Demolition Coming Soon for Donaldson House

The Donaldson House has a large stone porch with a conical roof.

General Info
  • Built: 1901
  • Location: 4347 Oak Street, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Size:  Two and a half stories
  • Listed on NRHP? No
  • Listed on Kansas City Historic Registry? No
  • Current Use: Abandoned
  • Prior Uses: Residence (1901 – 1967), offices and studios (1967 – 1994?)
  • Owners: Unknown (1901 – 1939), Mr. and Mrs. Lewin W. Donaldson (1939 – 1967), Kansas City Art Institute (1967 – 2012)

Time is winding down for a potential saving of the Donaldson House. Finally a victim of KCAI expansion, the house will be torn down next month unless someone buys it for $1 and spends loads more moving it to a nice empty lot somewhere else in the city.

Why would this house be worth saving? It’s in a historic district (Southmoreland), which has plenty of other houses that people are investing in and rehabbing. See the picture of the house next door for proof of the neighborhood’s dedication to preservation. It’s a unique house. Where else in Kansas City have you seen slate shingles or a stone porch with a conical roof? It’s a house that looks great on the outside, but has a future that looks anything except great.

I can find evidence that the house was used as a temporary studio as late as 1994, and KCAI considered renovation as late as 2006, but other than that, I can find little information about the house.

Here are some pictures I took earlier this month. Surprisingly, there was still a light on outside the house, so it still has electricity.

The front of the house shows that the first floor has been boarded up.

This is the house right next door, which is undergoing extensive renovation.

Another view of the front.

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