The Literary Apartments in Kansas City, Missouri are a little known gem.
They are named after famous literary figures.
Also known as the Poet Apartments, the Literary Apartments were built between 1927-1929. The beautiful buildings are located in the Country Club Plaza district of Kansas City, Missouri.
These photos of the apartment buildings were taken by Sean Owens, Historic Preservation Commissioner for the City of Kansas City, and owner of Owens Architectural Consulting.
One of the more fascinating aspects of the Literary Apartments, is that they were all designed by a local woman architect named Nelle Peters.
Nelle Elizabeth Peters (1884-1974)
Peters was a pioneering woman of American Architecture, and a talented and prolific architect who shaped much of midtown Kansas City.
Nelle Peters’ Literary Apartments are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a thematic group.
Fun fact about Peters: she was actually born in a sod house on the North Dakota prairie. Perhaps her love of soaring architecture grew out of her humble beginnings.
Sean describes how the Literary Apartments are grouped at one end of The Country Club Plaza which was apparently the world’s first ‘shopping center’ – a designated retail area built outside of a downtown.
The district is known for its beautiful Spanish-style architecture and fountains.
These apartments were part of the new ‘town center’ for the elite class, created in the roaring 1920’s.
You can also see elements of Art Deco on the buildings’ façades.
These red brick high-rises were built to be sturdy and stately but also to project a timeless beauty.
These photos and information about the Literary Apartments are courtesy of Sean Owens.
You can view Sean’s Instagram page for many more amazing photos of historic Kansas City: