ScarritT Renaissance Vision Study
2016-2017 | KCDC Studio Project
Scarritt Renaissance is a well-established neighborhood in Northeast Kansas City. The neighborhood holds pride with its connection to Kessler Park, the Kansas City Museum, and its many beautiful, historic homes. However, the area is simultaneously mottled with vacant lots and entire blocks in need of attention and care. After analyzing the history, demographics, and current conditions of the area, a set of six goals were established to guide the revitalization of the neighborhood. These goals were derived from the Scarritt Quality of Life Plan, various plan initiatives affecting the neighborhood, as well as stakeholder feedback. These six goals include: maintaining the character and integrity of the neighborhood by preserving historic buildings and maintaining existing structures, improving accessibility via public transportation and walking, encouraging development by supporting local economy and business within the neighborhood, repurposing and repairing vacant lots and poorly-used areas, promoting a safe and clean environment by improving eyes on the street and maintaining vegetation for better sight-lines, and encouraging diversity by advancing cultural interaction within the neighborhood.
The KCDC studio identified three recurring vacancy typologies in the neighborhood: standard infill lots, illegal lots that are in violation of current zoning requirements, and corner lots. Standard infill lots are “missing teeth” within a neighborhood, illegal lots are too narrow to build on with standard building methods, and corner lots are important to hold together two edges of a block. By addressing vacant lots through efficient infill design, the missing teeth can be restored, illegally narrow lots can be made buildable again through alternative approaches, and street fronts are stitched together with intentional corner buildings. The KCDC vision study and design proposal for Scarritt Renaissance seeks to employ these strategies to spark revitalization in the neighborhood.
Through neighborhood analysis and stakeholder input, the KCDC studio defined a focus area spanning east-west from Benton Boulevard to Myrtle Avenue, and north-south from Independence Avenue to Garner Avenue. This area of the neighborhood contains the most vacant sites with the most problematic conditions. The design proposals act as prototypical models that efficiently address the most common issues. The proposals range in both building type and building size. These prototypes can be learned from and adapted as other vacancies in the neighborhood with similar problems are developed in the future.
For more information on this project, please see our publication listed below.
Scarritt Renaissance Vision Study