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15,882
The Green Duck Tavern, KCMO was originally owned by Tim Moran who is said to have been a leader in the white political machine of the Tom Pendergast era. When Leon Jordan purchased the bar in 1955 he was an accomplished black lieutenant with the Kansas City Police Dept, & future legislator & civil rights activist. The Green Duck Tavern would become a base for independent black politics. It was there that Jordan & Bruce R. Watkins would form Freedom Inc., an organization that hand picked & helped elect their candidates to office just as Pendergast's political machine had done before.

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The Green Duck Tavern is located along a few blocks of Prospect Avenue among a cluster of businesses that included the Byron Hotel, where four men were killed in the KC riots following the April 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Leon Jordan would be killed just 27 months later in July 1970 by a shotgun blast outside his tavern. Jordan’s murder remained unsolved for more than 40 years until 2011 when KCPD released a report naming James "Doc" Dearborn, a former leader of Kansas City's Black Mafia, was the shooter. Another 80+ yr old former member of the Black Mafia ratted out Dearborn to get himself out of prison at his advanced age. Dearborn himself was the victim of an unsolved homicide in 1985. (Comedian Chris Rock plays a character loosely based on Dearborn in the FX television show Fargo).

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Jimmy Townsend was a longtime restaurateur a few blocks away near the Bryon Hotel & lived nearby. Townsend would be the eventual new owner of The Green Duck Tavern. Under his ownership & continuing restoration the Green Duck continued to be a center for civil rights politics. Townsend lobbied successfully to get the bar placed on the city’s register of historic places in September 2015. In December 2015, Jimmy Townsend was shot & killed outside of his residence, and the bar shut down after his death. He was 83 yrs old. His homicide remains unsolved.

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basbol13

A-List Customer
Messages
444
Location
Illinois
The old guy with the cane looks like Dr Who after a bad night out.
The sad thing about FLW was his designs were different, but as common knowledge among architects was that all his buildings leaked. Construction materials at the time were not up to the performance he needed out of them. It's my contention, and I worked in the building trades it's just like manufacturing the engineer designs the tool and the guy who tries to use it can't because there's a flaw in the design even though on paper to the engineer it's perfect. The same thinking holds true with FLW, without first hand knowledge of construction and what will or will not work, I don't care if you're the greatest architect in the world, a lot of your designs will fail. And that's what happened to FLW
I've been to Taliesin West in AZ and I can tell you first hand, at the time he built it he tried to put two pieces of plate glass together without any kind of sealer between thank god it was in AZ because if it wasn't it would leak like a sieve. Even with the sparse rain in AZ you could see the leakage. They must have use a case of silicone caulk to seal the glass. Like I said different designs, poor execution
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,904
Location
My mother's basement
^^^^^
FLW’s gift for self-promotion was at least the equal of his architectural talents. It’s true, as you say, that some of his designs failed in certain basic ways. Fallingwater, the famous Kaufmann residence in Pennsylvania, has needed extensive retrofitting to prevent it from falling into the water. His “textile block” houses in LA would have been demolished long ago had they not been FLW structures. They’ve been a nightmare to maintain.

He was, however, a true visionary. Several of his structures, such as the above-mentioned Fallingwater, are visually stunning. Almost all are truly elegant.
 
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15,882
IMPERIAL BREWERY, KANSAS CITY, MO


In the early 1800’s an influx into St Louis, MO of German immigrants brought the knowledge & love of light lager beer. Johann Adam Lemp arrived in St. Louis & began brewing lager beer in the 1840s. The light, easy-drinking lager beer quickly became the top-selling brew in the nation. Other German immigrants including Eberhard Anheuser & Adolphus Busch took notice. By 1870, St. Louis had at least 50 breweries.

Brewers began looking West for the next opportunity & Kansas City’s population boom showcased many possibilities. In 1850 Kansas City had a population of less than 6,000 & only two breweries. By 1890 the population was over 125,000 & grew to 200,000 by 1910…& 350 saloons.

F.H. Kump had arrived in 1859 & founded a soda manufacturing business. By 1867 he founded Kump Brewery which became one of the most successful breweries in Kansas City when sold to Ferd Heim in 1884 to become known as Ferd Heim Brewing Co. Other large brewers were George Muehlebach Brewing Co founded in 1868, & J.D. Iller Brewing Co in 1888, later operating under both the IIler & Rochester Brewing Co names. Still It was estimated that $2.5 million dollars per yr was spent by residents to purchase out-of-town brews from Milwaukee & St. Louis.

Opening in 1902 Imperial Brewery was the last pre-Prohibition brewery built in Kansas City. The brewery was said to have cost $150,000 & began brewing lager beer on-site in April of that yr.

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The Imperial Brewing Co. purchased malt from Wisconsin & Minnesota “where the best barley is grown” & spent $1 per pound for hops from Saaz, Austria. Soon the brewery was producing 300,000 barrels of beer a year under their labels of Mayflower & Imperial Seal.

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As is still common practice today, Imperial Brewing Co was financing local saloonkeepers, paying for leases of dozens of saloons around the city & had exclusive control over what beer was served. Their Mayflower & Imperial Seal lagers became wildly popular. In June 1902 Imperial Brewing landed a large contract with Fort Leavenworth’s Soldier’s Home for 7,000 barrels of beer annually. They may have overextended themselves. By 1905 the company was forced into bankruptcy & just prior to its folding, Kansas City Breweries Company (KCBCo) was the highest bidder for Imperial Brewing. KCBCo was a consortium of Ferd Heim Brewing Co., & J.D. Iler & Rochester Brewing Co. In addition to paying $99,500 for the brewery, the company took on the mortgages for a total of $424,500.

By 1910, the Imperial Brewing plant had new equipment added & a new name, the “Rochester Brewery ‘B’ Plant.” A year later, KCBCo had their best year ever producing 338,332 barrels of cold beer. Their labels included Heim Special, Rochester Bohemian, & Old Fashion Lager brewed from the Imperial plant. Old Fashion Lager was the company’s most successful label.

With the 18th Amendment & Prohibition in 1919 KCBCo including Rochester Brewery B Plant (Imperial Brewery) had to cease brewing beer. Prohibition devastated the brewing industry. The brewery began its new life by being transformed into a flour mill known as Seaboard Flour Co. It operated as a flour mill until 1985.

Owned by a commercial real estate developer today the property has survived one vagrant fire & stands in ruins today, but maybe not much longer. With the NFL draft & a World Cup coming to Kansas City the politicians are putting full pressure on the owner to demolish what they see as an eyesore rather than pre-Prohibition history .

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Sorry for the lengthy post.
 
Messages
15,815
Location
New York City
IMPERIAL BREWERY, KANSAS CITY, MO


In the early 1800’s an influx into St Louis, MO of German immigrants brought the knowledge & love of light lager beer. Johann Adam Lemp arrived in St. Louis & began brewing lager beer in the 1840s. The light, easy-drinking lager beer quickly became the top-selling brew in the nation. Other German immigrants including Eberhard Anheuser & Adolphus Busch took notice. By 1870, St. Louis had at least 50 breweries.

Brewers began looking West for the next opportunity & Kansas City’s population boom showcased many possibilities. In 1850 Kansas City had a population of less than 6,000 & only two breweries. By 1890 the population was over 125,000 & grew to 200,000 by 1910…& 350 saloons.

F.H. Kump had arrived in 1859 & founded a soda manufacturing business. By 1867 he founded Kump Brewery which became one of the most successful breweries in Kansas City when sold to Ferd Heim in 1884 to become known as Ferd Heim Brewing Co. Other large brewers were George Muehlebach Brewing Co founded in 1868, & J.D. Iller Brewing Co in 1888, later operating under both the IIler & Rochester Brewing Co names. Still It was estimated that $2.5 million dollars per yr was spent by residents to purchase out-of-town brews from Milwaukee & St. Louis.

Opening in 1902 Imperial Brewery was the last pre-Prohibition brewery built in Kansas City. The brewery was said to have cost $150,000 & began brewing lager beer on-site in April of that yr.

View attachment 443972


The Imperial Brewing Co. purchased malt from Wisconsin & Minnesota “where the best barley is grown” & spent $1 per pound for hops from Saaz, Austria. Soon the brewery was producing 300,000 barrels of beer a year under their labels of Mayflower & Imperial Seal.

View attachment 443970

As is still common practice today, Imperial Brewing Co was financing local saloonkeepers, paying for leases of dozens of saloons around the city & had exclusive control over what beer was served. Their Mayflower & Imperial Seal lagers became wildly popular. In June 1902 Imperial Brewing landed a large contract with Fort Leavenworth’s Soldier’s Home for 7,000 barrels of beer annually. They may have overextended themselves. By 1905 the company was forced into bankruptcy & just prior to its folding, Kansas City Breweries Company (KCBCo) was the highest bidder for Imperial Brewing. KCBCo was a consortium of Ferd Heim Brewing Co., & J.D. Iler & Rochester Brewing Co. In addition to paying $99,500 for the brewery, the company took on the mortgages for a total of $424,500.

By 1910, the Imperial Brewing plant had new equipment added & a new name, the “Rochester Brewery ‘B’ Plant.” A year later, KCBCo had their best year ever producing 338,332 barrels of cold beer. Their labels included Heim Special, Rochester Bohemian, & Old Fashion Lager brewed from the Imperial plant. Old Fashion Lager was the company’s most successful label.

With the 18th Amendment & Prohibition in 1919 KCBCo including Rochester Brewery B Plant (Imperial Brewery) had to cease brewing beer. Prohibition devastated the brewing industry. The brewery began its new life by being transformed into a flour mill known as Seaboard Flour Co. It operated as a flour mill until 1985.

Owned by a commercial real estate developer today the property has survived one vagrant fire & stands in ruins today, but maybe not much longer. With the NFL draft & a World Cup coming to Kansas City the politicians are putting full pressure on the owner to demolish what they see as an eyesore rather than pre-Prohibition history .

View attachment 443971

Sorry for the lengthy post.

Great post - enjoyed it very much. It's a shame that building can't be repurposed as many are (many also aren't) in NYC.
 
Messages
15,882
Great post - enjoyed it very much. It's a shame that building can't be repurposed as many are (many also aren't) in NYC.
Great post - enjoyed it very much. It's a shame that building can't be repurposed as many are (many also aren't) in NYC.
Thanks! Some yrs ago now when Boulevard Brewing was looking to expand their brewery they looked into rehabbing Imperial but ultimately the numbers didn’t work out.

The new born again J. Rieger & Co. has successfully rehabbed the old Ferd Heim Brewing’s bottling plant into a whiskey distillery & tasting room, open for tours.

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Red arrow marks the Heim bottling plant.
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Messages
15,882
Overlooking the Kaw River valley of Kansas City, on land originally patented by Shawnee Indian Thomas Bigknife & later sold to Col. J.L. Pritchard for a fruit farm, stands a brick mansion in ruins today that was once home to five generations of a German immigrant family from 1873 to 1954.

After being born in Germany Anton Sauer (1826-1879) first immigrated to Russia at the age of 15, where he worked as a bookkeeper & married for the first time at 17. During the mid-1850s, he & his wife immigrated with their 4 children to New York City. There his wife passed away & Anton’s health was not good either. Suffering from consumption it was suggested that the cleaner air of the west may benefit his condition. With his two sons, he first settled & worked in the freighting business in the Rocky Mountains, then later relocated & opened a tannery in Kansas City. He held interests in several steamboats on the Mississippi River & worked to build other business interests. By 1868 Anton was president of the German Savings Association & his two sons owned a grocery store. In 1869 he met Maria “Mary” Messerschmidt (1840-1919), a recently widowed 28-year-old mother of two daughters. They soon married & opted to start their own family.

After purchasing the 63 acres in 1870 Anton & Maria began planning construction of what would become known as Sauer Castle. The 2-1/2 story home with a 4-story tower was built on the old Shawnee Indian trace to the Santa Fe Trail. Completed in Aug 1873 the house cost $20,000 to build & $40,000 spent on the grounds including a barn, a 20’W x 120’L greenhouse, & a stone wine cellar 15’W x 35’L x 12’H. A cast iron fence enclosed the family yard consisting of a pergola for outdoor dining, a fountain with water piped from a nearby spring, a small garden & the unusual plants & trees planted about. Whenever Anton was outside in the summer he wore a gold mesh mask to cover his face & heavy felt chest pads that were thought to protect his lungs.

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Inside, the first floor was built on 14’H ceilings with 12’H windows. Each window required 7 yards of fabric for curtains. The entryway included a massive stairway with hand carved Rosewood cap & spindles. Underneath expensive rugs the wooden floors were made of alternating light Oak & dark Rosewood. The parlor featured Belgian lace curtains & an imported marble fireplace. Off the parlor in the music room was another marble fireplace & a grand piano. A few steps down & underneath all this was a large, deep wine cellar. The dining room was furnished with a marble-top dinning table & 24 chairs. Walls were covered with expensive paintings & religious icons. A system of bells on wires could be rung from any room in the house & signal the servants to the room where they were needed.

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The second floor held spacious bedrooms featuring solid walnut furniture with marble tops, lace curtains, & expensive rugs. The home was one of the first in the area to have running water; a hydraulic engine pump provided the house with hot & cold water from a spring on the property. A second-floor bathroom was equipped with an elaborate marble tub for bathing.

The third floor held the servant’s quarters & a small classroom for the children. A staircase ascended to the tower for a spectacular view of the KAW River valley.

Anton & Mary had four daughters together: Eva, Josephine, Clara, & Helen. In July of 1879 one-year-old Helen passed away in the home. Anton was bedridden in declining health. Knowing her own husband was close to death, Mary temporarily buried Helen in the garden on the property. Just a month & one day later on August 16, 1879, Anton Sauer passed away in the home from tuberculosis. He was 53 years old & left his 38-year-old wife, three young children, two stepdaughters & his four grown children behind. Helen & Anton were buried in Union Cemetery. Mary continued to live in the home & died there in 1919.

After a failed 18 month marriage Eva the oldest daughter (1870 - 1955) would wed for a second time, to John Seaman Perkins in 1907 & they would continue to live in the home with her mother, Mary. Their marriage would produce 3 children. After Mary’s passing, extensive renovations were done by Eva & John in 1923, & a swimming pool was added. On May 20, 1930 John Perkins shot himself in the head committing suicide in the upstairs bathroom.

The final death the Sauer Castle was witness to was in 1940 when Eva Perkins two-year-old granddaughter Cecilia Perkins, drowned in the pool while her mother was inside.

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Messages
15,815
Location
New York City
Overlooking the Kaw River valley of Kansas City, on land originally patented by Shawnee Indian Thomas Bigknife & later sold to Col. J.L. Pritchard for a fruit farm, stands a brick mansion in ruins today that was once home to five generations of a German immigrant family from 1873 to 1954.

After being born in Germany Anton Sauer (1826-1879) first immigrated to Russia at the age of 15, where he worked as a bookkeeper & married for the first time at 17. During the mid-1850s, he & his wife immigrated with their 4 children to New York City. There his wife passed away & Anton’s health was not good either. Suffering from consumption it was suggested that the cleaner air of the west may benefit his condition. With his two sons, he first settled & worked in the freighting business in the Rocky Mountains, then later relocated & opened a tannery in Kansas City. He held interests in several steamboats on the Mississippi River & worked to build other business interests. By 1868 Anton was president of the German Savings Association & his two sons owned a grocery store. In 1869 he met Maria “Mary” Messerschmidt (1840-1919), a recently widowed 28-year-old mother of two daughters. They soon married & opted to start their own family.

After purchasing the 63 acres in 1870 Anton & Maria began planning construction of what would become known as Sauer Castle. The 2-1/2 story home with a 4-story tower was built on the old Shawnee Indian trace to the Santa Fe Trail. Completed in Aug 1873 the house cost $20,000 to build & $40,000 spent on the grounds including a barn, a 20’W x 120’L greenhouse, & a stone wine cellar 15’W x 35’L x 12’H. A cast iron fence enclosed the family yard consisting of a pergola for outdoor dining, a fountain with water piped from a nearby spring, a small garden & the unusual plants & trees planted about. Whenever Anton was outside in the summer he wore a gold mesh mask to cover his face & heavy felt chest pads that were thought to protect his lungs.

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Inside, the first floor was built on 14’H ceilings with 12’H windows. Each window required 7 yards of fabric for curtains. The entryway included a massive stairway with hand carved Rosewood cap & spindles. Underneath expensive rugs the wooden floors were made of alternating light Oak & dark Rosewood. The parlor featured Belgian lace curtains & an imported marble fireplace. Off the parlor in the music room was another marble fireplace & a grand piano. A few steps down & underneath all this was a large, deep wine cellar. The dining room was furnished with a marble-top dinning table & 24 chairs. Walls were covered with expensive paintings & religious icons. A system of bells on wires could be rung from any room in the house & signal the servants to the room where they were needed.

View attachment 444593

The second floor held spacious bedrooms featuring solid walnut furniture with marble tops, lace curtains, & expensive rugs. The home was one of the first in the area to have running water; a hydraulic engine pump provided the house with hot & cold water from a spring on the property. A second-floor bathroom was equipped with an elaborate marble tub for bathing.

The third floor held the servant’s quarters & a small classroom for the children. A staircase ascended to the tower for a spectacular view of the KAW River valley.

Anton & Mary had four daughters together: Eva, Josephine, Clara, & Helen. In July of 1879 one-year-old Helen passed away in the home. Anton was bedridden in declining health. Knowing her own husband was close to death, Mary temporarily buried Helen in the garden on the property. Just a month & one day later on August 16, 1879, Anton Sauer passed away in the home from tuberculosis. He was 53 years old & left his 38-year-old wife, three young children, two stepdaughters & his four grown children behind. Helen & Anton were buried in Union Cemetery. Mary continued to live in the home & died there in 1919.

After a failed 18 month marriage Eva the oldest daughter (1870 - 1955) would wed for a second time, to John Seaman Perkins in 1907 & they would continue to live in the home with her mother, Mary. Their marriage would produce 3 children. After Mary’s passing, extensive renovations were done by Eva & John in 1923, & a swimming pool was added. On May 20, 1930 John Perkins shot himself in the head committing suicide in the upstairs bathroom.

The final death the Sauer Castle was witness to was in 1940 when Eva Perkins two-year-old granddaughter Cecilia Perkins, drowned in the pool while her mother was inside.

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Great story and pics - thank you - and glad to see that it looks like the house is being saved.
 
Messages
15,882
Great story and pics - thank you - and glad to see that it looks like the house is being saved.
I’m not sure it will ever be restored. The current owner lives out of state, is a distant relative in the extended family, & has been saying for 20 yrs or more that he is going to restore it. He put it on the market once for $14M & most say it would take more than that to restore it. Last I read there is another family descendant who has taken him to court because the owner won’t even allow him inside or on the property.
 
Messages
15,815
Location
New York City
I’m not sure it will ever be restored. The current owner lives out of state, is a distant relative in the extended family, & has been saying for 20 yrs or more that he is going to restore it. He put it on the market once for $14M & most say it would take more than that to restore it. Last I read there is another family descendant who has taken him to court because the owner won’t even allow him inside or on the property.

That's the problem with so many of these historic buildings - the restoration cost is well beyond any economic benefit, so they need to be projects of love or funded by grants, gov't programs, etc.
 
Messages
15,882
That's the problem with so many of these historic buildings - the restoration cost is well beyond any economic benefit, so they need to be projects of love or funded by grants, gov't programs, etc.
The neighbors complain about all the traffic it brings thru their neighborhood & the lack of security. It has been vandalized frequently, & broken in to by ghost hunters & paranormal groups.
 

Bushman

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,031
Location
Joliet
I've discovered the beauty of the Chicago Cultural Center, which was formerly the main branch of the Chicago Public Library. This may become a frequent photo subject for me whenever I go to Chicago. Next place I'd like to explore is the Rookery.
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Messages
15,815
Location
New York City
I've discovered the beauty of the Chicago Cultural Center, which was formerly the main branch of the Chicago Public Library. This may become a frequent photo subject for me whenever I go to Chicago. Next place I'd like to explore is the Rookery.
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BqKzw21.png

DcDrpHg.png

1N8K5rP.png

Beautiful building and pics - thank you for posting them. That staircase looks familiar (I know I've never been in the building), which makes me wonder if Hollywood has used this stunning interior for period movies.
 
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