1032 Penn Ave: History of the Blossom House

1032 Pennsylvania Ave. – This seemingly ordinary address has been home to Edgar Law Firm since 2007. Today we are excited to share with you the history of the beautiful Victorian mansion, known as the Blossom House, and why 1032 Penn Ave. has never been just an ordinary address.

Some of you have graced these historic walls with your presence, but for those of you who have not, we have included photographs at the end of this post for your viewing pleasure.

The Blossom House was built in 1888 by Mrs. George Newton Blossom (Elizabeth Allman.) Her husband, Colonel Blossom, was a successful business man in Kansas City in the 1870s and 1880s and can be credited with playing a vital role in the advancement of Kansas City at that time. He owned and operated the Blossom House Hotel, a luxury hotel located in the West Bottoms, when it was the home of the Kansas City’s original train station.

Unfortunately, George Blossom died in 1885 when he became sick after drinking from the mineral water in Manitou, CO. Upon his death, he left his entire estate to his wife, including multiple business, properties and a family residence on the corner of 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

In 1902, William Volker, a widely known Kansas City philanthropist, bought the Blossom House and turned it into hotel called the Girl’s Association. He later built another Mediterranean style hotel and attached it to the west side of Blossom House in 1928. This complex housed working women in Kansas City. Volker donated it to the Kansas City Roman Catholic Diocese in 1947 where it operated as Penn Lodge for Women. You can find the William Volker Memorial Fountain at the Country Club Plaza.

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In 1971, Arnold Garfinkel bought the two adjoining buildings with plans to turn it into a restaurant and cocktail lounge. The project never made it past the planning stages.

After being vacant for nearly 35 years, Shirley Helzberg purchased the complex in 2005. By 2007, Helzberg had renovated the Blossom House back to its original glory.

The Blossom House was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 2010.

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Edgar Law Firm is very proud to call the Blossom House, home. We are thankful for the love and care that has been poured into the restoration of this beautiful piece of Kansas City history and we are excited to play a part in the next chapter of this story.

Below are pictures taken since the renovations in 2007, most are as recent as 2016.

 

Are you familiar with the history of the Blossom House? We would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

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