Our historic renovations and rehabilitations usually don’t include physically moving the building, but in the case of the Kansas City Young Matrons, we were more than happy to.
The Kansas City Young Matrons was established in 1917 as a club for young married women to develop their charitable, social and educational interests. In 1936, the KCYM opened their permanent clubhouse at 5100 Oak Street, near the University of Missouri Kansas City. The clubhouse was not only listed on the Kansas City Register of Historic Places in 1998, but it also held a special place of importance for Young Matrons members.
In 2015, plans were announced for a new mixed-use building that would bring vitality to the UMKC campus, but would require the elimination of the Young Matrons club house. Demolishing the house was not an option, given its historical significance and place on the historic register. We realized the best option for preserving the historic structure of the building was to physically move it into a new location.
The initial, and biggest, challenge was how to approach the clubhouse’s foundation at the new location. The original building was two levels: a ground floor and a finished basement. We had to make sure that the new foundation exactly matched the base of the original building. We took numerous measurements and created drawings that specified not only the foundation but also an addition.
Our designs were submitted to the city for approval and then construction of the new site foundation began. As we began deconstructing the original clubhouse, we uncovered unexpected architectural details that required us to make last-minute alterations to the new site. Once we were sure we had accounted for every variance, we began to slowly raise the clubhouse up a little each day. Within several weeks, the house had reached an elevation that would allow the it to seamlessly receive the flatbed carts that would transport it. On “moving day,” these carts, controlled remotely, moved the original clubhouse slowly down the 0.3-mile route to its new location.
On April 29, 2016, the relocation and the addition received historic status from the Kansas City Historic Preservation Committee. We are proud to have been a part of making sure this historic building will continue to be a part of the community for generations to come.
To see KMBC’s coverage of the move, watch here.