Couple leads effort to renovate historic Jazz District castle

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - After 40 years of sitting empty and in ruins, an historic castle in the 18th and Vine Jazz District is being renovated.

Ebony Burnside and Daniel Edward spearheaded the project. They invested their own money, and with a Community Development Corporation grant along with private donations, they were able to begin the renovation..

"A lot of people talk about doing something; but what I've found is that we need to just start doing something," said Daniel Edwards.

Six weeks after starting the project, more than 300 people have volunteered to help clear debris and remove graffiti. Because the building will be open to the community and include a community garden, Kansas City is helping clear overgrown bushes and trees from the grounds.

The castle at 20th and Vine was built in 1897. It used to be a city prison and the basement still has cells where inmates were housed. 

Ebony and Daniel will get married on Saturday at the castle. They're both under age 30 and used Facebook and social media to promote their vision. 

"I'm so excited about it and excited because in the future this facility will be used by the community for other events and to garden and enjoy the grounds and visit with each other," explained Ebony Burnside. 

Once the grounds are cleared and graffiti removed, then the water and electrical service needs to be restored. Some structural changes also have to be done. It will cost $3-million to finish phase one of the project.

You can see an automated artist's rendering of what the facility will look like by visiting their website.

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