Fires, a hazard of the industrial revolution, often caused uninsured property owners to suffer great financial loss. To protect against such calamity, fire insurance companies sprang up all over the U.S. Policy writers, however, could not always inspect properties in person. In 1866, D. A. Sanborn, an enterprising surveyor in Massachusetts, began creating specialized maps to help under-writers evaluate the risks.
Presbyterian church, kindergarten, free health clinic, recreation center – the Italian Mission in Old Northeast was many things. As a recent donation of artifacts to the Missouri Valley Special Collections shows, the Mission was a Kansas City cultural hub for the better part of a century.
At 7:05 p.m. on July 17, 1981, two walkways inside the Hyatt Regency hotel at Crown Center collapsed during a massive party. By the time the wreckage had been cleared, 114 were dead and 216 were injured. This Sunday, July 17, 2011, marks the 30th anniversary of the disaster, and a special event at the Kansas City Public Library will explore its causes and aftereffects.