Last Second Renaissance Revival style home in Kansas City was built in 1899 in a prestigious neighborhood on The Paseo | CJ Coombs

Dr. Generous Henderson House, Kansas City, Missouri.Charvex, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Built in 1899, the historic home of Dr. Generous Henderson was a mansion that is now renovated. If you’re wondering if Generous was his real first name, it was.

This house was built for Dr. Henderson. It was designed by architect, Rudolf Markgraf, of the Second Renaissance Revival style. Markgraf was from Germany and he started working in Kansas City in 1886. He designed different types of buildings in Kansas City that also included apartments and churches. Dr. Henderson’s house was Markgraf’s best residential design. In 1903, Markgraf was elected President of the Kansas City chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

The three-story house is composed of brick and stone. There’s a cast iron cornice above the roof line and an oriel window. There’s also a carriage house on the property that contributes to the historic nature.

The front of the house faces the east with a wrought iron and cut stone fence. The foundation is dressed limestone. The moldings and other portions of the house were painted gray.

The dressing of stones is important so that they are dressed in suitable shapes and polished to give a smooth surface if desired. (Source.)

Dr. Henderson’s house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 under the themes of architecture and society.

Dr. Generous Henderson

Dr. Generous Henderson (b. Oct. 4, 1844, d. Mar. 1, 1924), was born in New London, Indiana. He graduated from the Chicago Medical College and the University of Michigan’s medical department. He practiced in Chicago for 12 years and around 1880, he relocated to Kansas City to start a medical practice that lasted for 45 years. It’s been written that Dr. Henderson’s specialty was “private diseases.”

The good doctor, whose first name was Generous, is rumored to have treated Al Capone for the syphilis that led to the gangster’s death. Dr. Generous Henderson was a very social man whose trips down the Missouri River in his ‘party boat’ have been documented, said homes research specialists Audrey Elder and Liana Twente in an interview. Little else is known about Dr. Henderson, aside from rumors and urban lore. (Source.)

His house was located on The Paseo and represents one of the surviving examples of the Second Renaissance Revival style in Kansas City. According to an article published by The Pitch in 2011, it’s the last one. The article is worth reading by the late Charles Ferruzza. It includes some history about the house when it was a boarding house and maybe even possibly a brothel. The man who managed the boarding house was also murdered.

Dr. Henderson’s house was one of the last single-family residential homes left on Paseo Boulevard. This area used to be a prestigious area in Kansas City.

Kansas City started building Paseo Boulevard in 1898. The first section went from 9th Street to 17th Street. The beautification of the two-lane boulevard began before the 1900s. A garden, fountains, and a pergola were added.

A pergola is an outdoor structure consisting of columns that support a roofing grid of beams and rafters. (Source.)

With the beautiful views and improvements, the neighborhood was prestigious. Dr. Henderson’s home was across from the pergola.

After Dr. Henderson died, the home was sold by his widow. For a time, it was used as a boarding house and it began to decline with different owners. The house was finally purchased by someone who completely renovated it and restored it to its beauty. The house has five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a Living room, a dining room, a sitting room, a study, and a ballroom. All these rooms were renovated.

After a reduction in price, the house was sold in 2014.

Thanks very much for reading!

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