Harry Jacobs’ American Dream

(originally published 2/20/20) I first heard of Harry Jacobs while researching the old Brookside Theatre. That was Harry’s building, his “baby” as he called it, until 1978 when it burned to the ground and broke a piece of Harry’s heart. But Harry’s heart, his humor and his boot-strapping philosophy were all intact and in fullContinue reading “Harry Jacobs’ American Dream”

Kansas City Park Series – #5 (Final): Swope Park – A Park for the Whole City

(originally published 8/29/19) Kansas Citians started asking for city parks around the mid 1870s, which makes sense, considering that this was the beginning of Kansas City’s railroad, stockyard and industrial growth. The city’s population was growing, too, so much so that any sense of open space in Kansas City’s early footprint (today’s downtown and oldContinue reading “Kansas City Park Series – #5 (Final): Swope Park – A Park for the Whole City”

The Independence Day Popsicle Parade

(originally published 6/27/19) On the surface, history and tradition might seem opposites. History is the record of the past, static and fixed. Tradition continues and evolves. But the truth is, traditions are history as performance art. Tradition brings history into our lives, connecting who we once were to who we are today. In some cases,Continue reading “The Independence Day Popsicle Parade”

Finding Waldo’s Shadier Side

(originally published 6/20/19) A quick bit of backstory – The southern city limits of Kansas City moved from 47th to 77th Street in 1909, taking in the northern part of today’s Waldo. But Waldo as a community had been around since 1841, so there were already many businesses along Wornall Road, at least as farContinue reading “Finding Waldo’s Shadier Side”

Step into Spring: The Plaza Walking Tour

(originally published 3/21/19) A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of working on a project to create a “walking guide” for the Country Club Plaza. Historic Kansas City led the efforts of a group that included journalists, academics, architectural experts, HKC leadership… and me, and created a beautiful full-color booklet, with something forContinue reading “Step into Spring: The Plaza Walking Tour”