When the early Saints came here to Jackson County, they were told by revelation to purchase the ground that they would occupy. I have been able to determine that they really did buy a lot of land. It was all over the county, not just near Independence. In fact, Bishop Edward Partridge took title to over 1,200 acres of ground that is now in Kansas City. Today it is some of the highest prized land in the city.
We took an afternoon yesterday and walked along the little river area that is called "The Plaza", really The Country Club Plaza. All of this land was purchased by Bishop Partridge from the United States government.
This plaza was a joint project by the Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Kansas City, Missouri. It is partially for flood control, and also for beautification. This is near where the "Bare Naked Indian" is that I wrote about earlier.
You have to love the Army Corps of Engineers (unless you are a developer, or have been one, like I have been, and then you HAVE to love the Army or Corps of Engineers, OR ELSE!). Hey. General Robert E. Lee was in the Corps. He removed a serious rapids in the Mississippi River near Nauvoo and then sold a paddle boat to Joseph Smith and others, including Peter Haws. That ship hit a snag and was destroyed and Joseph and the others could not make the payments. But that is another story.
The Corps made a very nice plaza along this little river. Then the city developed the land into a shopping/dining/entertainment center. Perhaps the best area of the City of KCMO. And it was all once owned by Mormons.
Some of the land was deeded to Alexander Doniphan in payment for legal fees. He held it for several years and then sold it. Faithful readers of this blog will remember that Joseph Smith warned Alexander not to take this land as one day it would be worthless. He was referring to the calamity after the Civil War. Now it is as valuable as the "Strip"in Las Vegas.
Well we did get even, in an odd sort of way. In 1978, the Church leaders came here to the Missouri area and purchased at a good price over 5,000 acres of raw land for investment purposes. This land is between I-435 and 291 highway and is north of the Missouri River. Some of it has been developed into retail and residential and much is still raw ground. Today the Kansas City Temple sits on a small part of this purchase, as does the Liberty Stake Center. I have also learned that we have purchased a big chunk near Blue Springs. We also bought the Haun's mill farm land from the RLDS. That was a big purchase.
The word here is that the Church is the biggest private land owner in the State of Missouri. I found that we hold that same title for the State of Florida.
We went to a big art museum. It was pretty interesting, but like most of these museums, you get overwhelmed pretty fast.
Everywhere you see the name Kaufman. I found that after World War II, Ewing Kaufman started a drug company called Marion Pharmaceuticals. When he merged with Dow, it is reported that over 300 local residents became millionaires. He is the owner of the Royals, and the benefactor of a lot of things here. Along the river we saw a beautiful garden that is next to the foundation headquarters. There is another big garden about 35 miles from here that they have planted that we will go see later.
Yesterday after cleaning the apartment and doing our "P" day chores the sun was shinning and we decided to go downtown and walk around the Plaza area. We love the walking path all along the river that runs through the downtown of Kansas City.
The bridges are beautiful and the fountains in the middle of the river make it feel so alive.
All along the river and the downtown area are beautiful water fountains. They still are not running because it is cold outside but we are hoping that they will be turned-on soon. We did take a few pictures of the magnificent sculptures.
Kansas City has a famous art museum. We decided to take a few hours and visit it while we were walking around the Plaza area.
The museum is the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. There is a huge lawn out in front of the Museum. In the 1990's a husband and wife artist team were commissioned to sculpture some art for the outdoor area.
These are some of the pieces in the park surrounding the museum. The badminton birdies where the most interesting.
The museum also has the famous sculpture "The Thinker". I love this picture of Greg. He truly is the thinker in a nutshell.
Kansas City has so much to offer. I had no idea of all of the interesting places, people, and things associated with Kansas City. It has been a real education being here for the history of the Church and for the history of this great area.
There are lots of beautiful homes in this area. Some are older and some are newer. Stone is plentiful here so a lot of the older homes are made out of stone.
This stainless steel metal tree was so hard to build. It illustrates how miraculous a real tree is as it holds so much weight.
We are not too sure what these are or what they represent, but to be sure, an artist was paid a lot of money to make them.
There are a bunch of bunnies along the Plaza. So, along with Kansas City, we wish everyone a Happy Easter Season!