Monthly Event Hosted by Made In KC
August 25 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The building at the corner of 31st and Oak was constructed prior to 1890. Little is known about its actual construction date of the two story building since it was outside the city limits so there were no permits recorded. The Kansas City Altas first recorded 325 E 31st St in 1891. Various businesses occupied the location until 1921 when Louis Aines founded the Linwood Ice Cream Company and occupied this address. He made a number improvements through the ’30’s and 40’s and became known as some of the best ice cream in Kansas City.
In 1940, the Linwood Ice Cream factory stood at southwest the corner of 31st and Oak. Photo courtesy Kansas City Public Library, Missouri Valley Special Collections.
The corner at 31st and Oak was in the heart of it all in the 30’s and 40’s in Kansas City. Less than a mile from “Millionaire’s Row” (26th to 31st St) on Troost where all of the Cities elite originally called home, 31st St became a viable east/west artery. 31st Street in the early 20th century was a collection of small to medium sized businesses. It was, as is today, a collection of small shops. Some of the history buffs in our group may know this area as Martini Corner because of all the bars on 31st. Most of the bars are gone now.
Until 1910, The Little Sisters of the Poor had a home behind this building that took care of the indigent population. You had to be “over 60 and broke” and they would take you in. The street had a drug store, sign shop, a gas station and lots of small shops. It later became a part of the Midtown area that it’s called today. The ice cream store was abandoned for years and like most buildings in the area, began to deteriorate. Lastly, it’s former sign was for Midtown Mattress Outlet.
Fast forward to the 21st Century and Kansas City’s next generation of visionaries. Enter Keith Bradley and Paul Nagaoka who saw a location that had been forgotten and neglected, and created white walls, polished concrete floors, a smattering of original brick walls, and even a few fire doors and said … we can create something fresh and attractive. Not long after acquiring the building, they found another young energetic mover by the name of Mehgan Flynn, who brought a wonderful idea to the mix. Mehgan is creating an incubator for the mental health industry with very affordable spaces for therapists just starting out. I’m told her Space KC are half the cost of the leading commercial “small space” broker.
Keith brought his Made In KC headquarters and one of the retail locations on the ground floor. Paul brought his drive and creative juices and today have a bright new address that also has a bakery, shuffleboards and soon to arrive, an eating establishment. This location is likely to receive a National Historic recognition because of its connection to the ice cream industry.
I sincerely hope you’ll join the Urban Core Board of Directors in their coming out gathering along with the owners of 325 E 31st St on the 25th of August from
5-7 pm. I believe your faith in the future of the Urban Core will be reenergized with this visit. Meet the next Halls, Stover’s, Block’s and Sutherlands. It will make you a believer.
All the best
Artist, Author, Urban Core Group member and Networking