Horace Mann School (KC)
Located in Kansas City, MO
- Genre:Elementary School
- Age:113 years
- Demo / Renovated:2013
- Decaying for:22 years
- Last Known Status:Demolished
Photo © 2009 Tom Kirsch, opacity.us
Horace Mann School (KC) History
A tract of land at Euclid Avenue and 39th in Kansas City was purchased by the district in 1891 to found the Ivanhoe School, dedicated to teaching young children in the area. In 1899, the institution with 229 students was annexed into the city's school district, and renamed the Horace Mann School. The large swath of land that this district encompassed soon overloaded the building's capacity, and it was realized that the old Ivanhoe structure was too small. Construction began on a new edifice in 1904 and was completed in 1906, with additional land purchased on the north side for a playground. The students were elementary, with the addition of a kindergarten grade level in 1920. In 1925, an auditorium and a gymnasium were added to the building. By 1939, the young students were transferred to larger schools in the area, and Horace Mann changed roles to become a forum for teaching college classes and adult education - an important asset when World War II veterans returned home seeking education for civilian employment.
A community college took control of the building in 1968, but had left it in disuse until the Kansas City School put the property up for sale in 1979. It did not languish in neglect however, as it was purchased the next year by a nonprofit Christian school who operated in the school until 1991. The building was then vacated for good, until a severe fire in 2011 destroyed most of the building. The ruins were razed sometime around 2013.