~ (Music ~ Kansas City Railroad Blues) ~

~ The Smokestack in Parkville ~

~ The Demolition of a 90 Year Old Landmark ~

The old Park College Power Plant smokestack had been a prominent landmark in Parkville for many years...

It could be seen for several miles on Highway 9 West from Kansas City (far right)

At Christmas a lighted star added to the night view of the towering smokestack

Later the smokestack became a sort of Logo for the Power Plant Brewery that was established in the old power Plant

But then tiles began falling from the nearly 90 year old landmark, from the deteriorating exterior of the stack, creating a possible danger to passing traffic and pedestrians below

Several local authorities and the owner of the property decided the stack must be removed for public safety and insurance reasons

The Power Plant Restaurant operators did not agree and wanted the smokestack repaired and maintained as did many citizens of Parkville

Later the operators filed a lawsuit, complaining the stack was a part of the leased premises and that it should be repaired and maintained

But protests failed and demolition was started, most work progressing at night when they could close off the streets to traffic

Press Release: "Demolition of the smoke stack at 2 Main Street in downtown Parkville, Missouri is scheduled to begin Sunday, March 4, 2007 at 10:00 p.m. Once started, the demolition is projected to last for five to ten days. During that time, Mill Street / FF Highway will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic from Main Street to West Street. Vehicular traffic will be detoured around downtown.

The Power Plant Brewery operators had used the Stack as a sort of trademark for the restaurant

The lease with the Power Plant operators required insurance on the restaurant but not the smokestack, it actually was several feet to the rear of the building and on a separate foundation

It was decided by the property owner that demoliton was safer and much less costly than renovation so demolition was ordered, costing a reported $35,000.

The building owner's engineering firm had assured city officials that the smokestack was not in danger of toppling.

And the operators of the Power Plant Restaurant had said They believed under their lease on the building, it was the building owner's responsibility to repair and maintain the smokestack.

The owner the former power plant, said he had already planned to tear down most of the smokestack because it's gotten too expensive to maintain.

The owner said he understands that people are upset over the demolition, but that he is planning to rebuild a similar structure in its place. His plans are to construct a 150-foot replica of the smokestack that would be used by cellphone companies.

They didn't take it all the way to the ground, the top is now about level with the roof at the rear of the Restaurant

The smokestack originally was more than 110 feet tall before an earlier repair, now is about 20 feet tall and capped with concrete

Now all but gone except as a memory, a Parkville Landmark may be gone forever...

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