This post is one in a series from my “Armchair Tour of Kansas City”. For context you may click on this link to be redirected to the series Introduction: “Armchair Tour Intro”
Robert Long (1850-1934)
Robert Alexander Long was a lumber baron who established the Long- Bell Lumber Company which was the largest lumber company in the world in the early 20th Century. His holdings included 61 lumber mills and over 500,000 acres of forestland across the United States. He spent most of his life in Kansas City.
Named for Nathan Scarritt (1821-1890), a Methodist minister who taught the Native Americans for many years, this historic district is located high on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River east of downtown. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the City, and in it’s day was the most affluent.
Today over 6,000 Kansas Citians reside in this neighborhood. The area includes hundreds of acres of parkland, wooded hiking trails, and stately mansions from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.
Scarritt Point stands above and in stark contrast to the poor and industrial lower east bottoms.
It was on 3 acres located upon Scarritt Point that Robert A. Long built his monumental “city mansion” in 1911.
It was named “Corinthian Hall” due to the mansion’s large Corinthian columns. Construction required the relocation of two other mansions that were on the site.
Those mansions remain in the vicinity as private homes. The acquisition of the grounds, relocation of the 2 pre-existing mansions, construction of the home, 2 story carriage house and stables (the largest within the city),
reportedly cost over 25 million dollars (2020 equivalent). The 35,000 square foot 72 room French Renaissance structure has been the home of the Kansas City Museum and its collection of over 100,000 artifacts of local and regional history since 1940.
The Museum is currently undergoing an extensive renovation but is scheduled to reopen later this year.
Here are a few historical photos of the mansion’s interior:
In 1913 Robert Long established his Longview Farm and Mansion on the distant outskirts of Kansas City. The 2,000 acre farm had 50 buildings, 250 acres of manicured lawn, gardens, and 4 greenhouses. Construction of the farm took only 18 months but engaged over 2,000 laborers. Craftsmen included 200 Italian stonemasons. The farmstead mansion measured 22,000 square feet with 48 rooms. Long built the farm in part because the stables located at his Scarritt Point mansion (Corinthian Hall) were suitable only for a few dozen of his nearly 200 prized horses.
One feature of the farm that is dear to my heart is the 1915 Longview Chapel.
It was within that chapel that I married Christine in 1977.
At the end of this post are images from a number of information boards for those who wish to delve deeper. Hopefully the resolution will allow them to be read.
Next: Part 9, “Pleasant Day Outings and CPR for the Spirit”
Peace Everyone. Pete