At the end of December 2011, the Houston Space Society, Inc., a 501c3 originally chartered in Texas in 1988, received a donation of a two story building near the corner of 44th Street and Troost Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri. The property is about 143 feet long, 20 feet wide, and two stories along the first sixty feet.
Since receiving the property, the organisation has put the property in its name at the register of deeds, begun the process of declaring the property tax exempt for 2012 and all future years for educational and other charitable purposes, and developed a plan for using the property to advance its educational and mutual aid goals in the area. We are now working on repairs to the building so we can outfit it for classes, a tool library, and other uses.
The property is in the "Manheim" neighbourhood, which in 1907 was a fairly solidly middle-class residential and commercial zone. Homes built at the time were required by the neighbourhood association to be worth at least $3,000, at a time when gold was $20 an ounce. At today's prices of gold, those dollars would be worth about $250,000. Several decades ago, unscrupulous bankers and realtors began to break up the neighbourhood with red lining, block busting, and other activities to destroy property values. Having then bought up the properties, they sold them to new residents at much higher prices, often attached to high interest mortgage loans. Presently, there are 65 abandoned buildings and 50 vacant lots in the neighbourhood.
We're working to change those facts. We need your help. We are currently seeking $7,000 to provide for our repair work and begin documenting that work with a documentary film.
Last week, a group in Kansas City pledged to provide all the electrical wiring, junction boxes, and outlets, installed, for our building, as a donation. We've received other donations of in-kind materials and of services. Even so, nothing can change the fact that we need a certain amount of money. Please consider making a donation today. Thank you.
Here are some essays on the topic of the New Education Centre.
Persons in the Kansas City area are welcome to attend a clean-up day at the building, 4337 Troost Avenue, on Thursday 22 March from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
A monthly event celebrating the neighbourhood takes place the second Friday of every month, and is called Troost Art Hop. For April that event is Friday 13 April.