In 2008, Mid-Continent Public Library purchased a unique piece of property in the Shoal Creek area of Kansas City from the Crouch Family. This 33-acre property would become the site of what is today the Woodneath Library Center. On this property resides a historic home that is the only site in northern Kansas City designated as a landmark on the city, county, state, and federal registers. Listed in 1978 on the National Register of Historic Places, the home is a Greek Revival-style farmhouse built in 1855-56 and is known officially as the Elbridge Arnold Homestead or the Edwin Y. Crouch Residence.
Following the opening of the Woodneath Library Center in 2013—the first phase of MCPL’s plans for the property—the Library embarked on the second phase of redevelopment in 2018 with the support of the Crouch Family: the multi-year adaptive reuse of the historic homestead, which is destined to become the home of the humanities-based Story Center. The Story Center is a mission-enhancement program of the Library dedicated to helping people in the Kansas City area and surrounding region to create, share, and connect with stories through year-round programs and services.
As a result of the work of Pishny Renovation Services, an award-winning historic restoration and preservation contractor located in Lenexa, Kansas, unique spaces such as the Crouch Family Reading Room, two programming rooms, a digital storytelling studio, and a conference room will make the home a place where storytelling in all forms can flourish.
In the coming years, the Library plans to develop specific projects intended to explore and understand the history of Woodneath. More information about the historic home’s reopening will be added as available.
To find out how you can support The Story Center or the Woodneath Library Center campus project, contact the Development Office at 816.521.7260 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to learn more about plans, please contact Mark Livengood, Story Center Director at email@example.com.
The project is funded through private support from individuals and foundations and a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant.