Just up the hill from Hyde Park and east of the Plaza is Southmoreland, home of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kansas City Art Institute and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art along with beautiful parks, high rise condominium buildings and beautiful old homes
Established in the late 1800’s by Kansas City businessmen it soon attracted working class families who moved to the area after the streetcar line was built between downtown Kansas City and the neighborhood.
Colonial Revival mansions and Arts & Crafts style cottages are just a few of the of the many styles of architecture that line the streets in Southmoreland. Like many midtown neighborhoods, after WW ll many of the larger homes were converted into apartments because of the housing shortage but have since been restored.
One of the finest homes in Southmoreland is the Stickelber mansion at 4335 McGee. It was built in 1912 and offers three levels of living with approximately 9000 square feet of living space. The main floor and second floor share the same footprint and the third floor was converted to a penthouse apartment with a large living area, kitchen plus two bedrooms. The house recently went under contract and is listed with Cynthia Sifers, Robbie Smart and Chris Smart.
At 4525 Oak sits the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Considered one of the top art museums in the United States, the Nelson-Atkins features one of America’s finest collections of Asian art, as well as extensive collection of American, American Indian, Egyptian, and European art. The Steven Holl-designed Bloch Building contains galleries of contemporary and African art, photography and special exhibits. Be sure to stroll the grounds at dusk to see the beautiful Bloch Building all lit up and the reflection pool on the north side of the museum.
The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is located at 4420 Warwick and opened October 2, 1994. The Kemper boast a growing collection of modern and contemporary art and the building is a work of art as well. Designed by Gunnar Birkerts, a large atrium, central to the Kemper, culminates in an articulated skylight 22 feet high and extended from either side of the atrium are two wings. The main gallery features selections from the permanent collection and is used for changing exhibitions and the smaller galleries feature rotating exhibitions. And don’t forget to dine at the fabulous Cafe Sabastienne for lunch or dinner, it’s out of this world.
Directly to the east of the Kemper is the Kansas City Art Institute at 4415 Warwick. this distinguished four-year college of art and design has had many notable names associated with the school including Walt Disney, Thomas hart Benton, multimedia artist Robert Rauschenbuer and sculptor Robert Morris.
As You Like It will be performed at the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival June 18 through July 7 in Southmoreland Park, more on the festival to come.
Before moving to Hyde Park, I lived in this terrific neighborhood and spent many hours on the Nelson lawn with my dogs. It’s a great neighborhood to explore and enjoy all of its surroundings.