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This installment of “What’s Your KCQ” is a story of gambling, gangsters, and geography. Reader William Renegar wanted to know, “Was there once a gambling establishment on Southwest Boulevard on the state line that was part in Kansas and part in Missouri?” There’s a story in his family about a relative, Fred Renegar, who supposedly ran a saloon on the state line before he was killed by the mob over an unsettled debt. His murder was never solved. William Renegar wondered if there was any truth to it. Our findings indicate: Yes, it’s all true.
Driving the stretch of Interstate 70 over the Blue River, a few minutes east of the Truman Sports Complex, the railroad tracks and warehouses to the south provide a glimpse of the industrial neighborhood of Leeds. An alternate route to the sports complex, along Stadium Drive, takes you to the heart of the district once considered a suburb of Kansas City. Former Leeds resident Christene Sharp reached out to "What’s Your KC Q?" to ask about the town’s history.
Carol Rothwell has driven past the sprawling mansion in Grandview on her way to church every Sunday for more than 10 years. A wrought-iron fence surrounds the 96-acre property. A winding gravel path leads past the red "no trespassing" signs on the gate, up a hill, past a pond and a thicket of trees, arriving at a mostly finished white stucco mansion with a red roof.
Municipal Stadium, opened in 1923 at Brooklyn Avenue and 22nd Street, was the original home for the Chiefs and baseball’s Athletics. But as part of the NFL-AFL merger set for 1970, teams were required to have 50,000-seat stadiums. Municipal held about 40,000.
Maybe you’ve noticed the old concrete structures near the Town of Kansas Bridge in Berkley Riverfront Park. Both Kyle Romine and Joel Verhagen have, and separately raised the question to What’s Your KC Q: How were they once used?
In June we asked readers which Kansas City-centric question we should answer in our series “What’s your KCQ?” in partnership with the Kansas City Star. Westport tied for the winning question. The other top vote-getter — about the old road remnants near the Town of Kansas — will be answered soon.
In this week’s installment of “What’s Your KCQ?” — a series in which we partner with the Kansas City Star to answer reader questions — we dive into a submission from Bill Johnson. He noticed some Egyptian looking objects in some photographs of Union Station from the 1920s and wondered why they were there.
Conceived as a ploy to bring customers to visit the Heim Brewing Company in 1899, the original Electric Park at Chestnut and Guinotte streets grew into an attraction in its own right. Each night, the 100,000 lights that gave the park its name illuminated a roller coaster, scenic railway, carousel, skating rink, swimming pool, bowling alley, alligator farm, dime museum, theaters, dance pavilions, bandstand, penny arcade, shooting gallery, flower beds, lake, and rental boats. Most alluring were the nightly performances of costumed young women who danced to a colorful electric light show on a platform in a large fountain in the center of the lake. Sometimes known as Kansas City's Coney Island, it served as the city's greatest amusement park for nearly two decades.
Every once in a while, the Kansas City skyline lights up in brilliant, seemingly coordinated hues — like everyone got together to make the city shine. Reader Joel Jackson was wondering just how this was possible, so he submitted this question to our "What’s Your KCQ?" series: "How does the Kansas City skyline’s lights get coordinated for special occasions, and which buildings participate?"
Since The Kansas City Public Library launched "What’s your KCQ?" last October in partnership with the Kansas City Star , we’ve answered many reader-submitted questions about Kansas City’s history, traditions and quirks.
In recent months, we’ve explored how Kansas Citians used to travel between downtown and West Bottoms, if a reader’s father did really pay a nickel to see a giant whale in Kansas City in the 1950s — Long story short, the whale’s name was Winnie. — and why Kansas City has a bridge to nowhere.