Plans stalled for future of historic Kansas City barn

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The century-old limestone barn on the corner of 39th and Gillham needs a new life; however, that is no easy task. Dona Boley said she has been working with hundreds of her neighbors for more than a decade to keep the barn in the middle of the city.

"It is a little bit of a struggle because we still want to maintain the historic structure," she said.

City leaders said it is no easy sell. In fact, the park property can't be sold at all without a vote of the people. Parks and Recreation Department officials are in the middle of trying to get the building designated as a historic property. That might open up some federal funding because the city budget doesn't include the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to bring the barn back.

"We put a new roof on it," Dave Burke said, pointing to the south side of the stables. In the last six months, about $50,000 has been spent to keep the building from getting worse, including landscaping and boarding up windows to prevent vandals.

City officials aren't going through another formal proposal process while they await completion of the historic designation process, but said they are always open to any ideas.

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