From the Hill
by Carole Diehl
Well, here it is another new year, and as a neighborhood association leader, I wonder what all it will bring for us. As a group, we work so hard to make things better for the neighborhood, and have our corner of the world be the best it can be. As we are the old part of the city, it is a much harder job.
Strawberry Hill is the original Kansas City, Kan., and has so much history to share, from the Indians who settled here, to the Irish, Germans, and then those from Balkan countries like Croatia and the Polish people. If you knew the stories of these people, you would understand their pride in this neighborhood.
We do know that some good things are coming along this summer which helps to rid the community of vacant lots. Community Housing of Wyandotte County and City Vision, two CDCs, are in the process of building more new homes on the Hill, and also doing rehabs of some of the homes to improve quality of living.
I love working with these two organizations as they do good work, and they keep the homes within the parameters of the styles we want here. They keep their homes within the Victorian look, and some of them are hard to pick out as new, they blend in so well. The many types of homes built here through the years are mostly on the same plans, with roof angles different, or two-story or one-story homes, but most are of the same overall look. Every home on the Hill has a front porch. Most have mud rooms on the back. And many of them are too beautiful to describe. My home is 125 years old, and I love it, even though I gave up a new home to move here. You know, the only thing I miss is my garbage disposal? Oh well, you can’t have it all.
We have a coffee shop coming in soon, and other businesses planning to move here. We have a lot of young people coming here, which is exciting. They are young business people wanting to make a difference. And the new homes mean more rooftops which in turn, mean more people to help us grow.
Working with Downtown Shareholders is a big help as well, as they are planning many good things as we go along. We have a benefactor who is getting ready to redo 6th Street and one of its buildings and make it into condos. A lot of good things are coming in the future for our community, and we look forward to seeing the work completed.
Strawberry Hill is unique and historical, and yes, old. But to have any history you have to be old. It takes years to make history. And we are still here, still making history to hand down to the next generation. My hope is that they will love it like we do.
The horse-drawn wagon and vegetable man came around selling his wares?
Everyone had wood or coal-burning cook stoves?
You had to be in the house by the 9 o’clock whistle at the railroad?
Carole Diehl is the president of the Strawberry Hill Neighborhood Association.