Fox & Pearl: Kansas City, MO

Year:

1907

Located adjacent to the West Bottoms industrial district, Kansas City’s Westside neighborhood has long been occupied by working class immigrants. Since the 1920s the neighborhood’s dominant cultural group has been Mexican Americans, who initially migrated to Kansas City in the 1910s escaping the turmoil of the Mexican Revolution. The neighborhood is dotted with Catholic churches, Latino cultural organizations, and Mexican American owned businesses.

This 1907 building, at the corner of Summit Street and Avenida Caesar Chavez, was long associated with a prior immigrant group. From the 1880s through the 1910s, this neighborhood, was referred to as Swede Hill and was home to thousands of Swedish and Danish immigrants who arrived to Kansas City at the tail end of a Scandinavian migration to the Great Plains. Into the 1930s this building housed a number of Scandinavian fraternal organizations, such as the Nöje och Enighet, the Swedish Pioneer Club, and the Danish Brotherhood. A series of local businesses, including a drugstore, a butcher shop, a liquor store, a grocery, and multiple restaurants, have tenanted the ground floor over the years.

Photographer:

Mark Kenneally