Faxon School is located in the National Register listed Squier Park Historic District, a 16-block streetcar suburb southeast of downtown Kansas City. Planning and development of the neighborhood began in 1908 and the school district erected three one-story temporary structures on the current school site. They were replaced in 1911 by a permanent three-story building designed by school district Charles Smith. That building now comprises the north half of the existing building. As the neighborhood grew, student population expanded. A 1921 expansion of the school added classrooms, a gymnasium, and auditorium. The school building features interior and exterior elements such as large windows, wide corridors and open stairwells that emphasized safety, cleanliness, ventilation which associate it with early-twentieth century Progressive-Era public school design.
Sunflower acquired the school for rehabilitation into affordable apartment units. The school had passed out of district ownership and the previous owner had removed two of the stairwells. Other than that, the building retained nearly all of its original fabric although it was in deteriorated condition. New replacement windows had been purchased and were stored in the building.
Rosin Preservation consulted with the owner and Rosemann Architects on the design and prepared the historic tax credit applications on this $8.5 million rehabilitation. One of the most challenging aspects of the project was coming up with a strategy to modify the existing replacement windows that were stored on the property to create a profile that met the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation that NPS would approve. Rosin worked closely with the owner and NPS staff on the design, which added muntin grids and a panning system that created a more historically appropriate profile to the otherwise generic windows. The project was also able to take advantage of the stairwells that were already missing and added units in those areas, as well as in the rear of the auditorium. A small entry addition was tucked into a corner of the rear elevation to provide an elevator and accessibility.
Faxon School historically educated many Kansas City children. Today it houses many of the city’s senior citizens in its 45 affordable units. The building maintains its stately presence along Paseo Boulevard and contributes to Squier Park neighborhood’s historic character.
3710 Paseo Boulevard Kansas City, MO