Saturday, January 14, 2006

End of the tour in sight.

Well, today, the little Curmudgeons and I made what was probably our last outing on the Kansas City, Missouri Closed Church Tour. We drove by the sites where Ss. Peter & Paul, St. Mark's "Ecumenical Parish", and St. Joseph's once stood, and we visited the old buildings for St. Mary's / Immaculate Heart, St. Augustine's and St. John's Seminary.

Over the next week, I'll make three or four more posts, with only one or two stops that hold any architectural interest.

With only about a week's worth of posts to go on this tour (unless my Kansas City/St. Joseph readers chime in and start sending me pictures), I need to think about the next adventure. Feedback in my comment boxes and email ( suggests that the little photo tour is far more interesting to other people than my usual rants (except, perhaps, the Vatican II rant from December 11). What should I do?

I took this first picture on the way back home: Christ the King church on Wornall Road--an unappealing postwar church that has recently been made downright ugly by the addition of a horrible vestibule in the last year or so. This could be the beginning of a series on ugly churches in KCMO.

I took this picture on the same trip home. It's B.B.'s Lawnside BarB-Q. I could, if I wanted, take a break from ecclesiastical subjects and shoot barbeque joints around town. After all this is Kansas City. We could start with Gates or Rosedale, and build up through the various smoking hotspots to end at Arthur Bryant's and Oklahoma Joe's, the twin peaks of barbeque joints.

I took this picture as I drove by Brush Creek after shooting Immaculate Heart, on my way to St. John's Seminary. (Yes, it's an awful shot through my windshield, but I was in a hurry to get my rounds done before my little Curmudgeons lost patience). That building in the distance is the Stowers Institute, where embryos go to die (Jim Stowers, founder of the American Century Mutual Fund Company, is leaving all his millions to fund medical research, and from what you see and hear, a lot of it is morally illicit embryonic (or the new euphemism over the last few months is "early" stem cell research). It's interesting to see and hear people's moral quibbles wilt away when the Stowers people and their fellow travelers raise the prospect of big research money leaving town. Just down the road is the Hare Krishna Veda Center, which I didn't get a picture of. This could be my first picture in a tour of evil places in Kansas City, but such a tour would be morbid, perhaps scandalous. There's too many of them, and they might lead some to dispair, others to temptation.

What I'm more likely to do, though, is to either shoot some grand preconciliar churches on the Missouri side that aren't closed (Redemptorist, Sorrows, and Good Counsel for starters) or, as I've proposed before, shoot some of the beautiful old ethnic churches on the Kansas side.

We'll see what the next little project is as time goes on: but first, I need to get my post up on the three vacant sites I visited: Ss Peter & Paul, St. Mark's, and St. Joseph.


CS said...

How about 'KC's Stupidest Idiots,' where you can post a profile a week, allowing your readers to heap scorn and ridicule on them.

Curmudgeon said...

Thanks, I love a little appropriately directed scorn and ridicule. We could start with the Mayor, Kay Barnes. However, the big problem with that idea is that it may require a little research, to winnow a big field of contenders, and it might also involve me reading the Kansas City Star in order to keep the field current...something I happily haven't had to do in a long while.

CS said...

That's true, don't give them any money. I refuse to even take those free ones the morons pass out at stores.