Southmoor Gardens Neighborhood Association

Application to make Southmoor Garden's a Historic Neighborhood

Today is a historic day for Southmoor!

January 6, 2006 the city will be posting notices throughout our neighborhood advising that an application has been made to designate Southmoor as a historic neighborhood. Southmoor is the very first neighborhood in the history of Overland Park to be considered for this prestigious designation. Other neighborhoods are sure to follow, but Southmoor is the first!

Linda Hanson, a long-time resident of Southmoor filed the application asking the city to recognize Southmoor as a historic neighborhood. In this effort, she has worked closely with the Overland Park Historical Society, Florent Wagner, the renowned Overland Park Historian, and the owners of historic homes throughout Southmoor. Everyone has been incredibly supportive.

The rich and colorful history of Southmoor has been well documented over the years. Land purchases trace back to 1859 when a Shawnee Indian by the name of Red Carpenter began selling land to settlers. In 1909, William B. Strang, the founder of Overland Park, platted the area known as Southmoor. Today, our neighborhood boundaries remain exactly the same as in 1909. Several homes already existed when Strang platted the area which means they are over 100 years old! Many more are nearing the century mark.

Although many homes, including the one at 71st and Metcalf, deserve to be recognized as historic landmarks, this application DOES NOT seek that designation for anyone’s home. Instead, it seeks to designate Southmoor as a historic neighborhood. Many cities throughout the country have historic district and historic neighborhood classifications in their city ordinance. Overland Park does not. As a city, we have been preoccupied with growth and have not addressed this important issue… at least not until today.

What this will mean to the neighborhood

What will a historic neighborhood designation mean to the neighbors? Because the rules have not been written yet, it is hard to say. Cosmetically, street signs identifying the area as “Southmoor Historic Neighborhood” are likely. Perhaps the city will install more of the antique-looking streetlights like those on 69th Street east of Walmer.

More importantly, the city’s Landmark Commission will need to look at their current ordinances governing historic landmarks and decide which ones will apply to a new “historic neighborhood” classification. These ordinances could affect the neighbors. For example, if a neighbor wanted to demolish a historic home, or even a “somewhat historic” home, they may have to seek the Landmarks Commission’s approval. The Commission will be seeking neighborhood input, as they work through this important process.

Application Hearing Information

The application will be heard by the city’s Landmark Commission on Thursday, January 26, 3:30 p.m., at the Antioch Justice Center, 8500 Antioch, just west of city hall.

For more information contact Linda Hanson -

Posted by 6719 on 01/06/2006
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