Meetings: Last Thursday of every month, 7:00 p.m., at KCPD Central Patrol offices on Lin- Historian Pat Alley 531.7777 historian@hydeparkkc.org wood Avenue. (Third Thursdays of the month in Novem- Recording Chris Harper 547.7308 recordingsecretary@ ber and December) Talk informally with Police about is- Secretary hydeparkkc.org sues affecting your block. Police officers are assigned spe- Corresponding Gene Morgan 753.5336 correspondingsecretary@ cifically to Hyde Park. These officers can be reached at Secretary hydeparkkc.org 816.719.8297 daily. North Area Dan Mugg 531.0003 northrep@hydeparkkc.org Directors Abigail FitzGerald 913. The HP Playgroup: Every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. 231.4873 Check www.hydeparkkc.org for details. Central Area Terri Hiebert 756.3422 centralrep@hydeparkkc.org Directors Ben Nemenoff 665-5993 Friends of Gillham Park are holding their monthly meet- South Area Stephanie Smith 916-2783 southrep@hydeparkkc.org ings and park clean-ups on the last Saturday of each Directors Rikki 515 month. Check their website for information: Honnold-Helvick .577.2928 www.friendsofgillhampark.org. Share your viewpoint email editor@hydeparkkc.org or mglendillon@aol.com Kansas City, Mo 64171 P.O. Box 32551 Hyde Park Neighborhood Assoc., Inc. by the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association, Inc. The Hyde Parker is a monthly newsletter published PAGE 6 THE HYDE PARKER VOLUME 37, ISSUE 1